I did enjoy hearing from a few of you on the topic of oxalate sensitivity, my previous post on this topic.
Today I will be talking about something called genetic polymorphism, and specifically how a particular polymorphism makes it hard for the body to excrete sulfur (or utilize it in beneficial ways).
This is part 2 of my series on, “When Eating More Greens is Not a Good Idea”. Again, the five examples I am discussing with you where greens may cause worsening symptoms in your client are rare…but it is still good to be aware of – and be able to recognize – these signs in case you come across them.
How would a genetic polymorphism impact the ability of your client to eat greens?
Everyone has their own unique DNA encoding, right? And each of us also – due to that unique coding – has our own specific responses to various chemicals and toxins, especially in regards to how well we methylate (eliminate certain toxins).
You may come across a client who does not have the enzyme MTHFR, for example. Mutations in the MTHFR gene can result in decreased activity of the enzyme, including the ability to eliminate toxins properly. A lot of people are born with a sluggish methylation pathway (some 40% of the population). They have a defect in the gene, called a SNP (a single nucleotide polymorphism) that helps methylation. What this means is they can’t take their liver through the complete methylation pathway; or, said a simpler way, they can’t fully detox!
One example might be with heavy metals, as well as excess hormones and environmental toxins of all kinds, including molds. For some people toxins can build-up and they may need some additional support. Other genetic mutations and polymorphisms can occur.
What causes a polymorphism in the first place? It is thought to be a way for nature to simply increase diversity. Polymorphism changes DNA solely for the purpose of diversity (versus, “survival of the fittest”, true genetic mutations). People have different blood types, for example. That is an example of a genetic polymorphism. A polar bear being white ensures its survival.
An example of a polymorphism you may see is something called CBS (Cystathionine Beta Synthase). The CBS pathway is essential for many biochemical processes. And normally, within this pathway, sulfur amino acids are removed if they become in excess.
However, sometimes due to abnormalities within the CBS or with other genetic methylation pathways, an issue causing excessive pooling of sulfur can occur.
If your client has experienced cravings for sulfur-rich foods, or sensitivity to sulfur-rich foods, this may warrant investigating whether they have a CBS up-regulation issue.
And due to the fact that one of my favorite vegetable groups, cruciferous veggies, is also high in sulfur, a client with this sensitivity may have problems after eating these sulfur-rich foods (also onions, garlic, and even eggs). Eating large amounts of sulfur containing foods can lead to increased stress and inflammation.
Opt to have your client eat low-sulfur veggies for a while as a test. This includes romaine lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, and celery.
There are also lab tests that can be taken, an example being 23andMe.
Again, the detective in you has to come forward and ask questions.
So what is another instance where your client might have an issue with additional greens? In Part 3 of this series I will be talking about your client’s sensitivity to isothiocyanate.
If you are interesting in learning more about genetic polymorphisms, you may wish to consider registering for my NEPT program. We offer over 20 hours worth of training and mentorship on nutrigenomics and SNPs that can impact your client’s ability to heal.