Genes, Methylation and Your Health

Today’s topic is controversial because few physicians bother to test, or interpret genetic code. But for me, I’ve seen how my own genetic SNPs as well as those of my friends have impacted their health, and how dietary supplements improve problems caused by genetic speed bumps (for lack of a better word). I don’t like the idea of bad genes, or genetic “glitches” because we are WHO we are, and we are based upon our genetic code, speed bumps and all. Genes don’t make us bad, they make us who we are.

For the first time ever, we live in a world where we can get the information needed to control our destiny. It could hold the key to you ultimately getting well. I’ve seen it happen over and over. Call it Star Trek medicine if you want, but knowing your genes today may help you 10 years from now.  It’s futuristic. If you know your risks now, you can prevent health catastrophes sooner, rather than later.

I love genes. I have been pondering genes for many years. When I was a kid, I used to want to grow up and become a geneticist. I love how the crystalline DNA structure makes us all unique. We are basically crystalline beings if you think about it from a genetic sequencing standpoint. My friend came over to sit with me by the little fire pit I have in my porch, somehow, we got on the topic of genes because my computer was open to my personal gene test. She asked me what I was doing, and what I was reading.

I showed her my homozygous MTHFR gene mutation (for methylation) and then playfully said, “I don’t drink much alcohol because I have this methylation SNP and don’t want to end up dancing naked on the table!”

She giggled because she got the gist of my comment [Suzy doesn’t tolerate alcohol well], but then she asked, “What’s a SNP?”

It’s pronounced “snip.” 
It stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism.

I replied, “SNPs make up your genetic personality, they are neither good or bad,  they just occur in your DNA strand from mom and dad.

SNPs Happen!
Some people call SNPs “polymorphisms.” If it’s easier you can just call them speed bumps in your DNA. Your genetic code and particular SNPs explain why you have blue eyes, brown hair and other personality traits. SNPs might explain why you get sick easily, why some people sneeze in bright light, why you’re sensitive to certain medications, why some of you have an autoimmune disorder while others do not, and why some of you hate cilantro! No one has exactly the same DNA because we all have different SNPs (speed bumps), yet we share many SNPs in common, not all.

Have a weird predisposition or propensity for certain medical problems?
Have a distaste for certain spices?
Can’t take certain medicine?
Have a unibrow?
Left handed?
There’s a SNP for that! 

Hey that reminds me of the witty phrase, ‘There’s an app for that!’

At the end of my article, I will tell you how to test your own genes, and find out if you have certain gene SNPs.
Even if you don’t like genetics, I feel it is critical for you read today’s article and try to learn how certain SNPs could correlate with your illness, for example heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, fertility issues, diabetes and even quirky personality traits.

My friend was so fascinated by this that she went home and literally ordered a test kit to see her own genes and what role they might have played in her getting breast cancer many years ago. The test requires saliva.

Digging Just a Tad Deeper
I’m going to keep things simple. Super simple, so all you geneticists, please forgive me for leaving the details and exceptions out of this article. You can certainly comment below, on the thread where everyone writes to me.

Your gene copies come from your mother and father. You get one from  mama, one from papa.  At every point along the DNA strand there are alleles, which means one member of a pair.  Picture a long windy road and the “alleles” along this road are twins… picture two women in denim shorts holding either a PLUS sign, or a MINUS sign.

Just picture that, it’s either a + or a – sign that they’re holding. Every few miles you drive, you see twin ladies holding up their sign. These twins are your alleles, and there are two alleles (one for each twin).
If you are “homozygous” that means you got the same variant from both parents. It means the twins are both holding up a plus sign so it is +/+.
You will express the trait.

If you are “heterozygous” for a trait, that means you got different genes from each parent. So in our example, driving down the road, one twin is holding a plus sign, the other a negative sign, like this +/- and you may or may not express the trait.

If you are “homozygous” negative, you will not express the trait for that gene. It is shown as -/- on your gene report.

Now, each cell contains mitochondria, there are hundreds, and all of those come from your mom. Sperm do not carry mitochondria, only eggs so way back when you were an embryo, you inherited half your genome from mother and half from father, but ALL MITOCHONDRIA came from your mother’s egg.  If a mutation occurred in her mitochondria, then all of your mitochondria will be mutated as well. As I go through the following genes, keep in mind that I’m referring to a homozygous situation of both alleles from mother and father being positive (two plus signs are being held up by the twins); this implies a higher risk of occurrence that you express the trait tied to that gene (because both alleles are positive).

If you already did a gene test, take a look at your genetic report now. You will see all kinds of genes and each gene has a SNP. For example, the gene abbreviated as GAD1 has many SNPs, including rs3749034,  rs3791877, rs2241165 and others.
GAD1 is the gene and each of those letter-number combinations are your SNPs.

The basic rule here is that you can have a gene, with many SNPs. Having a GAD1 mutation would give you a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and other GAD snps (GAD65) may contribute to a rare neurological disorder called “stiff person syndrome.”

While reading your gene report, if you see a heterozygous mutation would that just means you are less likely to express it in it’s fullest form. It’s not a simple thing you know … dominant versus recessive traits. There’s codominance, and other factors that I won’t discuss here. My point is there are many, many factors that go into whether or not you express a particular trait. Did I say many?  Yes! So please don’t freak out if you’re reading your genetic report and you are homozygous for a gene that is tied to cancer. It does not mean you will get cancer okay? It just means you have a speed bump in your genetic code that genes that increases risk so you should be especially careful about lifestyle, diet, stress, environmental pollution, radiation, medications, xenobiotics and every other factor that goes into the formation of cancer in the human body.

Here’s a little screenshare video I made to explain “Methylation in a Minute

A Closer Look at Your Genes

Breast cancer. Who can forget Angelina Jole’s bold move to undergo double mastectomy in 2013 after finding out she had SNPs in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene which regulates cell division and cell growth and increases risk of cancer everywhere in the body. In 2015, she opted to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed too, thrusting her into menopause and the use of medicine such as hormones (which I feel increase cancer risk far greater than a gene). These genes were made famous by the actress and are probably the most famous genes of all.  The increase risk of cancer all over the body, not just the breasts but for this to express, many other factors have to collide.

I want to be clear. Having the BRCA1 or 2 gene doesn’t give you cancer, more specifically these genes are associated with increased risk, just like hundreds of other genes that we all have. And it’s not just risk of breast cancer, it could also raise risk for ovarian, pancreatic cancer and other cancers. Because of the inordinate amount of press, and the dangers of unnecessary surgery, I really want to make sure that you understand this gene does not give you cancer, a gene has to be activated by other epigenetic factors, such as lifestyle and dietary factors, stress, hormones, xenobiotic exposure, oxidative damage, AGEs (advanced glycation end products) and many factors that potentially collide to cause cancer. Angelina based her surgeries on a SNP, and her family history (mother died), but again, having a SNP does not necessarily dictate your future because the SNP may never come to express itself.  In fact, most SNPs don’t come to fruition.

My personal belief is to never treat a SNP unless it’s giving you a symptom. Ways to reduce cancer risk include the obvious such as improving lifestyle factors and eating a healthy diet, as well as elimination or avoidance of pesticides, xenobiotics and pollutants. Supplements that help improve your odds and might fight cancer are basically your antioxidants, such as A, D, E and K, selenium or CoQ10. Natural plant-based antioxidants like grape seed, resveratrol, quercetin, pomegranate, green tea, blueberry/bilberry and dozens of others.

Remember, you don’t treat a SNP, you treat the person.

Taking Birth Control or Hormone Replacement? It’s a problem if you have a SNP in cytochrome P450 enzyme system. In particular, CYP1B1 or CYP1A2, which slows down the breakdown of xenobiotics (fake estrogens) causing them to build up in your system and increasing risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Avoid fluoroquinolone drugs if you have a SNP in CYP1A2 (like me) because these drugs are strong inhibitors of the gene and the drug will build up quickly.   Strong inhibitors of the gene reduce clearance of the offending medication which gets metabolized through that pathway. In my example the “FQ drugs” or fluoroquinolones as they are known pharmaceutically are drugs that get metabolized through this pathway CYP1A2, and if you are homozygous positive (+/+) it doesn’t work well to begin with so the FQ drugs build up, and they get toxic quickly. They have a black box warning already from the FDA for tendon ruptures. I wonder how many of those people with severe side effects from FQ drugs had a SNP for that?!
I’m trying to warn you: You don’t want to get yourself “floxed” trust me! Tendon rupture will be the least of your concerns if you get hurt from these medications. So unless you have a life-threatening infection, that only respond to an FQ drug, then I recommend you avoid ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and the rest of the clan in that drug category. I’d avoid them anyway, but especially if you have SNPs in the cytochrome pathway.

Sensitive to chemicals or medications? If you are homozygous positive (+/+) for the PON1 (paraoxonase 1) gene, you need to stay away from nuts and foods containing pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. PON1 is pronounced “Pon one” if you’re saying it out loud.

This gene SNP will give you some trouble clearing the metabolic waste, and poisons from your body. Imagine a sanitation truck that is slow-moving, never getting to all the homes on a designated day. The garbage builds up faster than the sanitation man can get to it.  A PON1 gene means poisons in your body build up, in your cells, in your blood stream, everywhere. If you have my Headache Free book, you know my old saying, I repeated in my book over and over: If it backs up in your blood, it backs up in your head! So a PON1 gene can make you more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses and pain, including migraines.

While there’s no direct study to prove this, I bet the PON1 gene is extremely common in people with ‘Multiple Chemical Sensitivities’ because they react to everything, perfume, bleach, smoke, soap, carpet fresheners and those smelly things that hang from the automobile rear view mirror! Anything can set off a person with a PON1 gene, especially pesticides so you should eat organic, as often as possible. If not, the pesticide sprayed on the food will go into you and probably never leave. A PON1 gene makes your cells a sponge for all things poisonous. Go natural as best you can.
In summary, PON1 gene SNPs mean you there is trouble breaking down ALL synthetic chemicals, including pharmaceuticals. You don’t think of pharmaceuticals as synthetic chemicals but that’s what they are. Drugs don’t grow from trees!  

So if you have a PON1 gene SNP, especially in combination with a methylation gene SNP, and the need for medication should arise, you should heed my advice: Start with very low doses of medicine to make sure you don’t over-react!
Your PON1 gene will make you hyper-reactive to medicine.
The PON1 gene will also badly affect you if you have high homocysteine and it may cause high levels of a dangerous metabolite called “homocysteine thiolactone.” I’ve seen this mess up close and it can have catastrophic effects on a person’s life. It is bad news for your brain and body. Homocysteine thiolactone can cause mental status changes and seizure-like activity. If your physician doesn’t catch this, you will be treated with anti-seizure drugs forever, and still have break-through seizures and the reason is because nothing is being done to treat the true underlying cause of the seizures (the high thiolactone).

My friend and researcher Dr. Ben Lynch uncovered research to show that Valtrex is a medication which reduces homocysteine thiolactone. Once you go off the drug, the homocysteine thiolactone climbs back up so you still have to try to find out what is causing the high homocysteine (almost always a methylation block, see .

You can go through the ‘back door’ if you have a PON1 gene, especially if you have an intelligent doctor who understands what makes it run. Two minerals that come to mind that help a PON1 gene, and these include low dose copper, and low dose calcium.

Thyroid cancer or Hashimoto’s? These conditions could be related to a homozygous FOXE1 gene which has been correlated with various thyroid disorders including autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s) and hypothyroidism. FOXE1 stands for “Forkhead box E1.” Certain alleles are tied to spiky hair and cleft palate. The FOXE1 gene also causes impaired conversion of beta carotene into vitamin A (supplements of pure vitamin A may be necessary to prevent deficiency because no matter how many carrots you juice, the beta carotene won’t convert to A) and basically, it’s vision problems galore with that kind of deficiency! I actually have this gene SNP (3 heterozygous SNPs) but luckily no expression of Hashimoto’s disease. Thyroid is my specialty.  If you are interested in more thyroid information, you will want to read my new book, Thyroid Healthy. Also I have formulated a unique blend for thyroid support, ThyroScript supplement.

Panic attacks? These frightening attacks are often tied to magnesium deficiency, or other trace mineral imbalances, but guess what, there could be a SNP for that!
Shocking isn’t it?!
The COMT gene short for “Catechol-OMethylTransferase” is related to your brain chemistry. More specifically, mutations in the COMT gene may slow the normal break-down of dopamine, epinephrine (a.k.a. adrenaline) or norepinephrine, three compounds that rev you up. With slowed break down, there is an accumulation of these hormones, they become elevated inside your body and brain. Elevations in any one of these neurotransmitters will increase anxiety, panic attacks and even symptoms that mimic schizophrenia. No medication at my pharmacy will help you overcome the SNP, but they do help balance your neurotransmitters, albeit temporarily. That’s why knowing your SNPs matters so much.

