Glossary

Term Definition Sources
8-oHdG 8-hydroxy-2' -deoxyguanosine (8-oHdG) is widely used as a biomarker for oxidative stress and carcinogenesis because 8-oHdG is generated as a result of oxidative damage to lipids of cellular membranes, proteins, and DNA.
Acetaldehyde - health effects Aldehydes (including acetaldehyde and formaldehyde) are found in the environment and in food and are also generated internally in the body. Long-term exposure to acetaldehyde can cause liver damage and cardiovascular problems. Symptoms include drowsiness, delirium, hallucinations, slow mental response, chronic respiratory disease, kidney and liver damage, dizziness, reddening and swelling of the skin and sensitization. It may cause photophobia (sensitivity to light). The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed acetaldehyde as a Group 1 carcinogen. National Pollution Inventory (NPi), Wikipedia
Acetaldehyde - food sources Acetaldehyde is generally found in very ripe/spoiled and fermented foods. E.g., very ripe fruit, fruit juice, pureed fruit (even baby food), preserved vegetables (pickled and canned), cheese, heated milk, coffee, tea and bread. Naturally fermented foods including: yogurt, vinegar, kombucha, unpasteurized lactic-fermented pickles and mushrooms, fish products, fermented soy products and kimchi. Many of the foods that contain acetaldehydes have numerous health benefits. However, those who have gene combinations that do not process aldehydes well, may be more sensitive to these foods. Use moderation, especially during times of high environmental aldehyde exposures. (See: Aldehydes in the environment). Many aldehydes are also found in drinking water: use a filter. National Pollution Inventory (NPi), Wikipedia
Acetaldehyde - generated internally Aldehydes can be generated internally by yeasts, molds and bacteria. The yeast infection Candida albicans is a common source of additional acetaldehyde in the body. The natural production of small amounts of acetaldehyde is expected in the gut through microbial fermentation. However, intestinal dysbiosis, where there is an imbalance in gut flora, can generate relatively large amounts of acetaldehyde, which can diffuse into the bloodstream. In the liver, alcohol is converted into toxic aldehydes before being processed into less toxic compounds by the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) family of enzymes. This is why it is important to support the enzymes that process aldehydes, such as ALDH7A1, ALDH2 and ALDH1B1 with B vitamins (especially B1 and B3) and zinc. National Pollution Inventory (NPi)
Acetaldehyde - occupational exposure Acetaldehyde - occupational exposure - Workers in the organic chemicals industry have the greatest potential for exposure. Other industries where personnel have potential for exposure include: fabricated rubber products, dyes, plastics, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, fuels, drugs, explosives, lacquers and varnishes, photographic chemicals, pesticides, food additives, leather goods and mirrors. Acetaldehyde is a potential exposure problem for automobile and diesel mechanics, gas station attendants and agricultural and food industry personnel, as well as personnel in coffee-roasting operations, lithographic coatings, automobile spray operations and fat-rendering plants. National Pollution Inventory (NPi)
Acetaldehyde in the environment Acetaldehydes occur in the environment due to vehicle emissions, smoke (residential fireplaces and wood stoves, bush fires and agricultural burning), cigarette smoke (especially secondhand smoke), cooking fumes and fuel combustion (natural gas, gas, diesel). Sources of acetaldehyde in the environment also include some disinfectants, drugs and perfumes, fungicides and pesticides and in the home (from building materials, carpets, new furniture, cabinets, gas appliances, room air deodorizers) National Pollution Inventory (NPi)
ALA rich foods Alpha Linoleic Acid ALA is an 18-carbon, plant-based essential omega-3 fatty acid that cannot be generated by the body and so, must be obtained through the diet. ALA is found in seeds (chia, flaxseed, hemp), nuts (notably walnuts) and many common vegetable oils. Note: Alpha-linolenic acid is not the same as alpha-lipoic acid, (an antioxidant that helps the body turn glucose into energy). This can be confusing because both alpha-linolenic acid and alpha-lipoic acid are both sometimes abbreviated as ALA. University of Maryland Medical Centre, Oregon State University
Alias An alias is the common name (or nickname) for a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Eg C677T is the alias for “rs1801133” for MTHFR. They both refer to the same SNP.
Ancestral diet This is a post-agrarian diet reflective of what your ancestors ate 500 years ago. It is not necessarily the diet your grandparents ate, as they may have emigrated to a region with a very different diet from what their genetic ancestors consumed. Examples of ancestral diet include the Nordic diet for Northern and Scandinavian Europeans or the Pre-colonial diet for Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Ancestral diet can also mean Paleolithic diet in some circles, but they are two very different diets.
Arachidonic acid rich foods Arachidonic acid is a naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acid found in foods such as chicken, beef, pork, egg and fish. Following irritation or injury, arachidonic acid is released from cell membranes and is metabolized into both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are important components of the inflammatory response, and arachidonic acid is an important component of a healthy cell membrane. However, an excess of arachidonic acid can lead to an exaggerated inflammatory response and platelet aggregation. Therefore, intake of arachidonic acid needs to be controlled, especially in inflammatory conditions. PMID: 6428879, PMID: 6440214, Wikipedia
Arsenic The main sources of arsenic are drinking-water and crops, such as rice. Arsenic needs glutathione and SAM in order to be eliminated in the body. World Health Organization (WHO), NIH
ATP Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is often referred to as "the energy currency of life". It is the high-energy molecule that stores and transports energy to where it is needed in the body. ATP is synthesized in the mitochondria. Wikipedia, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), Georgia State University (GSU)
Basophils A basophil is a type of white blood cell. They are responsible for inflammatory reactions during immune response, as well as in the formation of acute and chronic allergic diseases. They can perform phagocytosis, produce histamine and serotonin that induce inflammation, and heparin that prevents blood clotting. Wikipedia
Betaine rich foods Foods rich in betaine include beets, beet greens, quinoa, spinach, rye, amaranth, wheat bran, wheat germ, spinach and shellfish (shrimp). Betaine is a tri-methylated derivative of glycine (TMG), which is synthesized from choline. Intracellular accumulation of betaine permits water retention in cells, thus protecting from the effects of dehydration. Betaine also plays a role in the manufacture of carnitine and serves to protect the kidneys from damage. It comes either from the diet or by the oxidation of choline. PMID: 12730414, PMID: 24128557, The Yeast Metabolome Database (YMDB), The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Biotin (B7) See vitamin B7 (biotin)
Blood sugar balance To achieve a healthy blood sugar balance: Eat a breakfast and lunch with moderate protein and high fiber vegetables, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat. Avoid snacking between meals, especially on simple carbs with low fiber. Avoid simple carbohydrates (soda, sugar, candy, white flour, processed foods).
BPA Bisphenol A (BPA) is used for containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles, “ready-meal” containers and baby bottles and also to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. To reduce exposure, use alternatives to plastic such as glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers. Do not put polycarbonate plastics in the microwave or dishwasher, because the heat may break them down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods. BPA has been shown to interact with estrogen receptors and cause several endocrine disorders including infertility, early puberty, breast and prostate cancer and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PMID: 25813067, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), The Mayo Clinic, NIH
Calcium rich foods Foods rich in calcium include tofu, dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk), seafood (sardines, salmon, shrimp), beans (red, white, pinto), green leafy vegetables (bok choy, kale, broccoli) and oranges. Oregon State University, National Osteoporosis Foundation
Carnivore diet This diet is a more extreme form of the Paleolithic diet that includes meat, fish, eggs, insects and some dairy. Very low in carbohydrates and fiber, it is not suited for long term use. Read more here.
Catecholamines Catecholamines is the collective term for the hormones: dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Catecholamines are derived from the amino acid tyrosine, which is obtained from dietary sources as well as synthesis of phenylalanine. Wikipedia, Medline
Choline rich foods Foods rich in choline include eggs, fish roe, liver, beef, poultry, dairy, peanuts and wheat germ. Choline is a water-soluble vitamin usually grouped within the B-complex vitamins. It is important as a precursor of acetylcholine, as a methyl donor in various metabolic processes, and in lipid metabolism. Choline is now considered to be an essential vitamin. While humans can synthesize small amounts, it must be consumed in the diet to maintain health. PMID: 12730414, Wikipedia, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Circadian rhythm See: "Sleep"
Coenzyme Q10 rich foods Rich sources of dietary coenzyme Q10 include mainly meat, poultry and fish. Other good sources include nuts, seeds and oils such as soybean, corn, olive and canola oils. Moderate sources of coenzyme Q10 are fruit, vegetables, eggs and dairy products. Oregon State University
Cofactor A cofactor is a compound that is required by an enzyme to help it to work correctly. Cofactors are usually vitamins or minerals that are obtained from the diet. Some cofactors are generated internally, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) and tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). For example, the cofactors for TPH are iron (from the diet) and BH4 (generated internally).
Copper rich foods Foods high in copper include organ meats (liver), shellfish (oysters, crab, clams), nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts), sunflower seeds, lentils, mushrooms and wheat-bran. Oregon State University
Cortisol Cortisol is a steroid hormone, produced the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentration. It functions to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, to suppress the immune system and to aid in the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. It also decreases bone formation. Wikipedia
Coumarin rich foods Coumarins are found in vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, coffee, tea and wine. Sources of coumarins include: Cassia cinnamon, Mexican vanilla, tonka beans, strawberries, bilberries, cherries, apricots, green tea, honey, Artemisia (wormwood), Verbascum (mullein), Melilotis (sweet clover), Angelica (dong quai), Ferula communis, Glycyrrhiza (licorice) and Mentha (peppermint and spearmint).
