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How your genes affect your health

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The subject of genetics is becoming more important to your healing than ever before. Your genetics are vulnerability factors and not necessarily your destiny. Faulty genes must be "turned on" to manifest a problem in your body. The issue we face today is that toxins in the environment turn those genes on, which is why we have greater numbers of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune conditions than ever before. The good news is that there are a number of brilliant practitioners and researchers working hard to bring the answers for our survival in spite of this toxic environmental soup we live in.

1st Annual Environmental Toxins & Genomics Conference

Many of you know my son, Chris Williams, who comes to Atlanta twice a year to provide ultrasound health screenings. What you might not know is that he holds a masters degree in Biomedical Science and is currently working on his doctorate. He and I attended the conference together because we are going to join our strengths (naturopathic and biomedical) to make true integrative health care available. We're both super excited!!!

Top notch presenters at the conference

Many of you know Joseph Mercola, who presented on the effects of WiFi and electromagnetic fields. Most of my pics of the speakers are taken from too far away to be meaningful, but here is Mercola from the back, sporting the barefoot look, lol!

Other presenters included the keynote, Neil Nathan, MD; Jill Carnahan, MD; Dr Sandeep Gupta; Stephanie Seneff, PhD; and Bob Miller, naturopath and brilliant geneticist. If you'd like deeper information, do an internet search on these folks. Impressive!

Here's what we learned in a nutshell

Some of the most disruptive toxins to our genes are things we cannot fully escape from. They include glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup, which is used on our crops, in our yards, and on school playgrounds and sports fields), WiFi, plastic (did you know that the average American ingests the same amount of plastic in a credit card every day?! ) and pesticides, to name a few.

Some of the most commonly disrupted genes include those which allow us to process and shed toxins. This ends up causing hormone dysregulation (witness girls starting their menstrual cycles at ages 8-10 instead of age 15-16, which is when it is supposed to start. Additionally, speakers mentioned sexual changes in marine life). Gene disruption also adversely affects neurotransmitter function (as in increases in ADD, Alzheimer's and Dementia, and Anxiety). And, as I mentioned earlier, it causes the increase we are seeing in all inflammatory and autoimmune illnesses.

There IS good news

When you understand your genetics, it's possible to support yourself with natural means to compensate for the weaknesses. It also helps to understand which types of detoxification protocols can be easiest for your body to work with. I know a lot of you have been concerned about the 5G wireless that's already in some areas of Atlanta, and Mercola had a great comment on that.... He said that if you can create a sanctuary in your sleeping environment, being exposed to 5G during the day could actually stimulate your body to compensate and deal with it! The trick is to protect yourself at night, and I will write more about this in a future blog.

Curious about your genes?

Vitality Project is now offering this testing and interpretation. It's a saliva test kit that you receive in the mail and the results take about 6-8 weeks to come in. At that time, Chris will consult with you to explain the confusing aspects of what your results mean, then I will consult with you on a program to work WITH your genes to stay healthy. The cost for testing and interpretation is at an introductory price of $399. Contact us at 770-817-8028 to sign up!

The Gut-Brain axis, by Chris Williams, M.S.

In recent years, you may have heard whisperings of what doctors and researchers are referring to as the "gut-brain axis." This is not a direct nervous link, or any kind of direct link at all really, but rather refers to the communication that can occur between cells in the gut and neurons in the brain.

Much like the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) and other axes in the human body, this "communication" is actually a process in which certain molecules are released (sent) by cells in one location and are subsequently absorbed (received) by cells in another location. The number and types of signaling molecules that can travel through the body is beyond the scope of this article, but just be aware that there are many types, and nearly all can affect receptor cells in different ways.

So the gut-brain axis is simply an acknowledgement that many molecules released in the gut, both by our own cells and by single-celled microorganisms (bacteria and fungi), have been seen to affect cells in the brain via this signaling process.

Studies started to appear a few years ago that correlated changes in the gut microbiome with diagnoses on the autism spectrum (1,2). Both acknowledged that treating the gut microbiome abnormalities may be one effective treatment route for autism spectrum disorders.

Recently, researchers from Canada looked for similar correlations between alterations in the gut microbiome and fibromyalgia (3). Their research revealed significant differences in not just one or two but several bacterial populations. Some were significantly higher in fibromyalgia patients, while others were significantly depleted compared to a healthy control population.

Researchers were careful to account for other variables which could have skewed the results, and found that fibromyalgia symptoms held the strongest significant correlations with changes in the gut microbiome. Taking their findings a step further, researchers used machine learning to see if computers could predict fibromyalgia diagnoses when gut microbiome levels were input. The computer was able to predict the diagnosis with over 87% accuracy.

What does this mean moving forward for fibromyalgia patients?

First, it could mean more accurate diagnosis. Chronic pain can come from a variety of sources, and the current subjectivity of fibromyalgia diagnosis leaves room for potential misdiagnosis in many cases. If further studies confirm that gut microbiome differences exist in fibro patients, then gut bacteria analysis could be used as an early diagnostic tool, improving both accuracy and efficiency.

Additionally, treatment options could become available that were not previously considered. After the link with autism was discovered, a team of researchers conducted a study where autistic children received gut microbiota transplants iMicrobiota Transfer Therapy alters gut ecosystem and improves gastrointestinal and autism symptoms: an open-label study in the form of fecal matter transplantation (4). Not only did patients' symptoms improve (both GI symptoms and autism symptoms), but these improvements persisted in a follow-up eight weeks later. If studies were to show similar results for fibromyalgia, patients may find relief where previously management was difficult at best.


1. New evidences on the altered gut microbiota in autism spectrum disorders.

2. The Gut Microbiota and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

3. Altered microbiome composition in individuals with fibromyalgia.

4. Microbiota Transfer Therapy alters gut ecosystem and improves gastrointestinal and autism symptoms: an open-label study.

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