This is the innate failure of medications, and speaks to the importance of having a physician who understands genotyping and epigenetics. Let me tell you, COMT genes will worsen PTSD symptoms, as in post traumatic stress disorder from Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam… even child abuse, sexual trauma and so forth.

If you have a COMT gene SNP, and  also a methylation (MTHFR gene SNP), and therefore you’re taking some methyl donors (SAMe, betaine, methylcobalamin) you might be  making yourself more anxious. This is one more reason it’s better to eat your methyl donors (green veggies and fruits).

Bulemia? ADHD? This may be tied to a COMT SNP.  COMT stands for catechol-O-methyltransferase. The COMT gene helps you make an enzyme that break down dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine (3 stimulating enzymes).  Now, if you can’t break those down completely, or fast enough, then you get overstimulated and all that comes with high levels of these neurotransmitters. If you are deficient in methyl groups, COMT activity slows down (neurotransmitters build up).

Crohn’s or digestive problems. Disorders of the gut, especially the inflammatory ones like Crohn’s could mean you have an FUT2 gene. This gene is associated with reduced levels of bifidobacteria in your intestines. This could translate into disease if all other factors collide.  If you are homozygous for FUT2, I recommend you supplement with probiotics that contain strains of bifidobacteria. FUT2 stands for fucosyltransferase 2. Lower bifido counts are tied to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation or diarrhea (bowel disturbances).

The pink elephant in the room right now is how insufficient gut microflora means you get sick more often, or you can’t heal. You see, your immune system cells live in your gut so having an FUT2 gene indirectly influences the strength of your immune system. If you have a chronic illness or autoimmune disorder, you need to see if you have an FUT2 gene, and if so, supplement with bifido strains. Make sure your probiotic contains them. Supplements of “Lactobacillus” do not contain bifido strains. Be sure to inform your physician who will learn more from you, but also approve everything you do especially since I don’t know what’s right for your particular illness or situation.

High iron? You could have hemochromatosis which shows up as a homozygous SNP in the HFE gene, the high risk allele is HFE C282Y.  Hemochromatosis is a problem of iron metabolism and causes your body to hoard iron, storing excessive amounts. Symptoms may be mild or severe and may include: increased skin pigmentation, arthritis, reduced production of testosterone, diabetes, heart arrhythmias, heart failure, cirrhosis and/or  higher risk of liver cancer.

Low B12? Could easily be tied to a probiotic deficiency (or eating lots of junk food) or perhaps even a vegan diet.  But, if you have low B12 (methylcobalamin), there’s a SNP for that! It’s in the gene MTRR (Methionine Synthase Reductase) which regenerates methyl B12 or “methylcobalamin” which is needed to detoxify homocysteine and turn it into methionine.  If your MTRR pathway is defective due to a SNP in the MTRR gene, bypass it nutritionally. Yes, go around the back door and supplement with a high-quality B12 supplement (not cyanocobalamin, those are not high quality in my opinion).

Run to the bathroom right after you eat? This could indicate a classic symptom of Celiac disease. Your ‘irritable bowel’ may be associated with the HLA DQA2 gene. Just because you are positive for the gene, doesn’t mean you have Celiac disease. I am a classic example, because I am double homozygous for this gene, yet have no digestive problems whatsoever. But I gave a copy of this gene to both my children, now 22 and 25 respectively (and still feeling well). The environmental factors have to collide to activate the gene and express full-blown Celiac. Nevertheless, if you have this gene it is best for you to avoid gluten. Whether or not you have this gene, it’s probably good to avoid gluten since no body can fully digest it and it is just an additive anyway. It doesn’t have nutritional value.

Alzheimer’s disease. The MTHFD1L gene has been correlated with this disorder, meaning having the gene SNP will increase susceptibility (not necessarily cause it though). The gene stands for “Monofunctional C1-tetrahydrofolate” and simply put, it’s responsible for active folate in the mitochondria. Remember your mitochondria produce energy for you. A SNP in anything that hurts your mitochondria will make those cells sicker (potentially).  So in this case, mitochondria by the millions are suffering and dying and this is correlated with cognitive disorders. It makes total sense to me.

But we do not usually get a disease from one particular SNP, often it’s a combination of various SNPs that cause the issue. Another gene, the superoxide dismutase or “SOD” gene may also play some role. We know that the brains of Alzheimer’s patients show reduced cellular levels of SOD enzyme.  SOD is needed for the body to quell free radical damage. It’s like a wet blanket on a fire! High levels of homocysteine, (associated with methylation C677T SNPs and therefore, too little folate) have also been correlated as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Having a particular gene doesn’t cause Alzheimer’s, many epigenetic factors have to collide for the disease to express itself. That said, your risk is much higher if you have an SOD, MTHFD1L and MTHFR (methylation) SNP.  I actually have several mutations in my SOD gene, so I take supplements to get around the back door of this SNP by taking SOD and manganese. I have put a screenshot here for you to see what I’m referring to. The 2 variants that I am homozygous positive (+/+) are shown in red, with the alleles rs2758331 and rs4880.


Can’t tolerate alcohol? Prone to miscarriages? There’s so many other issues associated with a methylation SNP. The gene is abbreviated as MTHFR which stands for “Methylene TetraHydroFolate Reductase”  and it is dependent on having enough natural folate, a B vitamin you get by eating leafy greens like kale, salad and chard. I’ve written a lot about methylation, CLICK HERE to learn about it.

People mistakenly assume that taking the dietary supplement called “folic acid” gives them folate but this is not correct. Folic acid is a synthetic version of natural folate. You can buy natural folate as a dietary supplement too, you just have to know what to look for. (That’s what you have me for).

** I added this list on 4-17-15 because of questions below in the forum** 
Natural names of folate:
Levomefolic acid
L-methylfolate sometimes abbreviated as LMF
(6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate abbreviated as (6S)-5-MTHF
These forms that I’ve just listed are the names of the biologically active form folic acid (folate) used in cells for DNA production, the cysteine cycle and the break down of homocysteine. Natural folate can cross your blood brain barrier. Inside your cells, this form is used in the METHYLATION cycle which helps you convert homocysteine back into methionine and THF (tetrahydrofolate). It’s a good thing, you don’t want homocysteine to build up, it’s a risk factor for many illnesses because it’s a pro-inflammatory cytokine.
REMEMBER “FOLIC ACID” IS SYNTHETIC, it is the UN-methylated form sold as vitamin B9 (folic acid) in most dietary supplements, especially the more affordable ones. It is very inexpensive to make. It is NOT biologically active until it undergoes biochemical reactions.
** This marks the end of my new content, added 4-17-15 **

When you take folic acid (instead of natural ‘methylated’ folate, see above list for names) you don’t do yourself any favors, in fact you could be blocking your cell’s receptors for natural folate (5-MTHF) with the synthetic chemical version of unmethylated “folic acid” (not good).  Be choosy when buying vitamins. You can visit my Script Essentials site, or dozens of other high-quality companies that are available today. Anyway, the point of this is NOT about folate, it is about the methylation SNP, a really common one that affects about 40 percent of the population, myself included. Having a methylation SNP (C677T) will increase homocysteine, a pro-inflammatory cytokine associated with hundreds of disorders including heart disease, progressive neurological disorders, cancer and cognitive dysfunction. Having the methylation A1298 SNP doesn’t usually raise homocysteine, but it does interfere with your production of SAMe, just like C677T.

Medications that are drug muggers of folate will induce a methylation problem whether or not you have the gene! There are hundreds of drugs that steal the nutrients needed for adequate methylation, so please refer to my Drug Muggers book for a complete list of the offending drugs that trash your folate levels. And for excellent information on methylation SNPs, visit the world’s leading authority on this, Dr. Ben Lynch site,   If you want more awesome information  about medication and how it affects your methylation process read my article Medicine Messes Up Your Methylation.

Depression? There are many SNPs that play a role in neurotransmitter imbalances. Among them, vitamin D due to a SNP called VDR Taq. If you are homozygous for this, you’re prone to having vitamin D deficiencies. Keep in mind, vitamin D influences the amount of dopamine you have, dopamine is a major neurotransmitter, it’s one of your primary ‘happy’ brain chemicals. It ranks up there with serotonin! Having a VDR (vitamin D receptor) SNP doesn’t automatically make you depressed, it’s just a consideration.

A VDR mutation is also sometimes associated with higher risk for breast cancer as well as oral squamous cell carcinoma, however you have to keep in mind that monitoring D levels properly, and supplementing goes around the back door. Your SNP doesn’t determine your outcome in life, but knowing the SNP can help you prevent a problem because you can monitor. In this case, having a VDR SNP means you have to be vigilant about your D levels and supplement if necessary. To read more about testing D levels, read my most recent article CLICK HERE.

Interesting Quirky Personality Traits

Loathe cilantro or coriander? Some people can’t stand the smell of it, and think these spices taste like soap. It’s not your fault. It’s tied to genes associated with smell, more specifically the OR6A2 gene. This gene encodes a receptor that makes you especially sensitive to aldehyde chemicals, which is exactly what goes into making coriander and cilantro taste the way they do. Can you overcome the aversion? Only if you psyche yourself up or mask it with other herbs and spices. Maybe if you hold your nose…

Sneeze when you leave a movie theater? It’s called “Achoo Syndrome.”
Seriously! The uncontrollable sneezing happens when your eyes are forced to quickly adjust to light (after being in the dark for awhile). If you look at bright light, it makes you sneeze. It’s also called the photic sneeze reflex and was discussed way back in 1984 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Approximately one in four people feel a tickle (or sneeze) when looking at bright light so it’s kind of common. There isn’t an exact gene for this, the allele is found on the “intergenic” region of your DNA strand.  Using my example of driving the highway with twins every few miles, the “intergenic” region would be the space between the twin girls (who represent your genes).  If you are looking this up on your raw data from 23andMe, it is rs10427255  (C or T).

Sneeze when you eat or right after? Sometimes I do. Filling up your tummy too much is another example of a stimulus that triggers uncontrollable sneezing and it’s tied to a gene. I can’t find the exact gene yet (if you do, please put it in the thread below my article). The phenomena is called “snatiation” and that’s the combination of sneeze with satiation because you sneeze when you are full (or overly full).  It can cause 3 or 4 sneezes or up to  20 sneezes during or after a meal.  It doesn’t matter what you eat, and it’s not an allergy.  It’s a genetic disposition, so thank mom and dad for it! The technical term is “gustatory rhinitis” and you can think of it as gastric sneezing. It has to do with an overstretched stomach, not a food sensitivity. Snatiation has happened to me so many times over the years that I’m convinced I have the gene, God bless me!

Unibrow?  Yep, there’s a SNP for that!

If you look at your raw data, this is the allele associated with a unibrow (or thick eyebrows) as well as brown hair: HERC2 (the allele is: rs12913832 )
Other genes involved in unibrows include: CRHR1, SLC45A2, EDA or ZNF608
Are you wondering what to do now?
And how is genetic testing done?

I’m sure you’re wondering if you have any of these genes or other ones. If you’re interested in genetic testing, it’s pretty simple nowadays. I will outline the details of testing right now, but please understand it is a THREE STEP process:

1) Get your raw data from 23andMe (Raw data are the specific alleles/genes)
2) Input this raw data into another website to generate your report
3) Learn what your SNPs mean by studying them, and looking them up on SNPedia

Now more details about how to do this…

The actual genetic test is done using saliva by a specialty lab called 23andMe site.  This test currently costs $99 dollars. These kits are not sold at pharmacies or health food stores. In fact, genetic tests are highly controversial.

After the FDA got involved, genetic testing got a little jolt so to speak. So now, 23andMe offers the genetic test for you, but they do not make any attempt at interpreting your results, nor do they generate an easy-to-read report. They just provide raw data, pages and pages of what looks like computer code!

So once you get your 23andMe results (just the raw data), you need to take the raw data file and upload it to another site that is capable of generating an attractive easy-to-read report to summarize your SNPs. This costs up to 30 US dollars to generate the report.  So the grand total (currently) is $129 US dollars (99 for 23andme, and 30 for the pretty report). There are several websites that generate reports today, some are free, some are up to $30. You can use any site you like, I’d love to hear your feedback.

I recommend mthfrsupport because I am used to their site, but honestly, it is NOT the easiest site to navigate. I’m just used to working with this site and I want to make the process easy for you too. So, right now I will outline each step of the process if you choose to use their site. This will come in handy, I assure you!

10 STEPS to Getting Your Own Gene Report

Step 1: Buy your test kit from 23andMe and do your test, mail it in and wait for your results. This could take up to a month, but usually less.