Coumarins Natural coumarins are widely distributed in nature: in fruits, flowers, seeds, roots, leaves and stems. They provide plants with a defense mechanism against being eaten by herbivores or attacked by microorganisms. For humans they provide clinical properties such as anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anticancer, antihypertensive, antitubercular, anticonvulsant, antiadipogenic, antihyperglycemic, antioxidant and neuroprotection. Foods high in naturally occurring coumarins have been shown to slow down and balance phase 1 liver detoxification (by inhibiting CYP1A2). However, synthetic coumarins not only reduce liver function but also increase the requirement for detoxification. Synthetic coumarins are found in perfumes, shampoos, lotions, body care products and are significantly absorbed through the skin. PMID: 23586066, intechopen.com
Cruciferous vegetables Cruciferous vegetables (also known as brassica vegetables) include mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, radish, arugula, bok choy and horseradish. Wikipedia
Cysteine rich foods Cysteine is a naturally occurring, sulfur-containing amino acid that is found in most proteins including meat, fish, eggs, dairy, oats and brassica vegetables. It is a constituent part of the antioxidant glutathione. The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Cytokines Cytokines are a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins that are secreted by specific cells within the immune system. They are signaling molecules that regulate the immune response. Sino Biological
DHA Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a 22-carbon omega-3 fatty acid, found in cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring. DHA is essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in infants and is also required for maintenance of normal brain function in adults. Our bodies naturally make small amounts of DHA (by conversion from ALA), but we must get the amounts we need from food or supplements. University of Maryland Medical Center, PMID: 10479465
Dirty Dozen The Dirty Dozen is the top 12 foods found to have the highest levels of pesticides as analysed by the Environmental Working Group 2020. Select organic wherever possible: 1. strawberries, 2. spinach, 3. kale, 4. nectarines, 5. apples, 6. grapes, 7. peaches, 8. cherries, 9. pears, 10. tomatoes, 11. celery, 12. potatoes. Environmental Working Group
Dioxins Dioxins are a group of several hundred chemicals that are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and interfere with hormones. Dioxins are formed as a result of combustion processes such as waste incineration (commercial or municipal), burning fuels (like wood, coal or oil) and from vehicle emissions. Dioxins are called persistent organic pollutants (POPs), because they take a long time to break down once they are in the environment and they accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals. Therefore, dioxins are mainly found in fatty meats, animal fats such as butter or lard, dairy products, fish and shellfish. USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), World Health Organization (WHO)
Dopamine - ways to increase To increase levels of dopamine: Eat foods rich in tyrosine, exercise regularly, learn to meditate, use touch therapy/massage and ensure you get sufficient sleep. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate movement and emotional responses. It enables us to not only see rewards, but to take action to move toward them. Dopamine deficiency results in Parkinson's Disease, and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. Excessively high levels of dopamine may increase headaches, irritability and stress. BrainMD, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), Psychology Today
EGCG Epigallocatechin gallate is a phenolic antioxidant found in a number of plants such as green and black tea. It inhibits cellular oxidation and prevents free radical damage to cells. It is under study as a potential cancer chemopreventive agent. Wikipedia, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), PubChem
Ellagic acid rich foods Foods rich in ellagic acid include pomegranates, walnuts, pecans, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and guava.
End product An end product is the material or substance that is produced as the result of action by an enzyme.
Enzyme Enzymes are protein molecules with a characteristic sequence of amino acids that fold to produce a specific three-dimensional structure. It is this three-dimensional structure that gives the enzyme its unique properties. The major function of an enzyme is to act as a catalyst that speeds up a particular chemical reaction. The amino acid sequence of an enzyme is dictated by its corresponding gene within the DNA. If the gene dictates a slightly different amino acid sequence (i.e., the gene contains a SNP), then the 3-D structure of the enzyme may be altered, causing its resulting function to be altered also. All enzymes on the StrateGene pathway are indicated within an oval. Biology Online
Feedback Inhibition Feedback Inhibition is a cellular control mechanism in which an enzyme’s activity is inhibited by the enzyme’s end product. This mechanism allows cells to regulate how much of an enzyme’s end product is produced. Biology Dictionary
Fiber rich foods Good sources of dietary fiber include legumes (beans, lentils and peas), nuts, seeds, oats, whole grains, bran products, fruit and non-starchy vegetables. Oregon State University
FIGLU Formiminoglutamic acid (FIGLU) is an intermediate in the metabolism of histidine. Measurement of this acid in the urine after oral administration of histidine provides the basis for the diagnostic test of folate deficiency and of megaloblastic anemia of pregnancy. Wikipedia, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Folate (B9) Folate is an umbrella term to describe a range of folate compounds including dihydrofolate (DHF), tetrahydrofolate (THF), methenyltetrahydrofolate, folinic acid and methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF), also known as methyfolate, which is the primary form of folate found in blood. Folate is also known as vitamin B9. Folate is important for cells and tissues that divide rapidly. Women with folate deficiency who become pregnant are more likely to give birth to premature infants with low birth weight or neural tube defects. In adults, anemia is a sign of advanced folate deficiency. Signs of folate deficiency are often subtle: diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight loss can occur. Additional signs are weakness, sore tongue, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability and behavioral disorders. In infants and children, folate deficiency can slow growth rate. Some of these symptoms can also result from a variety of medical conditions other than folate deficiency. Cancer cells divide rapidly and drugs that interfere with folate metabolism are used to treat cancer. NIH, Wikipedia
Folic acid Synthetic folic acid is the man-made form of naturally occurring folates. Folic acid is used to enrich processed foods and, in conventional medicine, for treatment and prevention of folate deficiencies and megaloblastic anemia. Folic acid is a member of the vitamin B family that stimulates the hematopoietic system, and is also called B9. Natural reduced folates are more bioavailable and are found in mushrooms, avocado, legumes, spinach, yeast, green leafy vegetables. The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet This diet was developed to address intestinal dysbiosis and heal the intestinal lining in order to correct various diseases. The diet focuses on unprocessed, nutrient dense foods such as animal products including unpasteurized, fermented dairy and bone broth; fermented foods, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Read more here.
Gene A gene is a section of DNA that holds the instructions for making a protein. Your Genome
Glutamate rich foods Glutamate is found in seaweeds, fermented soy-based foods, aged cheeses (especially parmesan), milk, mushrooms, tomatoes, seafood (scallops, shrimps), meat, bone broths, nuts (walnuts, peanuts) and many vegetables (sweetcorn, peas, broccoli). Glutamate is also produced by the human body and is vital for metabolism and brain function. International Food Information Council, International Glutamate Information Service, Healthline
Glutathione (reduced) Glutathione (GSH) is the reduced form of glutathione and is one of the body's most important and potent antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals in the body. While most antioxidants are obtained from food, glutathione is produced internally by the body. Glutathione is composed of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine and cysteine. Glutathione has an important role in the body's antiviral response by fine-tuning the innate immune response to infection. It is a cofactor for the glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes. Glutathione is also important for detoxification of fat-soluble toxins and waste by the liver. Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by a number of factors including poor nutrition, environmental toxins and stress. Its levels also decline with age. Wikipedia, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), PMID: 29033950
Glutathione (oxidized) Oxidized glutathione (GSSG) is the resulting compound that is generated after glutathione has completed its job of neutralizing free radicals. Oxidized glutathione is a stable compound, comsisting of two glutathione molecules joined together by a disulfide bond between the cysteine components. Oxidized glutathione needs to be recycled back to its reduced form (GSH) by the glutathione-disulfide reductase enzyme (GSR) in order for it to continue in its important role as an antioxidant and as a conjugating agent in phase II liver detoxification. The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Glycine rich foods Gylcine is found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy and legumes. Glycine is the smallest possible amino acid. It is not essential to the human diet, as it can be biosynthesized in the body from the amino acid serine. NutritionData.self, Wikipedia, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Gram-negative bacteria Gram-negative bacteria can cause inflammation and serious infection. This is because gram-negative bacteria are enclosed in a protective membrane which contains endotoxins such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS). This means that if gram-negative bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can stimulate the release of inflammatory cytokines, which lead to an immune response. Even if the bacteria are dead, their endotoxins will still cause inflammation. Examples of gram-negative bacteria include: Brucellosis spp., Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease causative agent), E. coli, H. pylori, Klebsiella spp., Legionella pneumophila, and Salmonella spp. MSD Manual, PubMed
GSH Glutathione (GSH) is the reduced form of glutathione. See: Glutathione (reduced)
GSSG Glutathione (GSSG) is the oxidized form of glutathione. See: Glutathione (oxidized)
GSSG:GSH ratio GSSG:GSH ratio is the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione. The GSSG:GSH ratio within cells is often used as a marker of cellular toxicity. A higher proportion of GSSG, indicates higher levels of oxidative stress. NCBI
Heterozygous Heterozygous denotes a gene containing one 1 variant. We inherit our DNA from both parents. If you inherit a “wild type” version of DNA from one parent and a variant version (containing a SNP) from the other, this is termed “heterozygous”. The symbol (+/-) indicates a heterozygous version.
Histamine liberating foods Histamine liberating foods include citrus fruits (lemon, lime, oranges) other fruit (papaya, pineapples, plums, kiwi and bananas), walnuts and peanuts, liquorice, some spices, legumes, cocoa, alcohol, fish, seafood, food additives (colorants, preservatives, stabilisers, taste enhancers, flavorings), deli meats, salty snacks and food with viable yeast (sourdough fresh bread). Histamine is secreted as part of the body’s local immune response to 'foreign particles' such as dust, pollen or food proteins. High levels of histamine result in the characteristic allergy symptoms of sneezing, itching and watery eyes. Histamine Intolerance Awareness, News-Medical
Homozygous SNP Homozygous denotes a gene containing 2 variants. If both parents happen to carry the same SNP, and you inherit two copies of the same SNP, then this is termed “homozygous” (Hom). The symbol (+/+) indicates the homozygous version. The Long Now Foundation
Inflammation - acute Acute inflammation is a normal, healthy response in order to heal an infection, wound, or sunburn, etc. Acute inflammation involves the the 4 cardinal signs of inflammation: redness, swelling, pain and heat.
Inflammation - chronic Chronic inflammation is long-term, low-grade inflammation, which is more subtle and insidious than acute inflammation. When your immune system gets activated by any number of triggers (see below) it can become engaged at a low level reactive mode and generate inflammatory chemical mediators like histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines from platelets, macrophages and white blood cells. These inflammatory molecules can begin to damage healthy tissue. Chronic low-grade inflammation is thought to be the driver of many auto-immune or degenerative disease processes as well as some cancers, cognitive decline and heart disease. This is sometimes referred to as "inflamm-aging" as it tends to cause damage and "aging" to cells.
Inflammation - triggers for chronic inflammation Triggers for chronic inflammation include: The Standard American Diet (SAD diet) which is of poor nutritional value and high in processed carbohydrates, sodium, oxidized inflammatory fats, and low in fiber and good quality protein. Excessive omega-6 (cottonseed, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, canola). Insufficient omega-3 oils: wild fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, trout), microalgae oils and flaxseeds. Obesity is an inflammatory condition as fat is an endocrine organ that secretes inflammatory mediators. Inflammation is also triggered by poor gut health, social isolation, anxiety and/or depression, lack of sleep, lack of movement, chronic stress and insufficient "play time", especially in a natural environment.
Iron (heme-iron) rich food Food sources of heme iron include liver, oysters, clams, mussels, venison, beef, poultry and sardines. Heme iron is more easily absorbed and is therefore a large source of dietary iron. Harvard Education, Cleveland Clinic
Iron (non-heme) rich food Sources of non-heme iron include spices (thyme, parsley, spearmint, marjoram), beans (kidney, lima, Navy), dark chocolate (at least 45%), lentils, spinach, potato with skin, brown rice, nuts and seeds Harvard Education, Cleveland Clinic, Nutrition data.self
Ketogenic diet A diet which is compassed of macronutrient ratios that cause the body’s biochemistry to switch from carbohydrate metabolism to fat burning for energy source (ketosis). This generally means 75-90% of calories are derived from fat sources with 5% from carbohydrate and 5-20% from protein sources. Not necessarily intended for long term use, cycles of ketogenic eating, for those suited to it, interspersed with a healthy eating pattern can address obesity, blood sugar issues, hypertension. Read more here.
