The first thing to realize when you are using genetic data is that you are not the result of your genes (most of the time anyway). You are the result of your gene expression and heritable changes in your gene expression. This is also known as epigenetics.
What does this mean? You can’t look at a piece of paper (or a website) and determine exactly what treatments or supplements you need based on your genetics. You also have to keep in mind, that there are a lot of SNPs that we don’t know much about. In fact, there are approximately 23.7 million SNPs identified. Out of these SNPs, only 14.5 million have been validated. The remaining 9.2 million SNPs are candidate SNPs.
I guess you can say that in terms of genetics, genomics, and SNPs, we still don’t know a whole lot. We’re understanding what all of this means a little more each and every day, but it will take many years until we really know what most of these SNPs truly mean in terms of human health.
A genetic methylation and detox panel only show you a very small number of SNPs that have been more or less well studied. We’re limited by what we know. And we are limited by what we don’t know. These small sets of SNPs may help give a picture of where to start with things like nutritional support of the methylation cycle, but these genes do not not define you. Through testing we can see all these genes, but we can’t see individual expression of these genes. Your environment and life experiences can change the expression of your genes at any moment in your life. For an example, the expression of the MAO-A gene on the methylation panel can change from serious trauma or violence.
For an example watch this video about the MAO-A gene and psychopathy. No, if you have this gene it does not mean you are going to become a psychopathic killer. This mutation is actually very common. About as common as having blue eyes. It is more present in males than females. In fact, I have it.
The reason I shared that video is to illustrate the point of gene expression. Just because you have a homozygous mutation of MAO-A does not mean you are ever going to kill anyone. Are you more prone to rage? Do you have more anxiety than the average person? Will you develop a mood disorder because of it? If you answer yes to any of these questions, maybe the MAO-A gene is contributing to your moods, but who knows. It’s really only one mutation out of many that can have an impact on these things.
To get back on subject: I am not a medical doctor, but I can say from my own experience that listening to your own body is probably more important than obeying what your methylation or detoxification analysis suggests. Again, the test does not measure gene expression, and there are potentially thousands of other mutations that may have an impact on your methylation or detoxification.
So while it might be a good idea to start with the suggestions of medical doctors that have studied this field, your gut feeling is there for a reason. If you start a methylation protocol and can’t seem to tolerate it, there is probably something you need to do differently. You are an individual, and your treatment may need to be individualized. Nobody – and no test – has all the answers.