Step 2: Once you receive notification that your results are complete, sign in to 23andMe using your own email and password and download your report.  Once you are logged in, you’ll see your name on the upper right,  click on your name, then “browse raw data” and a new screen appears with a bunch of numbers. Look back up to the upper right, and you will see the word “download” right beneath your name. Click that to download your data. They will ask you for your password again, as well as your mother’s maiden name. Fill this in to download your report.

**Note: If you have trouble with any of this, they have a “help” button or you can email them (I am not tech support).

Step 3: Once your report has downloaded from 23andme, save it to your computer. Do not change the file type.

Step 4: Open a new page for and at the top right, click on “My Account” and register with them. If you don’t register first (and try to click on Sterling App) you will see a red warning at the bottom asking you to be logged in. This is for your privacy and security so again, when you go to the site, you must first register with them by clicking on “My Account” at the top right. Only then can you use the Sterling App. By the way, this app is named after a real person name Sterling Hill who was a highly successful businesswoman for many years until she became ill with clotting issues. She went from physician to physician but her condition progressively deteriorated. She lost everything at one point. She ultimately recovered by addressing her methylation and other SNP concerns. Today, she is the CEO and founder of the site that offers this report generator, and she is brilliant as are her colleagues, Shawn Bean and Jess Armine DC.

Step 5: Once registered with mthfrsupport (or if you are a returning user) just hover your mouse over “Sterling’s App” which appears at the top of their toolbar on the home page. When you hover over that, you can click on “Order reports”

Step 6: After clicking on “Order reports” you will see a new page. You will click on the blue bar that says “Upload my genome file.”  Click on that, and find it on your computer, usually the desktop.  It will take a few minutes to upload your file, be patient.

Step 7: Once the file appears below the blue and gray bar, you will see it. It will look something like this:
(That is an example, don’t go trying to upload my genes now!)

Step 8: Select your file by clicking on it (the file turns grayish blue) and then, click on the gray bar above the genome file that says, “Generate Report from Selected File”

Step 8: You will be redirected to a new screen that says “You have 1 item in your cart” and it lists MTHFR Variant Report. It asks you to pay $30 and checkout. You’ll have to pay that in order to get your report.

Step 9: Once paid, you will have to wait for their site to email you a receipt, which usually takes just a few minutes. I got mine in under 8 minutes. It allows you to click on a direct link to see your colorful report, and it also allows you to log in to their site and access it in the future.

Step 10: Save your report to your own computer as a PDF so you can email it to physicians, friends or mom and dad with a ‘thank you’ note 😉

If you have a difficult health challenge, or complex chronic illness you should test your genes. You can do this using a saliva test or go through any lab you like, some require blood. You can generate a nice report using various websites, but having done a lot of these myself, I am confident the most comprehensive report available today is generated with the Sterling App (instructions above).  You can learn what SNPs you have that are contributing to your illness, which then allows you to research vitamins and minerals and medications that might help upregulate or downregulate a particular pathway.  You will need a physician or practitioner to guide you with all of this, and it is really very pioneering.

Because it is emerging medicine, there are not a lot of people who know about this. Let’s stick together and be helpful to each other. Keep comments short and general please, and write below in the thread that I have now opened so we can communicate with one another. Some of the links used within my article today go through my affiliate link, so if you go through me, I make a few dollars, lol, perhaps enough to buy a few bottles of 5-MTHF because I refuse to buy folic acid!

I look forward to reading your comments in the section below, please remember, I am not your physician and cannot advise you on what to take, or what to do in terms of treatment for your SNPs. I’m just here to educate you and chat in general terms. Thanks!



  1. PAUL SIMONDS April 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know of supplements for waldenstorm maceoglobulinemia?

  2. christine April 16, 2015 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy
    This is a wonderful post you have written as I’ve been meaning to get these reports for myself and my six year old daughter for a while. I used to see a Lyme doctor in Santa Rosa and am now doing quite well. At that time we got HLA haplotype results from Labcorp so I know something about both of our sensitivities. I can’t afford to go back to the Lyme doctor so I’m wondering if there’s someone you’d recommend in the Bay Area or elsewhere to help interpret the 23andme results?

    Thanks so much

    • Angela April 19, 2015 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Christine, Angela Knowles Griffiths, can help you interpret your results. She is San Francisco based.
      Her Facebook page is here
      She works with me as an Admin for the facebook page MTHFR A1298C which is a wealth of information on this SNP. She provides a lot of her time for free on this site and it has over 3,000 likes. Give her a go, she is one of my mentors on SNPS and very knowledgeable

  3. V April 16, 2015 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Unable to heal from a serious illness (to date) I did the 23andme. Lots of helpful info. However at times different companies mthfr support and livewello for example interpret the raw data differently where one will list a particular snp as normal and the other will list the same snp as homozygous. It’s a field in its infancy.

    • Lynn_M April 20, 2015 at 1:41 am - Reply

      Livewello’s website states that they use the ancestral allele (which can be found on the dbSNP site for each snp) to determine what is normal. However, the ancestral allele is that of a chimpanzee’s, so it is not a 100% accurate representation of normal human genetics.

      According to Sterling Hill in her Blogtalk interview, MthfrSupport starts by looking at the ancestral allele, but then they look at PubMed and other scholarly articles to confirm which allele is truly the risk one. Sometimes that requires extensive searching and reading. Some so-called risk alleles can confer both benefits and risks, so identifying a risk allele can be a tricky process.

      Saying a snp is homozygous doesn’t imply any risk. It just means both alleles are the same. I think it better to say alleles are homozygous for risk, if that is the intent.

  4. jim April 16, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    You have really researched this subject beyond anything I could imagine. Were you not adopted and slipped in from Kryton as a baby? I think you are in a category with Bruce Lipton, Rupert Sheldrake and Nassim Haramein.

    • Suzy Cohen April 16, 2015 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      Thank you Jim, where are you from?
      Superwoman, ah yes! Chocolate is my kryptonite lol 🙂

      • Shawn Bean April 16, 2015 at 11:39 pm - Reply


        Gotta love how chocolate increases that PEA


    • Bj April 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      Suzy, you are an awesome. So refreshing to know there’s a medical professional who continues to learn and is for us.

  5. Christy O April 16, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Great article! Thanks for sharing. I am forever thinking I have to fix every genetic mutation and this helped me to see to just fix what is presenting….I appreciate all you do from your books like “Root Cause”. To this wonderfully informing articles!!!!

    • Suzy Cohen April 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Right Christy! Right on! You can never fix every genetic mutation, we have thousands, they make us who we are. Some of these polymorphisms though express themselves and show up with symptoms and those are the ones to target. For example, using my article, the FUT2 snp may show up as a Crohn’s or some other digestive disorder, and then the supplementation of bifido bacteria becomes important. But you get it, I kind of wrote all this to help others reading the thread and to reiterate what you have said.

      • Shawn Bean April 16, 2015 at 11:19 pm - Reply

        FUT2 expression is why GAPS diet, SCD [specific carbohydrate diet] and ‘low carb’ diets may not work for some people.

        • Lynn_M April 20, 2015 at 1:44 am - Reply

          Shawn, is that because people don’t have enough bifodo bacteria when following these diets? Does supplementing with bifido help those diets work for FUT2 people?

  6. Cindy April 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great info. It would be interesting to track some of these snps across populations and see if they can be traced back to population bottlenecks that are actually causing some of the health issues we see today. A review of de-identified compiled data could help show patterns that might answer some of the questions about why we are seeing such an increase in all diseases related to the immune system. It seems too pervasive to be solely based on environment and the increase in frequency points to a recent genetic event.

    Personally, I think it was the Spanish Flu based on when people started showing symptoms related to the immune system- they just didn’t realize at the time that heart attacks are linked to problems with the immune system. The people who died of that flu were healthy, in the prime of their life and exhibited symptoms of Cytokine release syndrome when they died. To me it seems like the ones with the strongest innate immune systems died and the ones with “genetic defects” in their immune system survived. That, to me, is why we should be very careful about what we call a defect. You never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at you and what defect may actually help you survive.

  7. kj April 16, 2015 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    While I have had the testing done, sent the results to to run results and another place that is less thorough but corroborated the basics…I find SNPedia a painful process for tracking down what is going on with your genes.

    That should be somebodies next book…to my way of thinking!

  8. Peter William Johnson April 16, 2015 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Really cool stuff! You are awesome. Thanks!

  9. Shawn Bean April 16, 2015 at 9:55 pm - Reply


    Thank you for taking the time to prepare this wonderful information and spreading the world about how genes MAY be impacting one’s heath and well being. You are a great health advocate and ambassador for the like minded practitioners such as myself, and many others who are looking to help educate and change the face of how medicine should be practiced.
    You are truly a blessing.

    • Suzy Cohen April 16, 2015 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      Thank you Shawn, you are AMAZING yourself! Feel free to help others here and direct them to other sites and articles which you feel may help. God bless you!

  10. Aya April 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you Suzy for this very useful information. I plan to do my gene testing and I’m hoping to find someone to help me navigate my path to better health.

  11. Jane Bunin April 16, 2015 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this. Very, very helpful!

  12. Lisa April 16, 2015 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    I would love to do this as I have a lot of mysterious ailments doctors can’t figure out, but without a physician to interpret and guide the results, I feel like it’s a waste of money. I have so much stuff right now that I research on my own about my health and I can’t figure out that I am overwhelmed. How would I deal with this information without true help? I’m my own advocate and expert, but really it’s all just too much. I need help. Your pep talk while nice, isn’t help. Until there is somebody that can tell me what to do with the information and how it all relates to eachother I’m afraid it will just be more wasted data I have. Data without interpretation is useless.

  13. Shawn Bean April 16, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply


    I am one specialists who can help you navigate those waters to show you how your genes may be impacting your current or future health issues. I have done close to 1000 of these reports in the past 2 years so I am very familiar with the data and how it applies clinically. Another great practitioner is my partner Dr Jess Armine..

  14. Shawn Bean April 16, 2015 at 10:20 pm - Reply


    I am of one the people who well respected MD, DO and ND refer their challenging cases out to when it goes beyond the scope of modern medicine. Data with out proper clinical application is even worse. if a practitioner can not justify the logic then how can they make educated suggestions.

  15. Shawn Bean April 16, 2015 at 10:28 pm - Reply


    Dr. Armine, Laura, myself as well as Sterling Hill have been blessed that the universe has brought us all together for one purpose: Change how medicine is viewed and practiced!
    We also cannot forget Dr. Ben Lynch for pushing forward and providing new research in the world of Nutrigenomics.
    There is a huge paradigm shift occurring at this moment which will have a profound impact on the health care system..

    • Suzy Cohen April 16, 2015 at 10:51 pm - Reply

      The ‘medicine of the future’ is here now! Please feel free to help anyone on the thread, or direct them if you’d like (if you have the time). Thanks again Shawn <3

  16. Cate April 16, 2015 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Did 23andme, COMT +/+, DAO +/+ , MTHFR A1298C+/+, OTHERS +/+, +/_ .

    Fibromyalgia, Sarcoidosis, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, SIBO, and MCS, etc.

    Have seen and spoken with numerous professionals who claim to know these SNPS and continue to search for answers.

    Practicing meditation for many years and following a healthy diet has probably been helpfulahelpful.and saved my life.

    Now, I really want some answers but I am stuck . What next ?

    • Suzy Cohen April 16, 2015 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      I hear ya Cate! I look at my own SNPs every day or two and try to figure stuff out, then I look at all my friend’s genomes which I study too. It’s just crazy. Have you tried Histame for that DAO? Meditation important for you with that COMT but you probably need some other things like B vitamins. I have some VERY SAVVY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS who have promised to scan this thread so I’m approving your comment, hopefully one of my genius fans will chime in for you.

    • Shawn Bean April 16, 2015 at 11:28 pm - Reply


      You need to look at underlying pathology as well as detailed history to find out WHY these genes are expressing. Your case is a typical of what I deal with and trying to resolve it by focusing on one area will lead you down many rabbit holes. Remember snps are like a map which is showing you areas which you need to explore. The history and symptoms as well as the skill of the practitioner will guide you on what direct would be the best suited for you. Practitioners need to focus on the person and look for the clue to why these genes are expressing in the first place. As a clinician, the biggest mistake I see is others trying to treat the snps and not the person. By addressing the person properly, it results in addressing the gene expression indirectly. Too many people are on way too many supplements which are suggested by practitioners based upon what snps they have. This approach is clinical in appropriate and very dangerous.
      Learn more

  17. Sterling Hill Erdei April 16, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Thank you Suzy for spreading awareness. Looking at your genetics is a great preventative measure. It surely has saved my life. There is much more to come out on my app in the near future. You are amazing.


