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  it’s called the ADRA2A gene. That one’s not bad. And then, there’s some sleep ones like timeless and some other names, BDNF, that are maybe more... But some other ones that are like CY, 1P, 2A. You’re like, “What, what the heck is this stuff, so?”
But the genetic world, we can
look at somebody’s exercise. So is somebody better with more of like endurance, slow and long exercise? Are they better with more like high- intensity sprinting? Are they better more—like, if weight’s an issue, for instance—are they better more with a mix of exercise or yoga?
And we can look at genes and try to understand the body better
that way. We can look at detox pathways: phase 1, phase 2. And phase 1 involves like estrogen metabolism. And hormonal disruptions, Erin, I would say is a big factor, too, for headaches and migraines.
Erin: Absolutely.
Dr. Jay: And usually, there’s always a source of why there’s hormone issues, whether it’s a pathogen issue, heavy metal toxicity, what not. There’s always usually sources of why it’s going on. But you can also look at the genetics for your detox pathways and hormones. You can also look at nutrition. Like, I was mentioning earlier, you can look at sleep. And are you more of a late-night owl? Are you more of an early-to-bed, early-to-rise type of person? How well do you sleep? Do you get sleep disturbed very easy? And the more you understand about your body, the more you can set your life up to try to—I don’t want to say it’s a game, but win the game—optimize. Maybe it’s better to say optimize you.
And then, we could also even look at supplementation. So vitamin
D gets talked about a lot with everything. And the vitamin D
pathways got maybe nine genes
in the whole pathway. How you absorb sunlight and convert it to vitamin D. My wife, horrible at converting sunshine to vitamin D. I’m amazing. I’m like, I wouldn’t have known that without looking at genes. So even though, we live in--
Erin: Is there something you
can do other than taking more supplemental vitamin D to like support the mechanism of absorption or production? Or is the answer just to take vitamin D?
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Well, so, primarily, we get vitamin D, either through sunshine that converts to vitamin D, or we get it through our diet, which you get some in food. But it’s primarily more supplementation.
If somebody’s a really bad sunshine converter to vitamin
D, that pretty much guarantees you’re going to need some form of supplementation to--
Erin: Ongoing.
Dr. Jay: Yeah, to have that level. But you can literally look at the pathway and say, “Whether, it’s from sunshine or from diet—how do activate that in the liver, the
first step? How do you transform 25(OH), which is usually that blood test they run into the active form called 1,25 (OH)? How do you break down?” There are some people that don’t break it down well. And they can actually get toxic of vitamin D very easy because they don’t break down the active form.
We can look at how you respond to vitamin D. Can look at, there’s
a cool gene called the klotho. And it’s a longevity gene. It’s involved in vitamin D, as well, too. So there’s
a lot of pieces. But inevitably, you always want to just focus on what’s important for me to know. And then, what do I need to do today? Have a big picture in mind. But what can I do today to start moving
me toward that direction? Because it can be overwhelming very easily.
Erin: Yeah. Sure. Definitely. I think that’s a great example though of why looking at these genes can be really valuable though versus just taking things because you read about it or you tested low or something like that without ever investigating like why you’re low.
I think B vitamins are another example that come into play for people with migraines a lot. They get recommended to take various
B vitamins. But you would need to look at or you could look at your genetics to see which form is the best or where that deficiency is coming from. Can you talk a little bit about what could go wrong there?
Dr. Jay: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So the big one in that category is B12. And that one will get recommended, especially in the headache category, quite often. And there’s different genes. There’s B12 absorption genes. Just like how do you absorb them. They call them the FUT2 genes. They have some relation to gut bacteria, too, because it’s like gut absorption or B12 absorption through the gut. There’s the recycling pathway of B12. MTR and MTRR is the pathway for recycling B12. So if you’re a bad absorber, if you’re a bad recycler, you can pretty much guarantee you’re going to need more than somebody that’s not. Just based on the genetics.
But from the B12, there’s
different forms of B12. There’s methylcobalamin. So if you
just remember, it’s always something and cobalamin,
so methylcobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, cyanocobalamin. And most
people will throw cyanocobalamin under the bus. And I think, I
mean your body has to convert cyanocobalamin into more of an active form. So I can see that. Some

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