L-carnitine rich foods Meat, poultry, fish and dairy products are the richest sources of L-carnitine, while fruit, vegetables and grains contain relatively little L-carnitine. Some L-carnitine is found in avocados and asparagus. Oregon State University
Lipid peroxidation Lipid peroxidation is the oxidative degradation of lipids. It is the process in which free radicals "steal" electrons from the lipids in cell membranes, resulting in cell damage. Wikipedia
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are large molecules found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria like E. coli. They enter the circulation via the intestinal tract, especially when there is increased intestinal permeability. A high level of LPS, due to an imbalance in the gut microbiome (also known as intestinal dysbiosis), results in a persistent low-grade inflammatory condition known as endotoxemia. Most mammals are constantly exposed to LPS. In humans, endotoxemia induced by the persistent presence of LPS in the blood has been shown to be a predisposing factor for the development of metabolic diseases including Type II diabetes, obesity and atherosclerosis. Wikipedia, Iowa State University Thesis
Lycopene rich foods Lycopene is a carotenoid, part of the vitamin A family. Foods high in lycopene include guavas, cooked tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, sweet red peppers, persimmon, asparagus, red cabbage and mangos. myfooddata.com
Magnesium rich foods Magnesium is an important cofactor for over 500 enzymes. Food high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables (especially spinach and Swiss chard), whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat), nuts (Brazil nuts are particularly rich, cashews, almonds, peanuts), seeds (flax, pumpkin and chia seeds), legumes (black beans, lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, edamame and soybeans), some oily fish, cultured yoghurt, tofu, avocado, banana and dark chocolate. Oregon State University
Manganese rich foods Foods rich in manganese include brown rice, oats, whole wheat, nuts (pecan, almonds, peanuts), leafy vegetables (especially spinach), sweet potato, pineapple, beans (lima, pinto, navy beans) and teas (green and black).
Mediterranean diet A diet rich in extra virgin olive oil, cold water fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables reflective of the traditional Mediterranean Basin diet eaten before 1960. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a diet high in processed carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, gelato and espresso. Read more here.
Melatonin rich foods Melatonin is an important hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Our bodies can generate melatonin from tryptophan, but there are also some foods that are naturally high in melatonin: Eggs, fish, nuts (pistachio), seeds (white and black mustard) legumes (sprouting increases melatonin concentration), mushrooms, grapes, cherries, strawberries, wheat, barley and oats and black rice. Human breast milk contains melatonin, as does cow’s milk. However, since melatonin naturally fluctuates during the day, milk obtained from a morning milking may not contain significant amounts of melatonin. PMID: 28387721, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), Wikipedia
Methionine rich foods Methionine is an essential building block for S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAM) and homocysteine. While virtually all protein-containing foods have some methionine, the amount varies widely. High methionine foods include turkey, beef, fish, pork, tofu, milk, cheese, nuts, beans and whole grains like quinoa. Wikipedia
Methyltransferases Methyltransferases are a large group of enzymes that perform the action of transferring a methyl group to a substrate in order to change its chemical properties. In these reactions, the methyl group is usually provided by the "master methyl donor" S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Wikipedia
Molybdenum rich foods Legumes such as beans, lentils and peas are the richest sources of molybdenum (especially black-eyed peas and Lima beans). Grain products and nuts are considered good sources as well as potato, beef liver and black pepper. NIH, Oregon State University, World's Healthiest Foods
MTHF (5-MTHF) 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (also known generically as folate) is the most biologically active form of the B-vitamin folate. 5-MTHF functions, in concert with vitamin B12, as a methyl-group donor involved in the conversion of the amino acid homocysteine to methionine. Conversion of dietary folate to the active 5-MTHF form requires several enzymes, adequate liver and intestinal function, and adequate supplies of riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), zinc, vitamin C and serine. The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Mycotoxins Mycotoxin is the term usually reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonize crops or water danaged building materials. Humans are exposed to mycotoxins either directly, by eating crops affected by a fungal infection, indirectly by eating animals that have been fed on infected livestock feed or spending time in structures with moldy insulation, drywall or other building materials. Wikipedia
Niacin (B3) See: vitamin B3 (niacin)
Nitrate rich foods Natural nitrates are found in green leafy vegetables such as beets and beet greens, arugula, kale, spinach, spirulina, romaine, bok choy, celery, swiss chard, cabbage and parsley. Your body uses them in the production of nitric oxide, which is important for blood pressure regulation. Plant nitrates should not be confused with sodium nitrates which are a form found in deli meats and cured or processed meats such as bacon, sausages, hot dogs and salami. Synthetic sodium nitrates are converted by the body into nitrosamines, which may be harmful. PMID: 19439460, EWG.org, Healthline
Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Nitrous oxide is also known as "laughing gas". It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anaesthetic and analgesic effects. Nitrous oxide inhibits the enzyme MTR and interferes with the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Wikipedia
Nitric Oxide (NO) Nitric oxide is a chemical generated in the body by the nitric oxide synthase enzymes (NOS1/2/3). It is a powerful vasodilator with a role in controlling blood pressure. It has a short half-life of a few seconds in the blood. Wikipedia
Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods Sources of omega 6 fatty acids are oily fish (wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, crab, oysters) are the major dietary sources of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Flaxseeds and walnuts and their oils can be converted by the body into omega 3 fats. Oregon State University
Omega 6 fatty acid rich foods Sources of omega 6 fatty acids are vegetable oils (safflower, soybean, sunflower, corn oil, soybean oil), oil roasted nuts (pine nuts, sunflower seeds), meat, poultry and eggs. Oregon State University
Omega 9 fatty acids rich foods Omega 9 fatty acids are also known as oleic acids or monounsaturated fats and can often be found in canola, sunflower, olive and nut oils. Unlike omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, omega-9 fatty acids are produced by the body, but are also beneficial when they are obtained in food. UCCS.edu
Oxidized LDL The oxidation of LDL is thought to occur when LDL cholesterol particles react with free radicals. When LDL is oxidized it becomes more reactive with the surrounding tissues and can cause tissue damage and inflammation, leading to atherosclerosis. Some of the things that appear to increase levels of oxidized LDL include consuming a diet that is high in trans fats and low in antioxidants, having poorly controlled diabetes and smoking. Wikipedia, Verywell.com
Paleo (aka Paleolithic/Primal/Ancestral) diet A pre-agrarian diet reflective of what our Paleolithic ancestors may have eaten 10,000 years ago including meat, fish, eggs, insects, fruit, leafy vegetables, tubers, nuts and seeds. It excludes staples like grains, legumes, dairy. Read more here.
Pantothenic acid (B5) See: vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) PAHs are present in smoke of any kind including cigarettes, marijuana, incense, wood burning stoves and fireplaces, smog and diesel exhaust. Barbecuing, smoking, or charring food over a fire greatly increases the amount of PAHs in the food. Other foods that may contain low levels of PAHs include roasted coffee, roasted peanuts, refined vegetable oil, bread and pizza from wood-fired ovens, chocolate (due to the roasting process) and food products originating from polluted environments (e.g., produce grown near highways). Coal tar products such as creosote-treated wood products contain PAHs. A variety of cosmetics and shampoos are made with coal tar and therefore contain PAHs. The PAH compound naphthalene is present in some mothballs. Illinois Department of Public Health, Foods Standards Agency
Cooking method to reduce Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) In order to reduce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), choose meat cooking methods that employ lower, indirect heat such as braising or stewing. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from chargrilling meat may also be reduced by marinating meats for 4 hours prior to grilling in beer, vinegar or tea (both green or black) based sauces including lemon, onions, garlic, or alternatively: spraying meat with culinary vinegar prior to grilling. PAH formation was decreased by almost 80% using white wine vinegar, 66% by red wine and cider vinegar, and 55% by fruit vinegar with raspberry juice.
Polyphenol rich foods Polyphenols are important antioxidants found in black and green tea, fruits (especially dark red berries such as chokeberry, blueberries, elderberries, blackberries, strawberries), red wine, beer, cocoa, dark chocolate and many spices (cloves, peppermint, star anise). PMID: 21045839, PMID: 18209268
Potassium rich foods Food sources of potassium include fruits (apricot, plums, raisins, bananas, oranges), vegetables (potatoes, beet greens, acorn squash, spinach, tomatoes), nuts, seeds and dairy products. Oregon State University
Pulse Method or Pulsing supplements The Dirty Genes book recommends using the method of “pulsing” when taking supplements. Go to page 218 and read more in detail. This is based on the principle that there is a “goldilocks” range for all nutrients. Taking a supplement may be beneficial initially in order to raise the levels of a particular nutrient into the optimum range and reduce symptoms of deficiency. However, continuing to take a supplement at high doses for long-term may cause levels of that nutrient to rise too high and cause symptoms of excess. It is therefore recommended that you take supplements only until you start to feel better …… and then stop for a while. If symptoms return, you can start taking the supplement again. It is much easier to boost low levels than to try to reduce an excess. Try to tune into how you feel. If you’ve had a particularly hectic or stressful period, you may need to support your body with additional nutrients. If you’re relaxing on vacation, your body may not need as much. See the Dirty Genes book
Pyridoxine (B6) See: vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Quercetin rich foods Quercetin is a natural flavonoid found abundantly in vegetables and fruits. Quercetin is high in leafy vegetables (watercress, cilantro, radicchio, red-leaf lettuce, spinach, kale), broccoli, asparagus, sweet potatoes, okra, red onions, peppers, apples, grapes, black tea, green tea and red berries (elderberry, cranberry, blueberry, blackberry). The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), PMID: 26999194
Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS) Reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are reactive molecules that contain nitrogen. RNS perform vital roles within the body as antimicrobial and regulatory molecules. However, a buildup of RNS can have adverse effects. RNS such as peroxynitrite can react directly with proteins that contain transition metal centers. Therefore, they can modify proteins such as hemoglobin, myoglobin and cytochrome c by oxidizing ferrous heme into its corresponding ferric forms and thereby reducing their oxygen carrying capacity. In addition, RNS can react directly with various amino acids within a protein chain, causing changes in the catalytic activity of enzymes and impaired cell signal transduction. RNS are "free radicals" and often act together with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to cause damage to cells, lipids, DNA and proteins. This is known as nitrosative stress. Wikipedia, PMID: 19014277, PMID: 8646344
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are reactive molecules containing oxygen (examples are H2O2, O2-, O2). ROS are also known as “free radicals”. ROS are specifically generated in the body in order to kill pathogens. They are also formed as a natural byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen and serve a vital role in cell signaling. However, a buildup of ROS in cells can overwhelm the neutralization mechanisms and cause oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in lipids, oxidation of amino acids in proteins, DNA damage, apoptosis (cell death) and deactivation of specific enzymes by oxidation of their cofactors. This is known as oxidative stress. ROS increases due to internal factors such as aging and infections and also due to external factors such as environmental pollutants, toxic exposures, pesticides, tobacco, smoke, ionizing radiation, ultraviolet light, drugs, carcinogens, food additives and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Wikipedia, NIH
Riboflavin (B2) See: vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
rsID An rsID is the official number designated to identify each SNP, eg rs1801133 for MTHFR. It stands for "Reference SNP cluster ID" number and is used by scientists and databases to identify a unique mutation.