    • Suzy Cohen April 16, 2015 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Wow, everyone please meet the amazing Sterling Hill, creator of the Sterling App! She’s here with us (I was not expecting that).
      Sterling, please comment and help people in need if you have a moment, or if you have articles or videos do post anything that could help as well 🙂

  18. Joan April 16, 2015 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much Suzy for simplifying the complex gene variations that we all have! I’ve been diagnosed with MTHFR and have known for years before this that I’ve had sensitivities and peculiar quirks from something that’s not my fault. I’ve learned to live with them and am improving all the time due to the proper supplements including methyfolate and methylcobalamin. Please keep on spreading the word. I truly believe that the body will heal itself if given the proper means.

    We appreciate all you do!

    • Shawn Bean April 16, 2015 at 11:36 pm - Reply

      MTHFR is just a small blip on a huge genetic map. MTHFR is not the first snp which should be address, but after many others. The direction you go depends upon the person symptoms and how they may be reacting to specific supplements or meds.
      MTHFR had its 15 minutes of fame.
      I no longer have doctors testing for it because 80 % (or greater) of world’s population has one copy of either gene (or both genes). People who are addressing MTHFR off the bat, based on one test, may be putting themselve’s in harms way potentially… due to its domino effect on multiple pathways which may be effected by multiple gene expressions.
      This is why it is incredibly important to look at all the snps to see how they fit into your specific chemistry.
      In many cases, some people do improve with 5 methyl folate [also called LMF or L-methylfolate] while others need to have different pathways addressed before supplementing with that.
      For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

  19. Norie pereira April 16, 2015 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Im go! This was the best! Thank you thank you thank you! I have C677T homozygous and MTRR. I have to go look up the rest lol, but what does it mean if more than half of the mitochondrial genes listed in livewello are mainly homozygous? Where can I find out more info about the mitochondrial genes? And does that mean all my kids have the same mitochondrial genes since they are passed down from the mom?? And one last question. My nephew has retinitus pigmentosa. Do you know what genes I should check for that!? I ordered. Your book – I’m waiting for it to get here lol

    • Suzy Cohen April 16, 2015 at 11:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Norie
      As you already know (but for others reading) retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment due to the progressive degeneration of the rod photoreceptor cells (in the retina). There are dozens of potential gene SNPs which could play a role including SPATA7 (juvenile), CRX, BEST1, PROM1, MERTK, CA4, TULP1 or RP1 and RP2. There are more on wikipedia if you care to visit.

  20. Terri Klugh April 16, 2015 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy,

    Thank you for for your wonderful article on genes and methylation. I have done the 23andme and I’ve been struggling with how to understand what all of my gene snps mean. I do have the MTHFR C677T (homozygous) gene and some of the others that relate to Alzheimers. I also have the same exact SOD genes that you do. I was thinking of trying the SOD supplement by Seeking Health. I have tried several of Dr. Lynch’s supplements and have been very happy with them. Right now, I am just trying to learn as much as I can. I haven’t been able to find a doctor in Columbia S.C. that knows anything about interpreting all of this. Thank you again for all of your knowledge in this area. You have been very helpful!

    Terri Klugh

    • shawn bean April 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Home grown wheat grass juice 1 oz juiced and consumed within 20 mins is the best source of SOD

  21. Susan April 16, 2015 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Suzy I am so pleased to have received this email. I have found out so much informative information. I have recently been diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disease, Relapsing Polychondritis. I have been so terribly sick, had the flare up in my left ear. no one in my area in the medical field knew what it was, they kept sending me to all of these different doctors. Eventually they sent me to UPMC in Pittsburgh to a rheumatologist and knew right away what it was. My immune system is very depleted, I have been in the hospital 4 times this past year with pneumonia, also diagnosed 2 times with Lyme disease. Your article made me understand many things that are going on with my health and body. It is a rough road but to stay positive is a main factor. Thank you!

  22. Denise April 16, 2015 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this Suzy! I just got my MTHFRsupport report and boy am I glad I have an appointment with a Dr. Ben Lynch recommended doctor! Your information will help me figure a few things out before then. God bless you!

    • Sterlling Hill Erdei April 17, 2015 at 2:41 am - Reply

      Hi Denise,

      We have lots more coming out on the app in the near future. We have a search bar that you can put different key words in right now. We have an autoimmune pathway and a few others coming out in the next few months. Right now I am working with a graphic designer and we are going to be adding videos next to many genes. This will all be free upgrades so every few months, log into your account and you will see the new upgrades free of charge.

      Help, heal and love,

      Sterling Hill Erdei

      • Denise April 17, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

        Thank you Sterling, I’m glad to know there is even more help on the way!

  23. sarah April 17, 2015 at 12:48 am - Reply

    You are amazing to have provided this. As a holistic nutritionist I have been looking at how to bring this info to my clients. I explored another more expensive option. Your willingness to give all the details to get more info is very impressive. Thanks so much! I looked at 23andme a few months ago and was looking for the follow up info.

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 1:22 am - Reply

      Thank you Sarah, I also appreciate you! I’ve worked on this article for months (and studied for years). I had my Genomic testing done in the 1990’s when it cost $1000 and provided little more than your cardiovascular risk and MTHFR status. Today, for $99 US dollars, they provide a ton of raw data, it’s just amazing.

  24. Michael Murray Dowdy April 17, 2015 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Hello Suzy! Learning about our genetics is great but everyone needs to make sure that they don’t obsess over their mutations and over-treat themselves. Over-treatment with mega doses can causes even worse problems.

    Everyone needs to research a bit before treating themselves, particularly the RDA (recommended daily allowance), the upper tolerable limit of the supplement or medication, and the toxic levels of whatever they take. There are great online sources available to everyone like the NIH (National Health Institute), PubMed, and others. Reports on our mutations can be frightening and confusing, but they’re actually a great tool to know where to start!

  25. Michelle April 17, 2015 at 12:53 am - Reply

    I’d like to thank all of you that have contributed to this effort. My mom was recently diagnosed with MS. While trying to research the best treatment options I came across a previous article from Suzy on MTHFR mutations and it resonated with me. I truly felt it was related to my mom’s illness. I tried to encourage her to get tested, but being newly diagnosed with MS, she was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I decided to do the testing, knowing my results may tell me if she had a mutation. I am MTHFR A1298c homozygous, so I now know both of my parents carry the gene mutation. My mom was taking copaxone and having many side effects. I saw that copaxone is amino acid based and that her mutation may impact how her body is absorbing (or not) the medication. I went with her to the neurologist this week and showed him my MTHFR results and he immediately said that we need to change her medication.

    We haven’t figured out the right path yet, but we did figure out the one we were on wasn’t going to work. I have an appointment with a ND (found on the website) on Monday and look forward to getting input on my results…in hopes of changing my path, the path of my son, and hopefully being able to help my parents as well. I ran my data thru several sites and while they are all different, I was able to glean something from each. I’m still a bit overwhelmed with what it all means, but knowledge is power. I am more powerful because of what I do know, and what I will learn in the future. Thanks for all your knowledge, passion and commitment to this initiative. I’ve already referred several others to be tested and hope that this will someday be standard test for all. It’s $99…why not use it before developing a treatment plan for any disease or chronic condition? Why not run the test for children before vaccinations? It sure seems like it would decrease the number of vaccine injuries! Stepping off my soapbox 🙂

    • Sterling Hill Erdei April 17, 2015 at 1:51 am - Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      MS is quite complex. Right now we know that the GAD gene is a HUGE player in MS.

      Glutamate decarboxylase or glutamic acid decarboxylase. When GAD is not functioning properly, we have a hard time breaking down glutamate into GABA. Glutamate is an excitotoxin and GABA is a calming neurotransmitter.
      Since I myself have experienced demyelination of white brain matter and multiple lesions on the brain and my mother and a few of her siblings have had the MS diagnosis, I take this very seriously.
      1. I get a urinary neurotransmitter test twice a year to keep an eye on my glutamate/GABA ratios.

      2. I keep an eye on b6 in the form of P5P (pyridoxal 5 phosphate) because P5P is needed for GAD to function.

      3. I keep an eye on lysine. Lysine is needed for P5P to be properly utilized in the body.

      4. I keep an eye on oxalates because when your P5P is not being utilized or is low, you will make endogenous oxalates and not be able to make glutathione. Great Plains Lab. has a wonderful OAT (organic acid test) test.

      5. I also like to keep an eye on inflammatory responses so I do a Cyrex test to see what I should keep away from. Gluten, dairy, soy, all legumes, MSG are big players for me.

      6. I like to do a nutreval which has vitamins, amino acids, minerals, fatty acids and so much more.

      Since I have worked on this and looked at methylation, demyelination and lesions are diminishing.
      There is much more to MS besides this but it is a start.
      I recently did a radio show with Dr. Jess Armine where we talked about GAD and oxalates and how serious this can be and how easily it can be reversed if you have the right practitioner working with you.

      I hope that this helps.

      Help, heal and love,

      Sterling Hill Erdei

      • Sterling Hill Erdei April 17, 2015 at 1:57 am - Reply

        Forgot to add that I also like to do a pyroluria test because many people who are under stress tend to dump P5P and zinc. So when doing this test you want to wait until you are in an anxiety state. When you dump this P5P, you again will make endogenous oxalates and GAD will not function properly. GAD dysfunction is related to MS.

        • Michelle April 17, 2015 at 2:21 am - Reply

          Thank you so much, Sterling! I will look into all of your suggestions. We believe my mom has had MS for 10+ years but the diagnosis was missed…until this January when optic neuritis made it crystal clear. She has several brain lesions and lesions all up and down her spine. We are desperate to find something to help her. Thank you for your suggestions.

          • Sterlling Hill Erdei April 17, 2015 at 3:21 am

            So she gets the little electrical flashes in the eyes too? Anytime I sneak any foods that have come up as negative inflammatory triggers, it hits me fast. I use to get blind spots as well.



      • GWB April 17, 2015 at 3:23 am - Reply

        Anyone who has been diagnosed with MS should be tested for Lyme Disease. MS is often a misdiagnosis and the real disease is Lyme and possibly co-infections. I would encourage anyone who has been diagnosed with MS to see a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) and get a Western Blot test from Igenex Labs.

    • GWB April 17, 2015 at 3:27 am - Reply

      Please read my reply to Sterling Hill Erdel regarding MS often being misdiagnosed. The real disease is often Lyme Disease. It’s always good to get tested for this when a MS diagnosis is given because both are treated differently. See my reply to Sterling.

      • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 3:54 am - Reply

        I agree GWB, I think many things are lyme until proven otherwise. (my article on Huffington Post). Thank you for this link too:-)

        • Michelle April 17, 2015 at 11:03 am - Reply

          Thank you! I will mention to her about being tested for Lyme. I do think her chances of having lyme are pretty low. She’s not an outdoorsy person and we live in a suburban area where she wouldn’t have much exposure in her short periods of time outside. I also read somewhere the most people with MS have the EBV antibodies? We both have those antibodies.

          I did check my reports and I am homozygous for GAD1 rs12185692 and rs3828275.

  26. Linda April 17, 2015 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Would you address the safety of having genetic testing done? Email delivery is in no way protected or encrypted. Do insurance companies refuse coverage or cancel coverage if they get their hands on genetic testing results through a medical provider? Is data compiled by the government?

    • Sterlling Hill Erdei April 17, 2015 at 2:51 am - Reply

      Many people will use a fictitious name if they feel unsafe.

      Now on my end, I have a private webserver and cannot even get into your raw data myself and will NEVER EVER sell or share your raw data with ANYONE at if you use our app. I have one programmer that runs this and had him sign legal forms before starting this app.

      I know that there are organizations out there that can and will use genetics for the wrong thing. I’m using the system against them. What I mean by that, when looking at a SNP investigating whether or not it is functioning and finding what food and/or supplement can help it function properly versus making a new drug that just masks the problem.

      Read up on the GINA Act. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

      Hope this helps.

      Sterling Hill Erdei

    • shawn bean April 17, 2015 at 4:11 am - Reply

      When ordering 23andme use a fictitious name to protect identity and personal information.

  27. Cathy April 17, 2015 at 2:05 am - Reply

    Suzy, you never made an suggestions for high iron. What can be taken or done to help with iron metabolism?

  28. Susan Moore April 17, 2015 at 2:17 am - Reply

    Thank you Suzy for all the helpful information you share. With regards to methylation where

    does MSM fit in? I take it for pain.

    Thank you again Suzy


    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 3:03 am - Reply

      MSM- as in methylsulfonylmethane I assume. This is great for detoxification and for joint pain. It fits in more for certain CBS gene polymorphisms (downregulated) where you may be sulfur deficient.

      • Susan Moore April 17, 2015 at 4:05 am - Reply

        Thank you Suzy for your reply. Strangely, the Lichen Planus I have had for 10 years

        clears up when I take MSM but returns when I do not.

        Kindest regards,


      • shawn bean April 17, 2015 at 4:13 am - Reply

        MSM must be balanced with molybdenum or it may cause an issue..

        • Susan April 17, 2015 at 4:30 am - Reply

          Thank you Shawn

  29. Mark Scheurer, MD April 17, 2015 at 2:36 am - Reply

    Good article, but you misspelled the breast/ovarian cancer genes, they are BRCA-1/2 not BRAC.

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 2:58 am - Reply

      LOL, thank you! I have just fixed it! What I get for going off memory.

  30. Tina April 17, 2015 at 2:44 am - Reply

    This was so timely for me! I just completed my 23andMe profile and ran it through Livewello and a couple of other sites. My MTHFR mutation is really causing some symptoms, and I am looking forward to working on this issue with my ND. Thank you for your easy to understand explanation about this, and for putting this article out there. I look forward to you writing a book on this very subject! 🙂

    • shawn bean April 17, 2015 at 4:16 am - Reply

      Its not just Mthfr. Mthfr gene expression gets more intensified in the presence of other genes. When people start talking in reference to Mthfr alone I have to bite my tongue as this is one of my biggest practitioner ‘pet peeves.’

  31. mrs j April 17, 2015 at 2:58 am - Reply

    I am currently holding onto a 23andme genetic test because I have been informed that ONLY results will be available and I really,really need the medical/genetic related issues to work out for my health. I did do a test specifically for the mthfr mutation via Spectracell Labs in July 2014 and found out I am heterozygous for both mutations 1298/677. So far EVERY serious medical issue involved with these mutations has happened to my family and only my parents are alive (poor,poor health/dying) and this goes back to 3rd generation cousins as well…..all other before are dead. Is there another place that does testing that 23andme did that can be referred to? thanks for the help…..

    • Sterlling Hill Erdei April 17, 2015 at 3:27 am - Reply

      Mrs, J,

      I am the creator of an app that Suzy talks about later in this article [Sterling App] if you read the very end. You can still get your raw data extracted. That is what my app does. It takes your raw data from 23andme and puts it into a variant report that you can interact with it live at my website. You can also download it into a PDF. We have diagram pathways and many sections. We will have videos coming out next to many of the genes in the near future. We will never ever tell you what to take or how to treat because that needs to be left up to a practitioner who understands nutrigenomics. We will give you an understanding of the genes in the videos coming out in the near future. I do have other sections besides the ones I have on the variant report now coming out in the near future which will be free upgrades.

      Sterling Hill Erdei.

      • mrs j April 17, 2015 at 7:13 am - Reply

        thank you for the reply, I will endeavor to get the sample mailed out this week, I have already registered/received the acknowledging email and link from 23andme. Now, if I can find only find a practitioner who is very familiar with these mutations and how to proceed here in the Midwest. I have made the mistake over and over again of letting “expert” conventional medical docs attempt to treat me for the past 26yrs………having the new genetic info from July is still a “problem” or “severe complication” for these docs and I am literally “sick” and “tired” by the attitude… far.

  32. Judy April 17, 2015 at 3:03 am - Reply

    Dear Suzy, Love your articles. Always so informative and helpful. I’ve heard you mention that your husband has chronic lyme disease. I just started a new email called Wellness Media. It mentioned there was an article called, Mold and Mycotoxins: Often Overlooked Factors in Chronic Lyme Disease by Scott Forsgren, Neil Nathan ,M.D, and Wayne Anderson,ND. I know how exceptionally thorough you are and maybe this could be of value to you. God Bless All You Do For All Of Us. Judy

    • shawn bean April 17, 2015 at 4:18 am - Reply

      When you have lyme please make sure your doctor checks for co-infections as they are often over looked…

      • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 4:20 am - Reply

        Shawn, it’s extremely difficult to detect co-infections. For example with Babesia, which has over a dozen human strains, you can only test for one or two strains. So I think that a person who exhibits symptoms of Babesia should be treated with antibiotics as a trial, regardless of their negative test result.

        • shawn bean April 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply

          Babs is often not difficult to check. Secret I found to identifying tick born pathogens is not looking directly, but indirectly. When dealing with lyme there many tricks of the trade just like an illusionist one wonders how its done..

  33. Carina Reid April 17, 2015 at 3:13 am - Reply

    Thank you Suzy this was an excellent paper. I will be following up on your suggestions

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 3:54 am - Reply

      Your welcome, thank you for your kind comment 🙂

  34. Michael Christian April 17, 2015 at 4:37 am - Reply


    This is one of the most exciting things I have read in quite awhile, and so timely, especially with the advent of direct-to-consumer genetic tests and the FDA slapping down on 23andMe and making it more difficult for us to get health reports along with the raw data. So a million thanks to you for showing us how to move forward with the raw data.

    I published an article on “The future of direct-to-consumer genetic tests” this month in Legal Ink magazine. I wish I had known about your suggestion for how to analyze that data.

    Thanks again for your suggestions about how to interpret the genetic data that is now available to consumers!

    Michael Christian
    pen name William Cane
    Yonkers, New York

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 4:54 am - Reply

      Great article by the way, I just read it. For whatever reason, my neanderthal data is unavailable, lol. I also watched your image consultant video for makeovers, and innately knew that. I think I am medium contrast, well that is how I usually dress anyway.

  35. DonB April 17, 2015 at 5:23 am - Reply

    With all the discussion of methylation, MTHFR, folate, homosysteine etc, I would have like to have seen some discussion of the role and effects of polymorphisms in MTRR and BHMT (+short vs long path ways of addressing the latter).

    A confounding issue in diagnosing people with, for example, SNPs that affect allergic immune response, is typical lab work measuring immunoglobulin types & levels may be misleading, since the body with SNP defects may be incapable of responding in the ‘normal’ way. Or further down the pathway, there’s a “normal” response, which is defined by population which can easily metabolize the allergen. But people who have SNP impairments in the body’s detox pathway(s) may not be able to – hence a normal low Ig response but symptoms of allergic overload.

    Mold is a really confounding issue here when its combined with methylation or detox SNP issues.

    Insurance companies and health and disability claims processes are way way behind the curve here, which will create treatment problems for many.

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      Don, the MTRR is in the article it’s under my sub-heading Low B12?
      Yes, mold is huge player, Ritchie Shoemaker is an expert on that.
      Have to tackle BHMT next time, very complicated! Feel free to add your two cents here because I’m sure others would like to know more on that SNP.

  36. Nicole Marquez April 17, 2015 at 5:43 am - Reply

    Wow I am so blown away by all the information you posted in this article. Thank you for caring enough for all of us out here that don’t know where to turn. I was misdiagnosed for 6 years with so many of the ailments that you have listed. The medical doctors I saw ultimaely made me worse, they put me on so many medications that just put a bandaid on my symptoms. Then when those were failing they put me on high doses of Steroids. That lasted for almost 3 years straight. I now see a Chiropractor who has helped me a great deal. I know that I must have a lot of these mutations regarding digestive and others you mentioned. I want to know if there is a clinician I can go to that will run test and interpret for me and my 11 year old Son who was diagnosed with Epilepsy at age 2. I know he too has digestive issues and feel his seizures have something to do with a genetic mutation. I will travel anywhere to see someone who can help us!! Thank you again much praise!!

  37. Ro April 17, 2015 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Thanks so much , Suzy . This is very fascinating information . I am glued to the chair reading and taking it all in. Thanks for taking the time to post this

  38. Susan F. April 17, 2015 at 5:57 am - Reply

    I’m a bit confused about folate needs with c677t ++. If greens have folate, then they do not have methylfolate, correct? Which version do we need? Can too many greens be bad? Thanks!

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Leafy greens (foilage) have folate, the methylated natural sort. Folic acid (B9 supplements) that you buy at the store are the unmethylated, synethic sort. You can buy high quality versions, but harder to find, see my update please, I typed new content above in the article on this for you.

  39. NC April 17, 2015 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Thank you for this article. I have been thinking of getting tested for awhile. I have Reynaud’s which only is in my hands. Also there are several types of cancer that run in my family. This article had been very informative for me since I didn’t know where to begin.
    Thank you for putting this out there.

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      The clotting factors sometimes come into play, and those are tested in 23andme’s test. Also, I found one study showing that mutations in the MTHFR c677t (methylation) are associated with migraines in patients with Raynaud’s.

  40. Chaya Dina April 17, 2015 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this information! This is the first time I have seen many SNPS discussed in one article. I really appreciate it.

  41. Helen April 17, 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Thanks Suzy for your precious write ups, they are very educative and priceless. I can’t afford to miss my weekly dose since I started following you. I am interested in this test but I live in the UK, what do you say and advice? Keep up the good work.Thanks.

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      Thank you Helen, spread the word about me and share this article. If you live in the UK, I don’t think 23andme is available, but when you visit you can do it. Maybe someone else here has an idea.

      • Lynn_M April 18, 2015 at 6:40 am - Reply

        According to their website, the 23andMe test is available to people living in other countries. The hitch is that it’s necessary to express ship the saliva sample to the USA, and that shipping is very expensive. There is much information about this at the 23andMe website. I read their policy on this several years ago.

  42. Helen April 17, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

    To also read from Sterling Hill herself ,the creator of this app after her own personal experience is just too good.
    Thanks for being there to give your help as much as you can to people in need.
    God bless, and stay blessed..

    • Sterling April 23, 2015 at 2:18 am - Reply


      Thank you so much. The newer version will expand in the near future. I am trying to get as much out there as I can.

      Help Heal and Love,


  43. Melissa April 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    will this report tell you if you carry the HLA DQ2 or DQ8 variants for celiac disease? Thanks!

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      My report shows DQA1 and DQA2 as well as HLA rs2858331 but you can test for Celiac genes all by themselves, you don’t need 23andme. Any lab can do that for you, if that’s all you’d prefer to see, for less money than the entire genome test that 23andme offers.

  44. Melissa April 17, 2015 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I ran the 23andMe genetic test, and my MD also ran the MTHFR test through Genova Lab. I received different results. My MTHFRSupport report showed that I was homozygous for 677c and the Genova showed a copy of 677/1298. Why would I get 2 different results for the same test? I’m not sure which is correct.

    • Lynn_M April 18, 2015 at 6:56 am - Reply

      You should not get two different results. 23andMe has about a 3% error rate, which is supposedly the usual error rate in genetic testing. I suggest you check your result directly on the 23andMe website. After you sign in, there is a down arrow next to your name. Click on that arrow and then Browse Raw Data.
      Then search on the SNPs:
      C677T is rs1801133, and a homozygous mutation would show as AA, heterozygous as GA.
      A1298C is rs1801131 and a heterozygous mutation would show as GA.

      If the 23andMe result is the same as what your MTHFRSupport report shows, then I would contact 23andMe and tell them about the discrepancy with Genova’s result. I would also contact Genova and tell them about the discrepancy with 23andMe.
      Sometimes these testing companies keep a portion of the test sample and they can retest from that. If not, I would expect them to retest a new sample for free.

      23andMe uses saliva, but I don’t know what Genova uses. I would tend to trust a blood sample test over a saliva test.

  45. lee April 17, 2015 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    What are your thoughts on hormone replacements for young women in their 20 ‘s and 30’s that have ovarian failure and have symptoms of being in menopause? i see in the above article that you believe that replacement hormones lead to an increase in cancer risk. what if bio identical hormones are used? can anything negate that risk? its a choice of being and feeling menopausal or increasing your cancer risk?
    thanks for the informative article!

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Lee
      Bio-identical is okay. You have to try to find out the underlying cause, something is happening. Try doing Array #5 by Cyrex, and hormones by Rhein Labs.

      • lee April 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much for responding. I was told that there was no way to know what caused my failure. I stopped menstruating at 16 and can’t have a cycle without the use of hormones. They tested my ovarian reserve and it is non existent. Will the above tests determine the root cause?Do you have any guesses at what can cause POF? If I’m not on hormones (vivelle and prometrium) , I have horrible hot flashes, night sweats and Im only 32. I wish there was more information and support available for people with POF. Thanks again!

    • shawn bean April 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm - Reply


      The best suggestion is to look at the underlying cause and well as your detailed personal and family history. By looking at the genetics you can see the potential genetic “hardwiring” which may have been associated with your current or even future health issues. This will provide clues on how to approach more effectively as well as produce a much better therapeutic out come.

  46. Laura Henze Russell April 17, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Great article! Tahnk you.

  47. Heather Burkhardt April 17, 2015 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Thank you Suzy for this great article. Thank you Shawn Bean and Sterling Hill Erdei. This is such a fascinating area of medicine. I am so exciited that we are learning how to interpret and apply it to our lives. So grateful to know about all of you and your app.

  48. John April 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    In the interests of transparency and full disclosure, do you have any financial interest in (or otherwise benefit from) “23 and Me” or the mentioned “pretty report” sites? This is a compelling article but your possible affiliation with any enterprise could really cloud decision-making. No offense, of course, just due diligence.

    • Suzy Cohen April 17, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      Hi John,
      You can use any site you like, or my affiliate links (disclosed in my summary.)