Selenium rich foods Selenium rich foods include Brazil nuts, fish and seafood, organ meats and muscle meats. Oregon State University
Serine rich foods Serine rich foods include eggs, soy, seaweed, nuts (especially peanuts, almond and walnuts), chickpeas, lentils, meat and fish (especially shellfish). Serine is a nonessential amino acid derived from glycine. Nutritiondata.self, Science Direct, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Serotonin - ways to increase Serotonin helps us feel at peace, optimistic and self-confident. Low levels of serotonin can cause anxiety, depression, cravings and insomnia. Ways to increase serotonin include regular gentle exercise, exposure to bright light and eating foods high in the amino acid tryptophan (the natural amino acid building block for serotonin). Consumption of carbohydrates raises insulin levels and allows more tryptophan to enter the brain, where it can be converted to serotonin. We recommend complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries and carrots. Ensure sufficient intake of the cofactors in the serotonin production pathway such as magnesium, zinc, folates vitamins C, B6 and B3. Work with your healthcare provider to reduce inflammation and identify and treat intestinal dysbiosis or other gram-negative infections. BrainMD, PMID: 18043762, Wikipedia
Sleep - Circadian rhythm Entrain a healthy circadian rhythm through exposure to morning sunlight without sunglasses, and in the winter, exposure to bright, uniform light on first waking. Practice good sleep hygiene: Have bedtime rituals, warm bathing, cool, dark bedroom with no distractions or screen devices. In the evening, especially in the hour preceding bedtime, avoid bright or blue light sources. Use screen programs that filter blue spectrum from electronic devices, as well as limiting screen time in the evening. Use pools of light rather than uniform, overhead lighting in the home environment after sunset. Spend as much time outdoors, year-round, as possible. Evidence from animal studies suggests intermittent fasting, or time restricted feeding can also benefit circadian rhythms.
SNP - single nucleotide polymorphism A SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) occurs when a single amino acid (a nucleotide) is substituted for a different amino acid within a section of DNA that codes for a particular protein (enzyme). This causes the resulting enzyme to have slightly different properties to the enzyme that would have been made if the DNA didn’t have a SNP. SNPs occur naturally over generations and often confer an adaption to the environment and/or a survival advantage.
Soy rich foods Fermented soy foods include miso, natto, tempeh, tamari, soy sauce. Unfermented soy foods include soy milk, tofu, roasted/boiled soy beans, edamame (fresh soy beans), soy burger. Health benefits of soy appear to vary depending upon ethnicity, hormone levels, microbiome composition and processing. Also, some people can become sensitive to soy proteins. Cultures that consume high amounts of soy, traditionally consume fermented soy products. The fermentation process breaks down soy’s sugar and protein molecules and improves digestibility and absorption. Be mindful to avoid GMO soy. Harvard School of Public Health, Food Allergy Research and Education
Stress management - acute techniques at time of stressor Techniques to manage stress at the time of the stressor include: deep breathing exercises, 2 minute physical exertion break, cognitive reframing, emotional freedom technique (tapping) and progressive muscle relaxation to activate the parasympathetic and quiet the sympathetic nervous system.
Stress management techniques - long-term/chronic Techniques to generally reduce long-term stress levels are many. They include: daily exercise such as walking, dancing, yoga, sports, or gardening (anything enjoyable and preferably outdoors); engagement in meditation, prayer or gratitude practice, breathing exercises, mindfulness. Also consider: mood elevating activities such as humor, hobbies and socializing with friends, family and pets. Strive for daily, pleasant, healthy touch as experienced by the individual: massage, acupressure, cat on the lap, hugs, weighted blanket, aromatherapy. Consider neuro linguistic programming (NLP) and tapping techniques (EFT/TFT).
Substrate A substrate is the material or substance on which an enzyme acts. It is the starting material, before it has been transformed by an enzyme.
Sulfite containing foods Sulfites are used as preservatives and antimicrobial agents that are added to foods to maintain food color, shelf-life and prevent the growth of fungi or bacteria. Sulfites can cause breathing difficulties and asthma symptoms and may trigger migraine headaches. Sulfites are often found in: canned and frozen fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetables juices, fruit fillings and syrups, jams, jellies and other preserves. Other foods include: dried fruits and vegetables, like apricots, coconut and raisins. Many wines, cider and beer (including non-alcoholic beer) contain sulfites as a preservative. The element molybdenum and calcium-D-glucarate are very important for reducing sensitivity to sulfites and sulfur. Dietitians of Canada, The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB)
Sulforaphane rich foods Sulforaphane is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel's sprouts and kale. Oregon State University
Thiamin (B1) See vitamin B1 (thiamin)
Toxins - living a less-toxic lifestyle To live a less-toxic lifestyle, one should: eat organic, especially avoiding foods on the “dirty dozen” list. Avoid plastics (especially do not heat food in plastics), filter drinking and bathing water. Avoid mycotoxins (mold exposure). Pay attention to indoor air quality of home, school or workplace (especially important if history or evidence of water damage) as there is potential for mold exposures. Consider home air filter (especially over gas stoves). Minimize heavy metal exposure (arsenic in drinking water, mercury in large fish and dental fillings). Minimize EMF exposure (put cell phones in airplane mode, switch off wifi at night). Dirty Dozen List
Tryptophan rich foods Tryptophan is an amino acid required for the production of serotonin. Foods high in tryptophan include poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), red meat (lamb, pork, beef, game), beans and lentils, fish and seafood, nuts and nut butters, seeds, soy foods, oats, buckwheat, cheese, eggs and spirulina. MyFoodData.com, NutritionData.self
Tyramine rich foods Tyramine is a vasoactive amine that increases blood pressure and has been linked to migraine headaches. Foods high in tyramine include strong or aged cheeses, cured meats (pepperoni and salami), smoked or processed meats (hot dogs, bologna, bacon, corned beef or smoked fish), pickled or fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, caviar, tofu or pickles), fish, sauces (soy sauce, shrimp sauce, fish sauce, miso and teriyaki sauce), soybeans and soybean products, snow peas, broad beans (fava beans) and their pods, chocolate, dried or overripe fruits (raisins or prunes, or overripe bananas or avocados), yeast-extract spreads (Marmite, Vegemite), brewer's yeast or sourdough bread, alcoholic beverages (such as beer — especially tap or homebrewed beer — red wine, sherry and liqueurs) and improperly stored foods or spoiled foods. While drinking alcohol is not encouraged for other reasons, if occasional alcoholic beverages are consumed then gin, vodka, rum, bourbon are better choices, especially if you take a MAO inhibitor. The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), Mayo Clinic
Tyrosine rich foods Tyrosine is an essential amino acid, required for the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Tyrosine is also the precursor for thyroid hormones, catecholestrogens and melanin. Tyrosine is found in many high-protein food products such as meat (chicken, turkey, beef, pork), fish, eggs, dairy (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese), peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soy products, lima beans, avocados and bananas. Tyrosine can also be synthesized in the body from phenylalanine. The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), Wikipedia
Vitamin A - food sources The majority of vitamin A in the diet is obtained in its provitamin form, beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A as required in the body. Beta-carotene is found in leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli), orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, squash, red peppers, mangoes, papayas, cantaloupe), tomato products, fruits and some vegetable oils. Vitamin A in its preformed state is only found in a few food sources: mainly liver and fish oils. Other sources of preformed vitamin A are milk and eggs, which also include some beta carotene. NIH
Vitamin B1 (thiamin) - food sources Sources of thiamin (vitamin B1) include whole-grain cereals, pork, fish, seeds, nuts, legumes (beans, green peas and lentils), tofu, brown rice, squash, asparagus and seafood. NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - food sources Sources of riboflavin (vitamin B2) include eggs, organ meats (kidneys and liver), lean meats, fish, dairy products and green vegetables (including asparagus, artichokes, avocados). NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin B3 (niacin) - food sources Sources of niacin (vitamin B3) include yeast, meat, poultry, red fish (tuna, salmon), legumes and seeds. Milk, green leafy vegetables, coffee and tea also provide some niacin. Most cereals are fortified with niacin. NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) - food sources Good sources of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) include animal liver and kidney, fish, shellfish, pork, chicken, egg yolk, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocados, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Pantothenic acid is available in a variety of foods, usually as a component of coenzyme A (CoA) or phosphopantetheine. Upon ingestion, dietary coenzyme A and phosphopantetheine are hydrolyzed to pantothenic acid prior to intestinal absorption. NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - food sources Sources of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) include salmon, turkey, chicken, potato, avocado, spinach, banana, plums and hazelnuts. NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin B7 (biotin) - food sources "Rich sources of biotin (vitamin B7) include egg yolk, liver and yeast. Biotin is found in many foods, either as the free form that is directly taken up by enterocytes or as biotin bound to dietary proteins. " NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin B9 (folate) - food sources Green leafy vegetables (foliage) are rich sources of folate and provide the basis for its name. Citrus fruit juices, legumes also contain some folate. NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin B12 - food sources Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal products including meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and, to a lesser extent, dairy products and eggs. Recent analyses revealed that some plant-source foods, such as certain fermented beans and vegetables and edible algae and mushrooms, contain substantial amounts of bioactive vitamin B12. NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin C - food sources Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C, including citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, potatoes, red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe. NIH, Oregon State University
Vitamin D - food sources Sun exposure (without burning) is the main source of vitamin D for humans. Small amounts of vitamin D can be obtained from foods such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring), beef liver, mushrooms (portabella, exposed to ultraviolet light, grilled). NIH, Oregon State University, Health.gov
Vitamin E - food sources Vitamin E is obtained from vegetable oils (wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oils), nuts (such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts/filberts), seeds (sunflower seeds) and green leafy vegetables (spinach and broccoli). NIH, Oregon State University, Medline
Whole foods plant based (WFPB) diet A diet that avoids any animal or processed, packaged foods. The diet focuses on whole grains (not flours), nuts, seeds (not oils), legumes, fruit and vegetables. This diet can be followed long term and can address obesity, blood sugar issues, hypertension in those suited to thrive on this style of eating. It is not the same as a vegan or vegetarian diet. Read more here.