  49. Mia April 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    FYI re: 23andme test results

    I am in Canada – 23andMe provided both my health, ancestry reports, as well as the raw data. The health reports information is allowed in Canada (and possibly in many other countries) but it is not provided in the USA since FDA stepped in a few years back. I believe this is explained on their website. However, if I understand it correctly, in the USA they provide ancestry information and THE RAW DATA that is pertinent to this conversation.

    23andMe provided me with some basic health reports (on top of the raw data and ancestry info):
    Genetic risk factors (12 reports)
    Traits (44 reports)
    Inherited conditions (44 reports)
    Drug response (12 reports)

    The cost in Canada is $199 – here is a recent article about 23andMe in Canada:

    I uploaded my raw data into Genetic Genie and got my methylation and detox profiles. I also uploaded it to and got my reports. I am glad to see that is upgrading the website for us to understand the results better – thank you for that!!! as I am having a difficulty finding a doctor in Canada to interpret my results.

    Thank you Suzy for excellent info and well written instructions.

  50. Tanya April 17, 2015 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    What websites will help me and others in ‘alternative medicine deserts’ as I like to call them, find doctors in the area or that will do phone consults/coordinate with local medical labs?

  51. Dee April 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Suzy, this is so amazing to me! I am going to do the 23andme test. I have so much wrong
    with my body. Hopefully I can find some help.


    • Coco May 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your incredible, easy to understand, website. I became ill gradually over several years recently. I finally got so bad I started looking for answers. I was diagnosed with MS in 2013. I really didn’t believe it, thinking that it might be Lyme. After 3 negative Lyme tests my doctors are convinced, me not so much. For the past two years I have been on a gradual decline. I just feel like everyday I have less life force in my body.

      A year ago I found out that I had MTHFR, but didn’t really know what that meant, only that folic acid was not my friend. So I started taking Methylated B12, still declined. I am gluten free, dairy free, processed sugar and processed food free, all organic, no caffeine, no alcohol, you name it. I have done just about everything. This past month I became desperate and ordered the 23andMe test. What I found out has and will continue to change my life. I am hetero MTHFR C667T and Homo COMT, MOA-A, MTR, MTRR, and other problematic SNP’s.

      I am now looking for the ideal healing path that will balance my chemistry. I was relieved to finally know why I have felt like I was being chased by a tiger my entire life. I only wish I would have known this 20 years ago. I might not be in this condition. I just ordered supplement from, Vitamin B-12 (as Liquid Hydroxocobalamin, Methylfolate 2.5 (with Magnafolate-C), and Methylated Multi (multi-vitamin). I hope this starts the healing. I feel a little better today and think it’s because I started taking Alpha20C, but not sure. Are you familiar with any of these. Any advice would be appreciated. My symptoms are Muscle weakness on my left side, fatigue, heat intolerance, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, night sweats, and feeling sick, like a horrible hangover, all of the time. I have also dropped 20 lbs, which I really couldn’t afford, 5′ 7″, 103 lbs.. I am on MS drugs, Copaxone, Amantadine, and LDN, and wonder if they are only making things worse.

      • Suzy Cohen May 2, 2015 at 9:45 pm - Reply

        I completely understand everything you have said, I really do! I see this with my sweet Sam and his Lyme. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t! When you say “night sweats” to me, all I can think of is Babesia! Have you ever tried to treat that? Nothing will help until you can bring that parasite load down. We use different things on Sam for this, nothing is a magic bullet, you just have to keep rotating. Before I put the cart before the horse, google this because it could change your life. I’m sorry that no other physician has ever whispered this in your ear, so please check the symptom list. You can use my search box, and if you have my “Headache Free” book I briefly mention it. Severe insomnia, night sweats, babesia “drunkenness” it’s all what you have said you have, and all HALLMARK symptoms of this parastic infection that is a co-infection with Lyme. Keep me posted (please understand I’m not a doctor so I’m not allowed to advise you or take patients). I’m just trying to shine the light on what might be happening for you. Okay 😉
        Here’s an e-hug. Let me know what you find out.

      • Suzy Cohen May 2, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

        FYI, Sam had 2 negative Lyme tests too, until he used Igenex.

  52. Wendy April 17, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Now I know why I sneeze after I eat but I also have 3 sneezes every morning when I get to work, if I haven’t sneezed by noon I get a headache. My husband does the 20 sneezes after he eats maybe now he will give some credit to this stuff. He thinks I am just look for a problem by trying to resolve my health issues because of the MTHFR gene and heavy metals……he doesn’t believe. That being said thank you Suzy for shining a light on this health problem and if it hadn’t been for your first article about methylation and the info like 23andMe I wouldn’t of known what all my health problems were being caused by. I am working with a Naturopathic Doctor who is really sharp and I have also referred others to you article and getting tested. There are some people out there that want to be proactive about there health and your information is always helpful. Thank you for being you!!

  53. Phillip April 17, 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    How do you get your physician to get on board with these tests? My doctors (and I have had many) refuse to work with naturopaths and I am still looking for one who will be more open-minded for these tests. I have been through a dozen doctors and I suffer from Hashimoto’s and celiac. In the beginning..they just wanted to give anti-depressants. Imagine if I were not of sound mind how they would have just drugged me instead of me insisting on testing and finally after 6 doctors discovering I am autoimmune. It is not easy because doctor’s do not want to give tests that they do not comprehend and also my doctor’s must be “in network” for my insurance to cover anything. Any advice?

    • shawn bean April 18, 2015 at 12:23 am - Reply

      For all the time you have given up, it may be suggested to bite the bullet and get your own testing done outside the network as it may provide more answers much faster. When it comes to health you cannot put a price tag on it. Because I did not invest a few hundred dollars for testing it resulted in losing 6 years and over $150,000 chasing my tail and dealing with medical incompetence.

  54. Linda April 17, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am Hashimoto’s, celiac, and have two MTHFR gene mutations for C766T. I take a T3/T4 combo for Hashimoto’s, been gluten-free and dairy free for 4 years, take 6,000 mcg [equal to 6mg] of folate and 1,000 methylcobalamin. What am I missing?
    I still feel terrible, and it hasn’t helped.
    Would Sam-e help? Thanks.

  55. shawn bean April 18, 2015 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Taking 6 mgs of 5 methylfolate is way too much in many situations. This amount of 5-MTHF can cause worse side effects such as anxiety and other neurological imbalances due to it pushing your already excitatory system. I never recommend this amount because of the potential side effects. One has to know preexisting history and symptoms to make proper suggestions. There are too many practitioners who are using protocols (which are recipes for disasters) as they are not based upon your own biochemistry. Using a much lower dosage may be suggested.

    • Jann May 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      shawn bean: Interested to hear more about your comment; “This amount of 5-MTHF can cause worse side effects such as anxiety and other neurological imbalances due to it pushing your already excitatory system.” Folate PUSHES the excitatory system — ?? — as in the neurotransmitter excitatory system ..??..

  56. Carol April 18, 2015 at 1:52 am - Reply

    Suzy – this has been great and I have shared with my friends. Being in Atlantic Canada has been a challenge to find a doctor willing to work with me from my report. I did try to show it to him – I even shed tears but nope, not going there. This sort of sharing is immeasurably satisfying to read and takes the loneliness out of it. …. But unfortunately, I am one of those newbies that is taking supplements to try to see what works and what doesn’t.
    I know it isn’t the correct approach but there seems to be little choice.
    Thanks for all you do!

  57. Kirgo April 18, 2015 at 2:32 am - Reply

    I was curious about the level of confidentiality with the companies that do the testing and interpretation.

    The particular concerns are that at some point this information could be used by health insurance companies to discriminate against people with particular results. With a large number of politicians trying to repeal ‘Obamacare’, this could become an issue again.

    In addition, I do not like the precedent that has already been set that a pharmaceutical company can copyright the genes of someone without their permission (or the person whose genes are being copyrighted receiving any of the subsequent profits) if they find genetic code that is ‘useful’ for something. All this would take is for a large pharmaceutical company to own or purchase the genetic testing company.

  58. […] Gene Mutation Article […]

  59. Jacinta O Farrell April 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    I live in Ireland so I have been redirected to the UK site. It appears to me that they generate a report?? I am wondering if this will be as informative as the report which you outsource?
    I am finding it very difficult to work my may back from Lyme Disease which has remained undetected for decades.
    Thank you. J.

    • Suzy Cohen April 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Jacinta,
      I’ve approved your comment now, so someone else in my healing community here can answer. They are all kind-hearted so if someone knows the answer, you will get it. Good luck and do not give up. I know people doing great after dealing with this for 30 years (undetected).

      • Charlene April 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

        For Lyme disease, I would suggest looking into energy medicine. Several current and former practitioners of Quantum Techniques no longer have symptoms of Lyme. Dr. Tom is one of them.

    • Mia April 20, 2015 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Jacinta:

      If you Google

      23andme sample report

      – you will see some sample reports people shared with the world. That is how my reports look like. I am in Canada. As you will see the reports are different from what Suzys’ above looks like. However, you will be able to get to your raw data and obtain the report Suzy had done via
      I hope this helps.

    • CB April 24, 2015 at 8:24 am - Reply

      Hi Jacinta,
      I did my 23andme testing from the UK but via the US site. The UK site is exactly the same. It’s just a shop window online with a UK address and prices in pounds. You can order via either site. You courier the saliva sample to the US and get exactly the same type of report no matter where you are in the world. The 23andme report is not the important info here, it’s the raw data you need from them. You can then upload your raw data to mthfrsupport as per Suzy’s instructions above. Suzy’s report looks different because it is an earlier version of the report. It is now on version 2. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world so long as you have access to a good courier service.

      • Suzy Cohen April 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm - Reply

        CB is right, my report is from a couple of years ago. When I did another report recently for a colleague, it looked different, they changed the appearance of it.

  60. adrian April 18, 2015 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Thank you – fascinating – wonderful – I am very appreciative of the time it took you to learn and document the above. VERY!!!

    Could you please share your reasons for NOT taking bio Identical hormones – I started about 4 months ago – see nothing different except that the progesterone pill at night helps me to sleep better. I was fine before I took it – still found a reason to take them and wonder YOUR reasons for being negative. Thank you so very much~ Adrian

    • Suzy Cohen April 18, 2015 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Adrian
      I’m 100% on board for bio-identicals 🙂 Not sure how any other opinion got put out there. Synthetics are the drug muggers, and a person can take those too, so long as they replenish a bucketful of vitamins, minerals and whatnot.

  61. Gwen April 18, 2015 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Dr. Suzy,
    I enjoyed all of your insight on genes and methylation. I wish that I had this knowledge 8 months ago. I am homozygous MTHFR and seven months ago I was floxed by Cipro. It has devastated my body. It has depleted my body of my B vitamins but my pathways are blocked and refuse to accept supplements. Do you have any suggestions? Medical doctors do not know what to do about floxed patients. I am desperate to regain my health back. I don’t know where to turn. Any advice is appreciated. I feel that I am growing weaker each day. I feel hopeless about my health.

    • Suzy Cohen April 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      You’re right they don’t “know what to do about floxed patients” and worse, THEY KEEP FLOXING PATIENTS! I’m sorry to hear how bad things are right now but I’ve seen and heard that people do recover much of their functionality as the body rebuilds, and regrows new cells and if you just give it time, the healthier cells are born and take over. Please don’t be hopeless (this is not the time) and revert to a diet that feeds and spares your mitochondria, plant-based, clean meats and perhaps a medical food that is free of dairy and gluten. For others here, avoid fluoroquinolones if you have SNPS in CYP1b1 and SOD and/or the NDUF57 gene.

  62. Martha Goudey April 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy, Very interesting article. Thank you. A few years ago a nurse practitioner tested me for what was causing high cholesterol and LDLs. I see all the different numbers people put out on the MTHFR site, but basically I’m homozygous (T/T), APoE3/4, and under platelet genetics CYP2C19*2*3* and CYP2C19*17 (have no idea what it means), except in the report it says, “High risk,” heart disease, Alzheimers. So, in particular I love your assessment that we play a huge role in whether or not these diseases are expressed.

    I’m on a Thorne methylfolate supplement and seem to be doing fine, doing inositol for the LDLS, which has not worked, and my cholesterol went up to 301 this past year and Ldls stayed at 206. (I weigh 110) but the ratios are good.

    My question…my ND says not to take fish oil because of my genes–but I am achy and sore all the time (joints hurt) and I wonder what you think about fish oil (a good quality fish oil). I’ve been off fish oil for a couple of years since the test, and it hasn’t made any difference. But am I missing something else about fish oil?

    Thank you

    • Suzy Cohen April 18, 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Martha
      Check your report, see if you have an NOS snp, that would be a reason to avoid FISH OIL. It may not be appropriate for people with NOS snps because it becomes oxidized.