Wild type (-/-) Wild type (-/-) is the form of the DNA without any changes in amino acid sequence (ie without a SNP). Wild type is usually found in the majority of the population. The symbol (-/-) indicates the wild type version.
Xenobiotics Xenobiotics are compounds that are foreign to an organism or are not part of its normal nutrition. They include plasticizers, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), pesticides, smoke, medicinal drugs, industrial chemicals and environmental contaminants. International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics
Xenoestrogens Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen. Estrogen is a natural hormone important for bone growth, blood clotting and reproduction in both men and women. The body regulates the amount of estrogen needed through intricate biochemical pathways. When xenoestrogens enter the body, they increase the total amount of estrogen, resulting in a phenomenon called estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are found in animal products (especially dairy foods), plasticizers and plastic food containers, make-up and skin-care products, pesticides and insecticides. Choose bodycare and home cleaning products low in xeno-estrogens. National University of Natural Medicine
Zinc rich foods Rich sources of zinc include shellfish, beef and other red meats. Nuts and legumes are relatively good plant sources of zinc. Zinc in whole-grain products and plant proteins is less bioavailable due to their relatively high phytate content, which inhibits zinc absorption. Oregon State University
Term
Definition
Sources
8-oHdG
8-hydroxy-2' -deoxyguanosine (8-oHdG) is widely used as a biomarker for oxidative stress and carcinogenesis because 8-oHdG is generated as a result of oxidative damage to lipids of cellular membranes, proteins, and DNA.
Acetaldehyde - health effects
Aldehydes (including acetaldehyde and formaldehyde) are found in the environment and in food and are also generated internally in the body. Long-term exposure to acetaldehyde can cause liver damage and cardiovascular problems. Symptoms include drowsiness, delirium, hallucinations, slow mental response, chronic respiratory disease, kidney and liver damage, dizziness, reddening and swelling of the skin and sensitization. It may cause photophobia (sensitivity to light). The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed acetaldehyde as a Group 1 carcinogen.
Acetaldehyde - food sources
Acetaldehyde is generally found in very ripe/spoiled and fermented foods. E.g., very ripe fruit, fruit juice, pureed fruit (even baby food), preserved vegetables (pickled and canned), cheese, heated milk, coffee, tea and bread. Naturally fermented foods including: yogurt, vinegar, kombucha, unpasteurized lactic-fermented pickles and mushrooms, fish products, fermented soy products and kimchi. Many of the foods that contain acetaldehydes have numerous health benefits. However, those who have gene combinations that do not process aldehydes well, may be more sensitive to these foods. Use moderation, especially during times of high environmental aldehyde exposures. (See: Aldehydes in the environment). Many aldehydes are also found in drinking water: use a filter.
Acetaldehyde - generated internally
Aldehydes can be generated internally by yeasts, molds and bacteria. The yeast infection Candida albicans is a common source of additional acetaldehyde in the body. The natural production of small amounts of acetaldehyde is expected in the gut through microbial fermentation. However, intestinal dysbiosis, where there is an imbalance in gut flora, can generate relatively large amounts of acetaldehyde, which can diffuse into the bloodstream. In the liver, alcohol is converted into toxic aldehydes before being processed into less toxic compounds by the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) family of enzymes. This is why it is important to support the enzymes that process aldehydes, such as ALDH7A1, ALDH2 and ALDH1B1 with B vitamins (especially B1 and B3) and zinc.
Acetaldehyde - occupational exposure
Acetaldehyde - occupational exposure - Workers in the organic chemicals industry have the greatest potential for exposure. Other industries where personnel have potential for exposure include: fabricated rubber products, dyes, plastics, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, fuels, drugs, explosives, lacquers and varnishes, photographic chemicals, pesticides, food additives, leather goods and mirrors. Acetaldehyde is a potential exposure problem for automobile and diesel mechanics, gas station attendants and agricultural and food industry personnel, as well as personnel in coffee-roasting operations, lithographic coatings, automobile spray operations and fat-rendering plants.
Acetaldehyde in the environment
Acetaldehydes occur in the environment due to vehicle emissions, smoke (residential fireplaces and wood stoves, bush fires and agricultural burning), cigarette smoke (especially secondhand smoke), cooking fumes and fuel combustion (natural gas, gas, diesel). Sources of acetaldehyde in the environment also include some disinfectants, drugs and perfumes, fungicides and pesticides and in the home (from building materials, carpets, new furniture, cabinets, gas appliances, room air deodorizers)
ALA rich foods
Alpha Linoleic Acid ALA is an 18-carbon, plant-based essential omega-3 fatty acid that cannot be generated by the body and so, must be obtained through the diet. ALA is found in seeds (chia, flaxseed, hemp), nuts (notably walnuts) and many common vegetable oils. Note: Alpha-linolenic acid is not the same as alpha-lipoic acid, (an antioxidant that helps the body turn glucose into energy). This can be confusing because both alpha-linolenic acid and alpha-lipoic acid are both sometimes abbreviated as ALA.
Alias
An alias is the common name (or nickname) for a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Eg C677T is the alias for “rs1801133” for MTHFR. They both refer to the same SNP.
Ancestral diet
This is a post-agrarian diet reflective of what your ancestors ate 500 years ago. It is not necessarily the diet your grandparents ate, as they may have emigrated to a region with a very different diet from what their genetic ancestors consumed. Examples of ancestral diet include the Nordic diet for Northern and Scandinavian Europeans or the Pre-colonial diet for Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Ancestral diet can also mean Paleolithic diet in some circles, but they are two very different diets.
Arachidonic acid rich foods
Arachidonic acid is a naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acid found in foods such as chicken, beef, pork, egg and fish. Following irritation or injury, arachidonic acid is released from cell membranes and is metabolized into both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are important components of the inflammatory response, and arachidonic acid is an important component of a healthy cell membrane. However, an excess of arachidonic acid can lead to an exaggerated inflammatory response and platelet aggregation. Therefore, intake of arachidonic acid needs to be controlled, especially in inflammatory conditions.
Arsenic
The main sources of arsenic are drinking-water and crops, such as rice. Arsenic needs glutathione and SAM in order to be eliminated in the body.
ATP
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is often referred to as "the energy currency of life". It is the high-energy molecule that stores and transports energy to where it is needed in the body. ATP is synthesized in the mitochondria.
Basophils
A basophil is a type of white blood cell. They are responsible for inflammatory reactions during immune response, as well as in the formation of acute and chronic allergic diseases. They can perform phagocytosis, produce histamine and serotonin that induce inflammation, and heparin that prevents blood clotting.
Betaine rich foods
Foods rich in betaine include beets, beet greens, quinoa, spinach, rye, amaranth, wheat bran, wheat germ, spinach and shellfish (shrimp). Betaine is a tri-methylated derivative of glycine (TMG), which is synthesized from choline. Intracellular accumulation of betaine permits water retention in cells, thus protecting from the effects of dehydration. Betaine also plays a role in the manufacture of carnitine and serves to protect the kidneys from damage. It comes either from the diet or by the oxidation of choline.
Biotin (B7)
See vitamin B7 (biotin)
Blood sugar balance
To achieve a healthy blood sugar balance: Eat a breakfast and lunch with moderate protein and high fiber vegetables, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat. Avoid snacking between meals, especially on simple carbs with low fiber. Avoid simple carbohydrates (soda, sugar, candy, white flour, processed foods).
BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used for containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles, “ready-meal” containers and baby bottles and also to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. To reduce exposure, use alternatives to plastic such as glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers. Do not put polycarbonate plastics in the microwave or dishwasher, because the heat may break them down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods. BPA has been shown to interact with estrogen receptors and cause several endocrine disorders including infertility, early puberty, breast and prostate cancer and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Calcium rich foods
Foods rich in calcium include tofu, dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk), seafood (sardines, salmon, shrimp), beans (red, white, pinto), green leafy vegetables (bok choy, kale, broccoli) and oranges.
Carnivore diet
This diet is a more extreme form of the Paleolithic diet that includes meat, fish, eggs, insects and some dairy. Very low in carbohydrates and fiber, it is not suited for long term use. Read more here.
Catecholamines
Catecholamines is the collective term for the hormones: dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Catecholamines are derived from the amino acid tyrosine, which is obtained from dietary sources as well as synthesis of phenylalanine.
Choline rich foods
Foods rich in choline include eggs, fish roe, liver, beef, poultry, dairy, peanuts and wheat germ. Choline is a water-soluble vitamin usually grouped within the B-complex vitamins. It is important as a precursor of acetylcholine, as a methyl donor in various metabolic processes, and in lipid metabolism. Choline is now considered to be an essential vitamin. While humans can synthesize small amounts, it must be consumed in the diet to maintain health.
Circadian rhythm
See: "Sleep"
Coenzyme Q10 rich foods
Rich sources of dietary coenzyme Q10 include mainly meat, poultry and fish. Other good sources include nuts, seeds and oils such as soybean, corn, olive and canola oils. Moderate sources of coenzyme Q10 are fruit, vegetables, eggs and dairy products.
Cofactor
A cofactor is a compound that is required by an enzyme to help it to work correctly. Cofactors are usually vitamins or minerals that are obtained from the diet. Some cofactors are generated internally, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) and tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). For example, the cofactors for TPH are iron (from the diet) and BH4 (generated internally).
Copper rich foods
Foods high in copper include organ meats (liver), shellfish (oysters, crab, clams), nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts), sunflower seeds, lentils, mushrooms and wheat-bran.
Cortisol
Cortisol is a steroid hormone, produced the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentration. It functions to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, to suppress the immune system and to aid in the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. It also decreases bone formation.
Coumarin rich foods
Coumarins are found in vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, coffee, tea and wine. Sources of coumarins include: Cassia cinnamon, Mexican vanilla, tonka beans, strawberries, bilberries, cherries, apricots, green tea, honey, Artemisia (wormwood), Verbascum (mullein), Melilotis (sweet clover), Angelica (dong quai), Ferula communis, Glycyrrhiza (licorice) and Mentha (peppermint and spearmint).
Coumarins
Natural coumarins are widely distributed in nature: in fruits, flowers, seeds, roots, leaves and stems. They provide plants with a defense mechanism against being eaten by herbivores or attacked by microorganisms. For humans they provide clinical properties such as anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anticancer, antihypertensive, antitubercular, anticonvulsant, antiadipogenic, antihyperglycemic, antioxidant and neuroprotection. Foods high in naturally occurring coumarins have been shown to slow down and balance phase 1 liver detoxification (by inhibiting CYP1A2). However, synthetic coumarins not only reduce liver function but also increase the requirement for detoxification. Synthetic coumarins are found in perfumes, shampoos, lotions, body care products and are significantly absorbed through the skin.
Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables (also known as brassica vegetables) include mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, radish, arugula, bok choy and horseradish.
Cysteine rich foods
Cysteine is a naturally occurring, sulfur-containing amino acid that is found in most proteins including meat, fish, eggs, dairy, oats and brassica vegetables. It is a constituent part of the antioxidant glutathione.