  63. Jonianne Jeannette April 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Hi, I went a further step in my research after reviewing my report from mthfrsupport. I found a site called Nutrahacker to upload my raw data and they offer a nutrition report for each mutation, both foods to have and avoid and supplement forms, as well as a report for response to medicine and propensity toward a particular imbalance/risk for disease.All printable to review and share with the doctor. At 44 yrs of age, the confirmation of my responses and health path are spot on!!

  64. Ruth April 18, 2015 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    One gene mutation recommends Methyl B12 and others recommend against it….what do I do?
    I do not have the C677t gene…I do have the FUT2 gene…and I do have dysbiosis where I am low on bifidobacterium, but am unable to take probiotics at this time…any suggestions?

    • Suzy Cohen April 18, 2015 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Ruth
      This is just plain Bifido strain for the FUT2 gene:
      As to what to do with that methylB12 gene mutation, and the contrary mutation, you’ll just have to experiment. Try nibbles of a lozenge and see how you respond, rather than downing the whole entire dose. If no problem you can try a little more. Just FYI, probiotics manufacture B12, so you can naturally make it with a healthy gut microbiome, without the need for a supplement. Hope this makes sense.

  65. karen shackelford April 18, 2015 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Hey Suzy. I just had all this testing done. It came up that my C Reactive Protein (cardiac) was HIGH. 4.04 This has scared me as it puts me into high risk for great attack or stroke. What are some things that I can do to make this lower? Supplements? type of diet.

    I greatly appreciate you.

    • Suzy Cohen April 18, 2015 at 11:49 pm - Reply

      You’re going to love me for this Karen, but small amounts of dark chocolate have been shown to reduce CRP!
      Also, high quality forms of CoQ10, vitamin E and vitamin C, these are all natural CRP reducers, but please undertake all changes with a trained holistic practitioner so you don’t shake things up too fast. I’m not a doctor so I can’t prescribe or monitor you, or track anything. Keep me posted.

    • Leslie April 20, 2015 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Karen, we are going to have to stop “meeting” like this! LOL. I too, had a CRP of over 4, several years ago. I did the ALCAT food test, eliminated the offending foods, and added lots of antioxidants to my life. Even to the extent of getting IV glutathione. within a year, my CRP was at 1. Not sure what it is today, but I had blood work done last week, and will get the results next week.

  66. Katinka Ivey April 19, 2015 at 3:07 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I have been wondering for a while now about what to do with results of the test.

  67. Jeanne April 19, 2015 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    I’ve been taking Deplin, which is a medical food containing 7.5mg or 15mg of L-methylfolate Calcium. It’s supposed to make anti-depressants work better. I’m on Cymbalta for pain and depression. I can’t tell either is working. I also take carbamazepine for pain – I know it’s a folate mugger.

    Is L-methylfolate in this form good?

    • Suzy Cohen April 19, 2015 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Jeanne
      Yes this is one of the good forms, L-methylfolate …it is better than folic acid, but it’s a VERY high dose at 7.5mg (or 15mg). It could make you overmethylate. Read my other methylation articles, by using my search box on the right.

  68. lisa April 19, 2015 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    is there another company other than 23andme that does this testing? i’ve heard negative comments about the founder of 23andme (Google founder’s wife) and the potential of them sharing your genetic information to third parties.

    • Suzy Cohen April 19, 2015 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Lisa, That’s a great question. I don’t know.
      I know an individual can test a few genes at labs like Quest or Labcorp, but as far as a comprehensive genetic workup of thousands of SNPs, they won’t do that like 23andme lab. I haven’t heard them sharing with 3rd parties, unless you click off the box that allows that (which I did b/c I’m fine with it and would like to be in touch with relatives). I haven’t heard of anything sketchy.

      • Helen June 21, 2015 at 1:56 am - Reply

        What about SmartDNA recommended by Donna Gates? Its far more expensive, but she thinks its more accurate. What do you think?

    • Jann May 2, 2015 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Someone mentioned that ‘’ has the DNA testing… that may actually give you more data… ?? ….

  69. Indigo April 19, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    While being homozygous will increase the risk of a SNP expressing… is it right to state, like it’s a ‘fact’, that you WILL express any SNP for which you are homozygous?? I’d like to see some research on this. I have homozygous SNPs which do not appear to be expressing at all!

    • Suzy Cohen April 19, 2015 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      You’re right Indigo, and I have a ton of homozygous SNPs that are not expressing. I meant it like if you are homozygous for green eyes, you will have green, whereas heterzygous green and brown, for example, you will have hazel or possibly green. But you’re totally right, it’s NOT a fact, I didn’t mean it to sound that way.

  70. shawn bean April 19, 2015 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    If some one has a snp green, it does not always give you a free pass. One needs to know what nutrient is necessary for the enzyme function. If one has a functional deficiency it can impact enyzme function by 1/3. This is why one needs to be working with a skilled practitioner.

    • Suzy Cohen April 19, 2015 at 11:41 pm - Reply

      “snp green” as in homozygous negative -/-

  71. Jill April 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Thanks Suzy for this timely article! I just received my 23andme raw data today and have spent the entire day trying to understand it. Some other websites that offer translation services for your raw data are,, and Some charge a fee, some ask for donation and some offer free information. I have not found an article as informative as yours! Thanks again.

  72. Nicole April 20, 2015 at 6:39 am - Reply

    What a fantastic article. Thank you so much. I’m learning as I go with my quirky genes for myself and my 4 kids. I’m am going to undertake this next level and do the 23andme gene test for myself first and then for my 4 kids (11yrs – down to 14months). All 3 big kids have pyrolle, autism and one so far I know has one gene of the MTHFR.

    I myself have been diagnosed at 41 with Aspergers. I also have Pyrolle Disorder, have just found out I have 2 of the MTHFR genes (C677T and A1298C), Haemochromoatosis C282Y (c.845G>5) Herterozyfous Mutation detected and the H63D (c.187c?G) Heterozygous Mutation Detected. But after my 4th baby I had low iron and required a Iron infusion when he and I had whopping cough and then I went into adrenal fatigue.

    I do nutritional cleansing to help rid the body of toxins as I have found out my body doesn’t rid of toxins by itself and is stagnant if I don’t exercise. I have Isagenix nutritional shakes which has helped so greatly as well as Zinc x 2 per day, Iodine, folinic acid.

    This has been such a journey these past couple of years and looking forward to finding out how I can continue this journey to have better health as heading to my mid 40’s and that of my 4 young children.

  73. Tara April 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Just wondering with Suzy, Shawn & Sterling Hill…..these are my SNP’s from my 23andme (downloaded via….was wondering what your suggestions are if you are able to help. What should I be looking at initially and what supps. I am already gluten/dairy/sugar/grains/processed foods free (gluten free for 12 years, the other for approx. 2 years). I suffer from a very foggy head/dizziness/anxiety… these are the main issues I would like to address initially. Would love some feedback.

    CYP2D6 S486T +/+
    NAT 2 A803G (K268R) +/+
    GSTM3 V224I +/+
    TRAF1 +/+
    IRF5 +/+
    NR1I2 +/+
    BHMT -02 +/+
    BHMT -08 +/+
    COMT +/+
    GAD1 (rs12185692) +/+
    GAD1 (rs3828275) +/+
    MTHFD1 (G1958A) +/+
    MTHFD1L (rs 6922269) +/+
    MTHFS +/+
    NOS2 (RS2274894) +/+
    NOS2 (RS2248814) +/+
    PEMT +/+
    SHMT2 +/+
    TCN1 +/+

    CYP1B1 N453S +/-
    CYP2D6 T2850C +/-
    NAT2 T341C (I114T) +/-
    SOD2 +/-
    SOD3 +/-
    SOD2 A16V +/-
    IRF6 +/- (rs987525)
    IRF6 +/- (rs861020)
    HLA +/-
    CD14 +/-
    FCGR2A +/-
    IFIH1 (HLA) +/-
    CFH +/-
    MTC03P1 +/-
    GP6 +/-
    ITG83 T196C +/-
    F11 +/-
    ACE Del16 +/-
    ACAT1-02 +/-
    AGT M235/C4072T +/-
    CBS A13637G +/-
    CBA C19150T +/-
    CBS C699T +/-
    FOLR3 +/-
    FUT2 +/- (r492602)
    FUT2 +/- (rs601338)
    FUT2 +/- (rs602662)
    MAO A R297R +/-
    MTHFD1L (rs803422) +/-
    MTHFR 03 P39P +/-
    MTHFR A1298C +/-
    MTHFR A1572G +/-
    MTHFR C677T +/-
    MTHFR (RS13306560) +/-
    MTHFR (RS17037390) +/-
    MTHFR (RS4846049) +/-
    MTRR (RS3776467) +/-
    NOS3 (RS1800783) +-
    NOS3 (RS1800779) +/-
    HLA DQA1 +/-
    FOXE1 +/-
    BCMO1 +/-
    BCM01 R267S +/-
    COX6C +/-
    NDUFS7 (RS2332496) +/-
    NDUFS7 (RS1142530) +/-
    NDUFS7 )RS7258846) +/-
    NDUFS8 (RS1051806) +/-
    APOE +/-
    GSDMG +/-
    TNF -308 +/-
    SULT2A1 (RS296366) +/-
    SULT2A1 (RS149452) +/-
    SULT2A1 (RS2547231) +/-

    Thank you and Kind Regards

  74. shawn bean April 20, 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Just because you have a snp does not mean its expressing. This is why looking at symptoms and medical history is crucial in dealing with genetics. There are too many plug and chug application which are potentially dangerous when recommendations are provided with out any data. Then they have the audacity to have products listed. Majority of clients are on $400 a months of supplements out of desperation to get their children better. If one has to go over 200 max then the practitioners is looking for best interest in theiir pockets instead…See this all too often people taken advantage of.

  75. Julie April 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    How many SNP’s are tested?

  76. Jennifer DuFour April 20, 2015 at 9:39 pm - Reply


    I am heterozygous for C677T. In February 2014 my OBGYN put me on 15mg methylfolate. At first it was like someone turned the lights back on, energy went up and brain fog went away. I noted feeling wired, not tired. Then a functional medicine doctor gave me Travacor and I started feeling great. But then, I crashed. I had burning skin and I was experiencing anxiety, fear and some paranoia. So I stopped everything and started swinging from high to low and my eyes started having terrible lines and spots in them and it scared me terribly. Those line are better but not gone.

    At the start, my homocysteine was 11.8 and my mom has hyperhomocystanemia. My homocysteine went down to 8 and all my labs went to normal (TPO antibodies came down, TSH came down, skin looked great and bright, no cravings, lost 40 pounds). But it took 3 weeks in a behavioral health hospital to stabilize and psych meds thrown at me right and left. It really scared me and turned my life upside down for 6 months. I was then told I had POTS/Dysautonomia. I’m really scared that I damaged myself, or something in my body based on what happened and that my eyes are now not the same and I can’t really handle any vitamins. I am recovering slowly, almost like I hit the reset button. But, how do I know if I have any long term affects from high l-methlyfolate intake for 4 months. I know now that my adrenals were exhausted and then I basically opened the floodgates and neurotransmitters went whacky. And, my daughter and husband is heterozygous for 1298 and my youngest daughter is heterozygous 677/1298 with migraines etc. Please help calm my nerves for both myself and my family so I can move on with my life. It’s tough because very few understand the complexity of this gene issue and or I can’t afford the doctors who do. Please help!

    • Suzy Cohen April 20, 2015 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Jennifer, I’ve approved your comment in case one of our ‘resident’ practitioners can guide you or help you get an appointment with them.

  77. shawn bean April 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    What basically happened in these case scenario you may have awaken the sleeping giant. You may pushed you body too hard from over excitation which cause something else to surface waiting to break through all along. Travcor is a not a good recommendation as it can increase inflammation from tryptophan going down the wrong pathway. In order to get down to the bottom of the pathology there needs to be detailed history as many symptoms over lap as well as clinical labs to get a better overall . picture. We see cases like yours on a daily basis which with little logic and detective work can be easily resolved..

  78. Sue Crawford April 22, 2015 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy, I would love to have the genetic testing done for this purpose. I just recently had the genetic testing done for genealogical research reasons, and it seems like it must be the same type of testing. But I don’t see anywhere that they provide the genetic code for you to use medically. Do you know if this is the same thing? Thanks!

    • Suzy Cohen April 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      I would contact them since they do DNA testing, and I would ask if the file they’ve provided to you is compatible with
      Or go the other way around and contact the folks at mthfrsupport and ask them if it will work.
      Seems like it should work the same way no matter where you get your saliva test run.

      • Sue Crawford April 23, 2015 at 11:10 am - Reply

        I found out that they do have a way to download raw data, and I have done that. Now I have a spreadsheet with a million rows showing the RS ID# and the two alleles. How do I interpret all of this?