Cytokines
Cytokines are a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins that are secreted by specific cells within the immune system. They are signaling molecules that regulate the immune response.
DHA
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a 22-carbon omega-3 fatty acid, found in cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring. DHA is essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in infants and is also required for maintenance of normal brain function in adults. Our bodies naturally make small amounts of DHA (by conversion from ALA), but we must get the amounts we need from food or supplements.
Dirty Dozen
The Dirty Dozen is the top 12 foods found to have the highest levels of pesticides as analysed by the Environmental Working Group 2020. Select organic wherever possible: 1. strawberries, 2. spinach, 3. kale, 4. nectarines, 5. apples, 6. grapes, 7. peaches, 8. cherries, 9. pears, 10. tomatoes, 11. celery, 12. potatoes.
Dioxins
Dioxins are a group of several hundred chemicals that are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and interfere with hormones. Dioxins are formed as a result of combustion processes such as waste incineration (commercial or municipal), burning fuels (like wood, coal or oil) and from vehicle emissions. Dioxins are called persistent organic pollutants (POPs), because they take a long time to break down once they are in the environment and they accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals. Therefore, dioxins are mainly found in fatty meats, animal fats such as butter or lard, dairy products, fish and shellfish.
Dopamine - ways to increase
To increase levels of dopamine: Eat foods rich in tyrosine, exercise regularly, learn to meditate, use touch therapy/massage and ensure you get sufficient sleep. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate movement and emotional responses. It enables us to not only see rewards, but to take action to move toward them. Dopamine deficiency results in Parkinson's Disease, and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. Excessively high levels of dopamine may increase headaches, irritability and stress.
EGCG
Epigallocatechin gallate is a phenolic antioxidant found in a number of plants such as green and black tea. It inhibits cellular oxidation and prevents free radical damage to cells. It is under study as a potential cancer chemopreventive agent.
Ellagic acid rich foods
Foods rich in ellagic acid include pomegranates, walnuts, pecans, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and guava.
End product
An end product is the material or substance that is produced as the result of action by an enzyme.
Enzyme
Enzymes are protein molecules with a characteristic sequence of amino acids that fold to produce a specific three-dimensional structure. It is this three-dimensional structure that gives the enzyme its unique properties. The major function of an enzyme is to act as a catalyst that speeds up a particular chemical reaction. The amino acid sequence of an enzyme is dictated by its corresponding gene within the DNA. If the gene dictates a slightly different amino acid sequence (i.e., the gene contains a SNP), then the 3-D structure of the enzyme may be altered, causing its resulting function to be altered also. All enzymes on the StrateGene pathway are indicated within an oval.
Feedback Inhibition
Feedback Inhibition is a cellular control mechanism in which an enzyme’s activity is inhibited by the enzyme’s end product. This mechanism allows cells to regulate how much of an enzyme’s end product is produced.
Fiber rich foods
Good sources of dietary fiber include legumes (beans, lentils and peas), nuts, seeds, oats, whole grains, bran products, fruit and non-starchy vegetables.
FIGLU
Formiminoglutamic acid (FIGLU) is an intermediate in the metabolism of histidine. Measurement of this acid in the urine after oral administration of histidine provides the basis for the diagnostic test of folate deficiency and of megaloblastic anemia of pregnancy.
Folate (B9)
Folate is an umbrella term to describe a range of folate compounds including dihydrofolate (DHF), tetrahydrofolate (THF), methenyltetrahydrofolate, folinic acid and methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF), also known as methyfolate, which is the primary form of folate found in blood. Folate is also known as vitamin B9. Folate is important for cells and tissues that divide rapidly. Women with folate deficiency who become pregnant are more likely to give birth to premature infants with low birth weight or neural tube defects. In adults, anemia is a sign of advanced folate deficiency. Signs of folate deficiency are often subtle: diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight loss can occur. Additional signs are weakness, sore tongue, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability and behavioral disorders. In infants and children, folate deficiency can slow growth rate. Some of these symptoms can also result from a variety of medical conditions other than folate deficiency. Cancer cells divide rapidly and drugs that interfere with folate metabolism are used to treat cancer.
Folic acid
Synthetic folic acid is the man-made form of naturally occurring folates. Folic acid is used to enrich processed foods and, in conventional medicine, for treatment and prevention of folate deficiencies and megaloblastic anemia. Folic acid is a member of the vitamin B family that stimulates the hematopoietic system, and is also called B9. Natural reduced folates are more bioavailable and are found in mushrooms, avocado, legumes, spinach, yeast, green leafy vegetables.
GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet
This diet was developed to address intestinal dysbiosis and heal the intestinal lining in order to correct various diseases. The diet focuses on unprocessed, nutrient dense foods such as animal products including unpasteurized, fermented dairy and bone broth; fermented foods, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Read more here.
Gene
A gene is a section of DNA that holds the instructions for making a protein.
Glutamate rich foods
Glutamate is found in seaweeds, fermented soy-based foods, aged cheeses (especially parmesan), milk, mushrooms, tomatoes, seafood (scallops, shrimps), meat, bone broths, nuts (walnuts, peanuts) and many vegetables (sweetcorn, peas, broccoli). Glutamate is also produced by the human body and is vital for metabolism and brain function.
Glutathione (reduced)
Glutathione (GSH) is the reduced form of glutathione and is one of the body's most important and potent antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals in the body. While most antioxidants are obtained from food, glutathione is produced internally by the body. Glutathione is composed of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine and cysteine. Glutathione has an important role in the body's antiviral response by fine-tuning the innate immune response to infection. It is a cofactor for the glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes. Glutathione is also important for detoxification of fat-soluble toxins and waste by the liver. Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by a number of factors including poor nutrition, environmental toxins and stress. Its levels also decline with age.
Glutathione (oxidized)
Oxidized glutathione (GSSG) is the resulting compound that is generated after glutathione has completed its job of neutralizing free radicals. Oxidized glutathione is a stable compound, comsisting of two glutathione molecules joined together by a disulfide bond between the cysteine components. Oxidized glutathione needs to be recycled back to its reduced form (GSH) by the glutathione-disulfide reductase enzyme (GSR) in order for it to continue in its important role as an antioxidant and as a conjugating agent in phase II liver detoxification.
Glycine rich foods
Gylcine is found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy and legumes. Glycine is the smallest possible amino acid. It is not essential to the human diet, as it can be biosynthesized in the body from the amino acid serine.
Gram-negative bacteria
Gram-negative bacteria can cause inflammation and serious infection. This is because gram-negative bacteria are enclosed in a protective membrane which contains endotoxins such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS). This means that if gram-negative bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can stimulate the release of inflammatory cytokines, which lead to an immune response. Even if the bacteria are dead, their endotoxins will still cause inflammation. Examples of gram-negative bacteria include: Brucellosis spp., Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease causative agent), E. coli, H. pylori, Klebsiella spp., Legionella pneumophila, and Salmonella spp.
GSH
Glutathione (GSH) is the reduced form of glutathione. See: Glutathione (reduced)
GSSG
Glutathione (GSSG) is the oxidized form of glutathione. See: Glutathione (oxidized)
GSSG:GSH ratio
GSSG:GSH ratio is the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione. The GSSG:GSH ratio within cells is often used as a marker of cellular toxicity. A higher proportion of GSSG, indicates higher levels of oxidative stress.
Heterozygous
Heterozygous denotes a gene containing one 1 variant. We inherit our DNA from both parents. If you inherit a “wild type” version of DNA from one parent and a variant version (containing a SNP) from the other, this is termed “heterozygous”. The symbol (+/-) indicates a heterozygous version.
Histamine liberating foods
Histamine liberating foods include citrus fruits (lemon, lime, oranges) other fruit (papaya, pineapples, plums, kiwi and bananas), walnuts and peanuts, liquorice, some spices, legumes, cocoa, alcohol, fish, seafood, food additives (colorants, preservatives, stabilisers, taste enhancers, flavorings), deli meats, salty snacks and food with viable yeast (sourdough fresh bread). Histamine is secreted as part of the body’s local immune response to 'foreign particles' such as dust, pollen or food proteins. High levels of histamine result in the characteristic allergy symptoms of sneezing, itching and watery eyes.
Homozygous SNP
Homozygous denotes a gene containing 2 variants. If both parents happen to carry the same SNP, and you inherit two copies of the same SNP, then this is termed “homozygous” (Hom). The symbol (+/+) indicates the homozygous version.
Inflammation - acute
Acute inflammation is a normal, healthy response in order to heal an infection, wound, or sunburn, etc. Acute inflammation involves the the 4 cardinal signs of inflammation: redness, swelling, pain and heat.
Inflammation - chronic
Chronic inflammation is long-term, low-grade inflammation, which is more subtle and insidious than acute inflammation. When your immune system gets activated by any number of triggers (see below) it can become engaged at a low level reactive mode and generate inflammatory chemical mediators like histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines from platelets, macrophages and white blood cells. These inflammatory molecules can begin to damage healthy tissue. Chronic low-grade inflammation is thought to be the driver of many auto-immune or degenerative disease processes as well as some cancers, cognitive decline and heart disease. This is sometimes referred to as "inflamm-aging" as it tends to cause damage and "aging" to cells.
Inflammation - triggers for chronic inflammation
Triggers for chronic inflammation include: The Standard American Diet (SAD diet) which is of poor nutritional value and high in processed carbohydrates, sodium, oxidized inflammatory fats, and low in fiber and good quality protein. Excessive omega-6 (cottonseed, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, canola). Insufficient omega-3 oils: wild fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, trout), microalgae oils and flaxseeds. Obesity is an inflammatory condition as fat is an endocrine organ that secretes inflammatory mediators. Inflammation is also triggered by poor gut health, social isolation, anxiety and/or depression, lack of sleep, lack of movement, chronic stress and insufficient "play time", especially in a natural environment.
Iron (heme-iron) rich food
Food sources of heme iron include liver, oysters, clams, mussels, venison, beef, poultry and sardines. Heme iron is more easily absorbed and is therefore a large source of dietary iron.
Iron (non-heme) rich food
Sources of non-heme iron include spices (thyme, parsley, spearmint, marjoram), beans (kidney, lima, Navy), dark chocolate (at least 45%), lentils, spinach, potato with skin, brown rice, nuts and seeds
Ketogenic diet
A diet which is compassed of macronutrient ratios that cause the body’s biochemistry to switch from carbohydrate metabolism to fat burning for energy source (ketosis). This generally means 75-90% of calories are derived from fat sources with 5% from carbohydrate and 5-20% from protein sources. Not necessarily intended for long term use, cycles of ketogenic eating, for those suited to it, interspersed with a healthy eating pattern can address obesity, blood sugar issues, hypertension. Read more here.
L-carnitine rich foods
Meat, poultry, fish and dairy products are the richest sources of L-carnitine, while fruit, vegetables and grains contain relatively little L-carnitine. Some L-carnitine is found in avocados and asparagus.
Lipid peroxidation
Lipid peroxidation is the oxidative degradation of lipids. It is the process in which free radicals "steal" electrons from the lipids in cell membranes, resulting in cell damage.
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS)
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are large molecules found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria like E. coli. They enter the circulation via the intestinal tract, especially when there is increased intestinal permeability. A high level of LPS, due to an imbalance in the gut microbiome (also known as intestinal dysbiosis), results in a persistent low-grade inflammatory condition known as endotoxemia. Most mammals are constantly exposed to LPS. In humans, endotoxemia induced by the persistent presence of LPS in the blood has been shown to be a predisposing factor for the development of metabolic diseases including Type II diabetes, obesity and atherosclerosis.
Lycopene rich foods
Lycopene is a carotenoid, part of the vitamin A family. Foods high in lycopene include guavas, cooked tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, sweet red peppers, persimmon, asparagus, red cabbage and mangos.
Magnesium rich foods
Magnesium is an important cofactor for over 500 enzymes. Food high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables (especially spinach and Swiss chard), whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat), nuts (Brazil nuts are particularly rich, cashews, almonds, peanuts), seeds (flax, pumpkin and chia seeds), legumes (black beans, lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, edamame and soybeans), some oily fish, cultured yoghurt, tofu, avocado, banana and dark chocolate.
Manganese rich foods
Foods rich in manganese include brown rice, oats, whole wheat, nuts (pecan, almonds, peanuts), leafy vegetables (especially spinach), sweet potato, pineapple, beans (lima, pinto, navy beans) and teas (green and black).
Mediterranean diet
A diet rich in extra virgin olive oil, cold water fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables reflective of the traditional Mediterranean Basin diet eaten before 1960. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a diet high in processed carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, gelato and espresso. Read more here.
Melatonin rich foods
Melatonin is an important hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Our bodies can generate melatonin from tryptophan, but there are also some foods that are naturally high in melatonin: Eggs, fish, nuts (pistachio), seeds (white and black mustard) legumes (sprouting increases melatonin concentration), mushrooms, grapes, cherries, strawberries, wheat, barley and oats and black rice. Human breast milk contains melatonin, as does cow’s milk. However, since melatonin naturally fluctuates during the day, milk obtained from a morning milking may not contain significant amounts of melatonin.
Methionine rich foods
Methionine is an essential building block for S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAM) and homocysteine. While virtually all protein-containing foods have some methionine, the amount varies widely. High methionine foods include turkey, beef, fish, pork, tofu, milk, cheese, nuts, beans and whole grains like quinoa.
Methyltransferases
Methyltransferases are a large group of enzymes that perform the action of transferring a methyl group to a substrate in order to change its chemical properties. In these reactions, the methyl group is usually provided by the "master methyl donor" S-adenosylmethionine (SAM).
Molybdenum rich foods
Legumes such as beans, lentils and peas are the richest sources of molybdenum (especially black-eyed peas and Lima beans). Grain products and nuts are considered good sources as well as potato, beef liver and black pepper.
MTHF (5-MTHF)
5-methyltetrahydrofolate (also known generically as folate) is the most biologically active form of the B-vitamin folate. 5-MTHF functions, in concert with vitamin B12, as a methyl-group donor involved in the conversion of the amino acid homocysteine to methionine. Conversion of dietary folate to the active 5-MTHF form requires several enzymes, adequate liver and intestinal function, and adequate supplies of riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), zinc, vitamin C and serine.
Mycotoxins
Mycotoxin is the term usually reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonize crops or water danaged building materials. Humans are exposed to mycotoxins either directly, by eating crops affected by a fungal infection, indirectly by eating animals that have been fed on infected livestock feed or spending time in structures with moldy insulation, drywall or other building materials.
Niacin (B3)
See: vitamin B3 (niacin)
Nitrate rich foods
Natural nitrates are found in green leafy vegetables such as beets and beet greens, arugula, kale, spinach, spirulina, romaine, bok choy, celery, swiss chard, cabbage and parsley. Your body uses them in the production of nitric oxide, which is important for blood pressure regulation. Plant nitrates should not be confused with sodium nitrates which are a form found in deli meats and cured or processed meats such as bacon, sausages, hot dogs and salami. Synthetic sodium nitrates are converted by the body into nitrosamines, which may be harmful.
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
Nitrous oxide is also known as "laughing gas". It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anaesthetic and analgesic effects. Nitrous oxide inhibits the enzyme MTR and interferes with the conversion of homocysteine to methionine.
Nitric Oxide (NO)
Nitric oxide is a chemical generated in the body by the nitric oxide synthase enzymes (NOS1/2/3). It is a powerful vasodilator with a role in controlling blood pressure. It has a short half-life of a few seconds in the blood.
Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods
Sources of omega 6 fatty acids are oily fish (wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, crab, oysters) are the major dietary sources of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Flaxseeds and walnuts and their oils can be converted by the body into omega 3 fats.
Omega 6 fatty acid rich foods
Sources of omega 6 fatty acids are vegetable oils (safflower, soybean, sunflower, corn oil, soybean oil), oil roasted nuts (pine nuts, sunflower seeds), meat, poultry and eggs.
Omega 9 fatty acids rich foods
Omega 9 fatty acids are also known as oleic acids or monounsaturated fats and can often be found in canola, sunflower, olive and nut oils. Unlike omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, omega-9 fatty acids are produced by the body, but are also beneficial when they are obtained in food.
Oxidized LDL
The oxidation of LDL is thought to occur when LDL cholesterol particles react with free radicals. When LDL is oxidized it becomes more reactive with the surrounding tissues and can cause tissue damage and inflammation, leading to atherosclerosis. Some of the things that appear to increase levels of oxidized LDL include consuming a diet that is high in trans fats and low in antioxidants, having poorly controlled diabetes and smoking.
Paleo (aka Paleolithic/Primal/Ancestral) diet
A pre-agrarian diet reflective of what our Paleolithic ancestors may have eaten 10,000 years ago including meat, fish, eggs, insects, fruit, leafy vegetables, tubers, nuts and seeds. It excludes staples like grains, legumes, dairy. Read more here.
Pantothenic acid (B5)
See: vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
PAHs are present in smoke of any kind including cigarettes, marijuana, incense, wood burning stoves and fireplaces, smog and diesel exhaust. Barbecuing, smoking, or charring food over a fire greatly increases the amount of PAHs in the food. Other foods that may contain low levels of PAHs include roasted coffee, roasted peanuts, refined vegetable oil, bread and pizza from wood-fired ovens, chocolate (due to the roasting process) and food products originating from polluted environments (e.g., produce grown near highways). Coal tar products such as creosote-treated wood products contain PAHs. A variety of cosmetics and shampoos are made with coal tar and therefore contain PAHs. The PAH compound naphthalene is present in some mothballs.
Cooking method to reduce Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
In order to reduce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), choose meat cooking methods that employ lower, indirect heat such as braising or stewing. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from chargrilling meat may also be reduced by marinating meats for 4 hours prior to grilling in beer, vinegar or tea (both green or black) based sauces including lemon, onions, garlic, or alternatively: spraying meat with culinary vinegar prior to grilling. PAH formation was decreased by almost 80% using white wine vinegar, 66% by red wine and cider vinegar, and 55% by fruit vinegar with raspberry juice.
Polyphenol rich foods
Polyphenols are important antioxidants found in black and green tea, fruits (especially dark red berries such as chokeberry, blueberries, elderberries, blackberries, strawberries), red wine, beer, cocoa, dark chocolate and many spices (cloves, peppermint, star anise).
Potassium rich foods
Food sources of potassium include fruits (apricot, plums, raisins, bananas, oranges), vegetables (potatoes, beet greens, acorn squash, spinach, tomatoes), nuts, seeds and dairy products.
Pulse Method or Pulsing supplements
The Dirty Genes book recommends using the method of “pulsing” when taking supplements. Go to page 218 and read more in detail. This is based on the principle that there is a “goldilocks” range for all nutrients. Taking a supplement may be beneficial initially in order to raise the levels of a particular nutrient into the optimum range and reduce symptoms of deficiency. However, continuing to take a supplement at high doses for long-term may cause levels of that nutrient to rise too high and cause symptoms of excess. It is therefore recommended that you take supplements only until you start to feel better …… and then stop for a while. If symptoms return, you can start taking the supplement again. It is much easier to boost low levels than to try to reduce an excess. Try to tune into how you feel. If you’ve had a particularly hectic or stressful period, you may need to support your body with additional nutrients. If you’re relaxing on vacation, your body may not need as much.
See the Dirty Genes book
Pyridoxine (B6)
See: vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Quercetin rich foods
Quercetin is a natural flavonoid found abundantly in vegetables and fruits. Quercetin is high in leafy vegetables (watercress, cilantro, radicchio, red-leaf lettuce, spinach, kale), broccoli, asparagus, sweet potatoes, okra, red onions, peppers, apples, grapes, black tea, green tea and red berries (elderberry, cranberry, blueberry, blackberry).
Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS)
Reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are reactive molecules that contain nitrogen. RNS perform vital roles within the body as antimicrobial and regulatory molecules. However, a buildup of RNS can have adverse effects. RNS such as peroxynitrite can react directly with proteins that contain transition metal centers. Therefore, they can modify proteins such as hemoglobin, myoglobin and cytochrome c by oxidizing ferrous heme into its corresponding ferric forms and thereby reducing their oxygen carrying capacity. In addition, RNS can react directly with various amino acids within a protein chain, causing changes in the catalytic activity of enzymes and impaired cell signal transduction. RNS are "free radicals" and often act together with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to cause damage to cells, lipids, DNA and proteins. This is known as nitrosative stress.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are reactive molecules containing oxygen (examples are H2O2, O2-, O2). ROS are also known as “free radicals”. ROS are specifically generated in the body in order to kill pathogens. They are also formed as a natural byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen and serve a vital role in cell signaling. However, a buildup of ROS in cells can overwhelm the neutralization mechanisms and cause oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in lipids, oxidation of amino acids in proteins, DNA damage, apoptosis (cell death) and deactivation of specific enzymes by oxidation of their cofactors. This is known as oxidative stress. ROS increases due to internal factors such as aging and infections and also due to external factors such as environmental pollutants, toxic exposures, pesticides, tobacco, smoke, ionizing radiation, ultraviolet light, drugs, carcinogens, food additives and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
Riboflavin (B2)
See: vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
rsID
An rsID is the official number designated to identify each SNP, eg rs1801133 for MTHFR. It stands for "Reference SNP cluster ID" number and is used by scientists and databases to identify a unique mutation.
Selenium rich foods
Selenium rich foods include Brazil nuts, fish and seafood, organ meats and muscle meats.
Serine rich foods
Serine rich foods include eggs, soy, seaweed, nuts (especially peanuts, almond and walnuts), chickpeas, lentils, meat and fish (especially shellfish). Serine is a nonessential amino acid derived from glycine.
Serotonin - ways to increase
Serotonin helps us feel at peace, optimistic and self-confident. Low levels of serotonin can cause anxiety, depression, cravings and insomnia. Ways to increase serotonin include regular gentle exercise, exposure to bright light and eating foods high in the amino acid tryptophan (the natural amino acid building block for serotonin). Consumption of carbohydrates raises insulin levels and allows more tryptophan to enter the brain, where it can be converted to serotonin. We recommend complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries and carrots. Ensure sufficient intake of the cofactors in the serotonin production pathway such as magnesium, zinc, folates vitamins C, B6 and B3. Work with your healthcare provider to reduce inflammation and identify and treat intestinal dysbiosis or other gram-negative infections.
Sleep - Circadian rhythm
Entrain a healthy circadian rhythm through exposure to morning sunlight without sunglasses, and in the winter, exposure to bright, uniform light on first waking. Practice good sleep hygiene: Have bedtime rituals, warm bathing, cool, dark bedroom with no distractions or screen devices. In the evening, especially in the hour preceding bedtime, avoid bright or blue light sources. Use screen programs that filter blue spectrum from electronic devices, as well as limiting screen time in the evening. Use pools of light rather than uniform, overhead lighting in the home environment after sunset. Spend as much time outdoors, year-round, as possible. Evidence from animal studies suggests intermittent fasting, or time restricted feeding can also benefit circadian rhythms.
SNP - single nucleotide polymorphism
A SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) occurs when a single amino acid (a nucleotide) is substituted for a different amino acid within a section of DNA that codes for a particular protein (enzyme). This causes the resulting enzyme to have slightly different properties to the enzyme that would have been made if the DNA didn’t have a SNP. SNPs occur naturally over generations and often confer an adaption to the environment and/or a survival advantage.
Soy rich foods
Fermented soy foods include miso, natto, tempeh, tamari, soy sauce. Unfermented soy foods include soy milk, tofu, roasted/boiled soy beans, edamame (fresh soy beans), soy burger. Health benefits of soy appear to vary depending upon ethnicity, hormone levels, microbiome composition and processing. Also, some people can become sensitive to soy proteins. Cultures that consume high amounts of soy, traditionally consume fermented soy products. The fermentation process breaks down soy’s sugar and protein molecules and improves digestibility and absorption. Be mindful to avoid GMO soy.
Stress management - acute techniques at time of stressor
Techniques to manage stress at the time of the stressor include: deep breathing exercises, 2 minute physical exertion break, cognitive reframing, emotional freedom technique (tapping) and progressive muscle relaxation to activate the parasympathetic and quiet the sympathetic nervous system.
Stress management techniques - long-term/chronic
Techniques to generally reduce long-term stress levels are many. They include: daily exercise such as walking, dancing, yoga, sports, or gardening (anything enjoyable and preferably outdoors); engagement in meditation, prayer or gratitude practice, breathing exercises, mindfulness. Also consider: mood elevating activities such as humor, hobbies and socializing with friends, family and pets. Strive for daily, pleasant, healthy touch as experienced by the individual: massage, acupressure, cat on the lap, hugs, weighted blanket, aromatherapy. Consider neuro linguistic programming (NLP) and tapping techniques (EFT/TFT).
Substrate
A substrate is the material or substance on which an enzyme acts. It is the starting material, before it has been transformed by an enzyme.
Sulfite containing foods
Sulfites are used as preservatives and antimicrobial agents that are added to foods to maintain food color, shelf-life and prevent the growth of fungi or bacteria. Sulfites can cause breathing difficulties and asthma symptoms and may trigger migraine headaches. Sulfites are often found in: canned and frozen fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetables juices, fruit fillings and syrups, jams, jellies and other preserves. Other foods include: dried fruits and vegetables, like apricots, coconut and raisins. Many wines, cider and beer (including non-alcoholic beer) contain sulfites as a preservative. The element molybdenum and calcium-D-glucarate are very important for reducing sensitivity to sulfites and sulfur.
Sulforaphane rich foods
Sulforaphane is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel's sprouts and kale.
Thiamin (B1)
See vitamin B1 (thiamin)
Toxins - living a less-toxic lifestyle
To live a less-toxic lifestyle, one should: eat organic, especially avoiding foods on the “dirty dozen” list. Avoid plastics (especially do not heat food in plastics), filter drinking and bathing water. Avoid mycotoxins (mold exposure). Pay attention to indoor air quality of home, school or workplace (especially important if history or evidence of water damage) as there is potential for mold exposures. Consider home air filter (especially over gas stoves). Minimize heavy metal exposure (arsenic in drinking water, mercury in large fish and dental fillings). Minimize EMF exposure (put cell phones in airplane mode, switch off wifi at night).
Tryptophan rich foods
Tryptophan is an amino acid required for the production of serotonin. Foods high in tryptophan include poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), red meat (lamb, pork, beef, game), beans and lentils, fish and seafood, nuts and nut butters, seeds, soy foods, oats, buckwheat, cheese, eggs and spirulina.
Tyramine rich foods
Tyramine is a vasoactive amine that increases blood pressure and has been linked to migraine headaches. Foods high in tyramine include strong or aged cheeses, cured meats (pepperoni and salami), smoked or processed meats (hot dogs, bologna, bacon, corned beef or smoked fish), pickled or fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, caviar, tofu or pickles), fish, sauces (soy sauce, shrimp sauce, fish sauce, miso and teriyaki sauce), soybeans and soybean products, snow peas, broad beans (fava beans) and their pods, chocolate, dried or overripe fruits (raisins or prunes, or overripe bananas or avocados), yeast-extract spreads (Marmite, Vegemite), brewer's yeast or sourdough bread, alcoholic beverages (such as beer — especially tap or homebrewed beer — red wine, sherry and liqueurs) and improperly stored foods or spoiled foods. While drinking alcohol is not encouraged for other reasons, if occasional alcoholic beverages are consumed then gin, vodka, rum, bourbon are better choices, especially if you take a MAO inhibitor.
Tyrosine rich foods
Tyrosine is an essential amino acid, required for the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Tyrosine is also the precursor for thyroid hormones, catecholestrogens and melanin. Tyrosine is found in many high-protein food products such as meat (chicken, turkey, beef, pork), fish, eggs, dairy (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese), peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soy products, lima beans, avocados and bananas. Tyrosine can also be synthesized in the body from phenylalanine.
Vitamin A - food sources
The majority of vitamin A in the diet is obtained in its provitamin form, beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A as required in the body. Beta-carotene is found in leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli), orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, squash, red peppers, mangoes, papayas, cantaloupe), tomato products, fruits and some vegetable oils. Vitamin A in its preformed state is only found in a few food sources: mainly liver and fish oils. Other sources of preformed vitamin A are milk and eggs, which also include some beta carotene.
Vitamin B1 (thiamin) - food sources
Sources of thiamin (vitamin B1) include whole-grain cereals, pork, fish, seeds, nuts, legumes (beans, green peas and lentils), tofu, brown rice, squash, asparagus and seafood.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - food sources
Sources of riboflavin (vitamin B2) include eggs, organ meats (kidneys and liver), lean meats, fish, dairy products and green vegetables (including asparagus, artichokes, avocados).
Vitamin B3 (niacin) - food sources
Sources of niacin (vitamin B3) include yeast, meat, poultry, red fish (tuna, salmon), legumes and seeds. Milk, green leafy vegetables, coffee and tea also provide some niacin. Most cereals are fortified with niacin.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) - food sources
Good sources of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) include animal liver and kidney, fish, shellfish, pork, chicken, egg yolk, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocados, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Pantothenic acid is available in a variety of foods, usually as a component of coenzyme A (CoA) or phosphopantetheine. Upon ingestion, dietary coenzyme A and phosphopantetheine are hydrolyzed to pantothenic acid prior to intestinal absorption.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - food sources
Sources of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) include salmon, turkey, chicken, potato, avocado, spinach, banana, plums and hazelnuts.
Vitamin B7 (biotin) - food sources
"Rich sources of biotin (vitamin B7) include egg yolk, liver and yeast. Biotin is found in many foods, either as the free form that is directly taken up by enterocytes or as biotin bound to dietary proteins. "
Vitamin B9 (folate) - food sources
Green leafy vegetables (foliage) are rich sources of folate and provide the basis for its name. Citrus fruit juices, legumes also contain some folate.
Vitamin B12 - food sources
Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal products including meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and, to a lesser extent, dairy products and eggs. Recent analyses revealed that some plant-source foods, such as certain fermented beans and vegetables and edible algae and mushrooms, contain substantial amounts of bioactive vitamin B12.
Vitamin C - food sources
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C, including citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, potatoes, red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe.
Vitamin D - food sources
Sun exposure (without burning) is the main source of vitamin D for humans. Small amounts of vitamin D can be obtained from foods such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring), beef liver, mushrooms (portabella, exposed to ultraviolet light, grilled).
Vitamin E - food sources
Vitamin E is obtained from vegetable oils (wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oils), nuts (such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts/filberts), seeds (sunflower seeds) and green leafy vegetables (spinach and broccoli).
Whole foods plant based (WFPB) diet
A diet that avoids any animal or processed, packaged foods. The diet focuses on whole grains (not flours), nuts, seeds (not oils), legumes, fruit and vegetables. This diet can be followed long term and can address obesity, blood sugar issues, hypertension in those suited to thrive on this style of eating. It is not the same as a vegan or vegetarian diet. Read more here.
Wild type (-/-)
Wild type (-/-) is the form of the DNA without any changes in amino acid sequence (ie without a SNP). Wild type is usually found in the majority of the population. The symbol (-/-) indicates the wild type version.
Xenobiotics
Xenobiotics are compounds that are foreign to an organism or are not part of its normal nutrition. They include plasticizers, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), pesticides, smoke, medicinal drugs, industrial chemicals and environmental contaminants.
Xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen. Estrogen is a natural hormone important for bone growth, blood clotting and reproduction in both men and women. The body regulates the amount of estrogen needed through intricate biochemical pathways. When xenoestrogens enter the body, they increase the total amount of estrogen, resulting in a phenomenon called estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are found in animal products (especially dairy foods), plasticizers and plastic food containers, make-up and skin-care products, pesticides and insecticides. Choose bodycare and home cleaning products low in xeno-estrogens.
Zinc rich foods
Rich sources of zinc include shellfish, beef and other red meats. Nuts and legumes are relatively good plant sources of zinc. Zinc in whole-grain products and plant proteins is less bioavailable due to their relatively high phytate content, which inhibits zinc absorption.