  79. Jenny April 22, 2015 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Hey Suzy, thanks so much for the great information! I’ve had my “colorful report” for over a year but can’t seem to find a doctor who was knowledgable enough to review it and give me some insight. Do you offer this service? If not, can you recommend someone. All this is a bit overwhelming to me. Thanks for all you do!

    • Suzy Cohen April 22, 2015 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Jenny
      I currently don’t offer that service, but I’ve approved your comment because there are several practitioners in my fan base that may be able to help you tease out the most important SNPs and offer supplement suggestions. Maybe they will see this note and get you set up with them.

  80. […] Vitamin A. You know this fat-soluble nutrient is required for night vision, but did you realize a deficiency of A causes the cornea to dry out and that leads to irritated eyes. People with a SNP in their BCMO1 gene cannot effectively convert beta carotene into vitamin A, so they become vitamin A deficient (unless you know your genes and you supplement with vitamin A). BCMO1 stands for beta-carotene oxygenase 1 and is responsible for the beta carotene conversion in the human body. I’ve included a screenshot here so you can see what the exact SNP is and the associated alleles. If you have an interested in genes, methylation and how other SNPs are affecting your health, read my in-depth article on the topic, just click here. […]

  81. Susan F. April 26, 2015 at 12:15 am - Reply

    Thank you for all of this. I have the c677t ++ as well as many clogged detox pathway genes. I’ve had interstitial cystitis mild version for over 40 years and now developing some kind of sero negative arthritis which is destroying my tendons I think. I wonder if from taking those Cipro and Levaquin drugs several times through the years but not recently. But my main question is I used nutrahacker for my 23andme results and curcumin and cumin came up as xenobiotic which I should avoid and I thought they were great anti-inflammatories which everyone could benefit by. I’m pretty confused. Can you explain this xenobiotic thing in more depth. Thank you!

    • Suzy Cohen April 26, 2015 at 2:20 am - Reply

      I think you might have it backwards, curcumin and cumin are not xenobiotics. They metabolize xenobiotics that is why they are so frequently studied for their anti-tumerogenic properties.

      • Susan F. April 30, 2015 at 8:04 pm - Reply

        Just to clarify the nutrahacker report said 2 of my cyp1a2 gene snps were homozygous bad (red) and they were for “hydroxylation or dealkylation of xenobiotics, Phase I, metabolize E2 to 2-hydroxyestradiol” and in the avoid column was curcumin, cumin and grapefruit. But I understand what you mean about them not being xenobiotics so it is confusing. On a better note, my 23andme listed Cohen as the top name for my supposed distant relatives. My mother said maybe way back there was a Cohen and that Cohen’s were the “high priests” ! For sure you are the “high priest” of medicines and nutrition. Thank you for your blog. Us lay people need all the help we can get especially when it comes to complicated genetics. I’m seeking a functional medicine MD.

        • Suzy Cohen April 30, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

          Thank you Susan. High Priest. I have heard that a few times from people and take it as a compliment.
 put in your zip code, if that doesn’t pan out try

  82. Laurie April 29, 2015 at 2:17 am - Reply

    Can you please explain why you should not eat nuts if you have a pon1 SNP. Thank you.

    • Suzy Cohen April 29, 2015 at 4:07 am - Reply

      It says nuts sprayed with pesticides, not nuts.

  83. THH April 29, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy!
    I’m SO glad I’ve come across your website today. I recently received my 23andme results. I have severe anxiety & panic attacks – to the point where I can’t leave the house now. I was urged to have my MTHFR tested, and sure enough, I’m heterozygous MTHFR A1298C. I also discovered I’m compound homozygous COMT H62H, COMT V158M – which makes so much sense, considering what I struggle with. (There were quite a few other SNP’s, but the COMT and MTHFR are what I’m focusing on right now).

    You said it’s better for someone with MTHFR/COMT combo to eat their methyl donors. Do you have any recommendations on amounts of greens/fruits I should eat daily, in order to see/feel a change?! How long does it usually take to notice a difference? Any supplements you think would benefit a MTHFR/COMT combo, or should I strictly focus on food?

    I’m so appreciative for any advice you have.

    • Suzy Cohen April 30, 2015 at 1:30 am - Reply

      It gets complicated. Meat milk and eggs are high in B12 (methylcobalamin).
      Leafy greens. I heard you can’t OD on foods, your body converts what you need and uses it wisely.
      It’s hard to gauge what you need if you take supplements that’s why I said eat your methyl donors.
      Nice to meet you too 🙂

  84. David LeFort April 30, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy, I read in your syndicated column about an issue that causes a person to be relatively difficult to anesthetize with locally injected anesthetics (lidocaine). I did not commit the entire
    article to memory-although I think it had to do with a methylation issue. Are there reprints available or can you direct me to your source article or the complete publication? I am a retired Family Nurse Practitioner from the traditional Medical Model who is very willing to investigate the newer “Functional Medicine” model for enlightenment. How to be reassured that the products purchased at the local Health Food/Vitamin Shop have in the bottle what the label purports.
    e.g. recent NewYork Attorney General’s report. THANK YOU

    • Suzy Cohen May 1, 2015 at 3:14 am - Reply

      Hi David
      I think you might be referring to nitrous oxide, used for dental procedures. That’s the only thing that rings a bell. You can use my search box to find other articles on other topics. As to giving you reassurance that what’s in the bottle at the local health food store… I can’t. It’s hit or miss. There are some excellent authentic brands FOR SURE, but some are not. If you tell me what supplement or compound you are interested in buying, I can make a recommendation for a good brand. Hope this makes sense and good to meet you here.

  85. JoAnn Smith May 4, 2015 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    I am wanting to purchase the kit, but I am concerned that since I don’t know much about how to use a computor will I be able to get the results of my tests. I have your books on Thyroid and also Diabetes and they are great. Thanky you so much

    • Suzy Cohen May 5, 2015 at 6:18 am - Reply

      Then I wouldn’t bother JoAnn. You have to be able to have access to a computer and be somewhat literate on it in order to do this kind of stuff. If you can’t find a friend or relative,I’d save your money. I know so many people in your position, and they can’t extrapolate their results from their saliva test either.

      • JoAnn Smith May 6, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

        I do have a computor as I have an email address. The directions sounds so complicated, possible one of my daughters who has had classes in gentetics would be a help to me. Thanks

  86. Geraldine May 4, 2015 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Very helpful article, thanks
    However I don’t get why Suzy wrote: “Whether or not you have this gene, it’s probably good to avoid gluten since no body can fully digest it and it is just an additive anyway. It doesn’t have nutritional value.”

    Gluten is naturally the protein part of wheat. How does something that is naturally in wheat become”just an additive anyway?” In the North of India wheat is a vital protein staple in the vegetarian diet. Most Indians do not have any genetic susceptibility to celiac disease, neither do Russians.

    • Suzy Cohen May 5, 2015 at 6:28 am - Reply

      Sometime they add “wheat gluten” and it’s an additive to keep the dough sticky and to make it bake properly.
      Gliadin is the natural part of the wheat protein.

  87. Marlene May 5, 2015 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy,

    Do you have any articles or references for this NOS SNP and fish oil problem? I haven’t done the 23andMe gene testing, but I recently started taking fermented cod liver oil to try and help my skin. If I do have this NOS SNP, would I experience any obvious physical symptoms when taking the fish oil?


  88. Carol May 8, 2015 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    I recently received my 23 and me report since I am part of one of the research studies due to past history of IBD which is being managed naturally without meds although many years ago I was on meds for several years which destroyed my immune system (thyroid nodules but my ranges are ok). It’s been years to rebuild it and then I was dx with post menopausal breast cancer in 2012. I found through a post on 23 and me that this is one of the conditions resulting from the MTHR gene and I clicked the snp and my gene matched the genes posted.

    I refused chemo and radiation and actually feel fine but do need to be on lots of supplements for thyroid, IBD and anticancer. So I want to encourage others that here is Light at the end of the tunnel. I stopped taking folic acid a few months ago when I heard about the gene although then I wasn’t sure. I am a member of Life Extension and their products have been researched and seem to be pure so most of my supplements I get through them. Cutting back on sugar is my biggest challenge, and even though all my blood work and weight is great it’s so bad for us.

  89. Laura May 10, 2015 at 3:15 am - Reply

    Will taking almost a decade of antibiotics and eating a lot of soy based products make you more prone to have this gene?

    Thank you!

    • Suzy Cohen May 10, 2015 at 5:58 am - Reply

      Genes come from your mother and father so taking antibiotics and eating soy won’t make you have any gene. So no, because it’s what you are born with. You probably need a ton of probiotics though!

  90. Lisa Mooney May 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy – I have a methylation issue. I had a work up — I forgot if it was blood or urine — about 3 years ago. I never did anything with the information I received for various reasons that are too lengthy to get into. Today I took 1/4 capsule of Thorne Methyl-guard Plus and my heart started to race. The reason for the 1/4 capsule is because I’ve been so sensitive to things the passed 6 years — so I figured I’d start off slow. I was accidentally sent methyl-guard plus instead of the other methyl-guard. Is the racing heart a common side effect? Should I have not taken it out of the capsule? Please advise. As far as my blood work, I’m pretty good. Thank you.

    • Suzy Cohen May 14, 2015 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      It doesn’t matter if you take it out of the capsule, or not. IF it caused a racing heart, it isn’t good for you right now.

  91. Fran McCullough May 16, 2015 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy-
    I wonder if you can connect me with Shawn Bean. From an earlier post of yours which I
    can’t find now, I thought I had registered to have a consultation with him – I think they were in
    Pennsylvania somewhere – but I never heard back.
    I have some serious methylation SNPs and a bunch of medical issues. My doctor sent me
    for genetic counseling, which happened today and was incredibly depressing. It was a cancer
    clinic and I was sent to a hematologist – I already see one at Duke three times a year – and she
    knew nothing about genetics. I would really like to bypass all this useless advice and just go
    straight to someone who KNOWS, and I think that’s Shawn.

  92. Christina May 16, 2015 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Suzy, For someone who is CYP1B1 +/+ and CYP1A2 +/- is there an alternative to the Estrodial patch? Maybe a safer bioidentical? or a supplement to help clear fake estrogens?

    • Suzy Cohen May 16, 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Yes definitely Christina, please use my search box for this. Look up glucarate, DIM and the safer form of estrogen is called estriol, put those in the search box above.

  93. Stephanie Doerr May 20, 2015 at 12:19 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy, Since reading your article I did the test and got my results from the Sterling app. At first I was so excited, then looking at all the info it was like looking at something from Mars. For as long as I can remember, I have had so many unusual symptoms and have been through so many different doctors. Some of them say that I am a unique case, or that I don’t need to return. That’s why I was so excited. I thought finally my genes can talk for themselves. But now here I sit with 104 red marks against me. (I didn’t do that bad in school, but now my genes are grading me.) Is 104 red normal? And after all my bad experiences with doctors I don’t know who to go to for help. It’s funny. I’ve never met you, but every week you come to me like a good friend to cheer me up. And I appreciate those emails immensely.
    I plan to have my youngest also tested. Unfortunately, she is my clone. Even down to our moles. I just don’t want her to suffer as I have. I have Hashimoto’s and at 16 did glucose tolerance test, my sugar dropped to 26 at half hour. I went to National Jewish for breathing problems, which they could not figure out. Although, I found out that Molybebdum helped me.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to find someone good to help interpret the data and what to do with it?

    • Suzy Cohen May 20, 2015 at 8:04 am - Reply

      Hi Stephanie
      Yes, 104 red marks is just fine, breathe with relief, it is completely normal for us to have that many genetic ‘speed bumps’ and it does not mean they are manifesting at all. It does not mean they will ever manifest for that matter. It just explains who we are and what are predispositions are.
      Molybdenum makes you feel better? I would suspect some kind of transsulfuration issue, it’s a sensitivity to sulfates/sulfites, sulfa drugs and sulfur-based supplements (MSM, glutathione, etc)… you don’t do well with sulfur more than likely because the molybdenum is clearing that and helping you. I’d start looking online to interpret those SNPs, one at a time, and look on and also, there are practitioners on this thread that are offering services.

  94. Lynn Beumer May 29, 2015 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Dear Suzy, Is there a way to get genes tested without going through 23 and me ? I already know my ancestry because my brother did the test. i just want to find out my genes; I had a bad reaction to Fluoroquinilones and want to know of any SNP in CYP1A2, or anything else of use to me.

    Thank you.

    • Suzy Cohen May 29, 2015 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      I don’t believe in Fluoroquinolones, but many good Lyme doctors do, and readily prescribe them for some patients. Some people do well on them, some don’t. The SNPs may play a role. CYP1b1 and SOD are two of them, but if you have NDUF57 gene I’d suggest that you 
AVOID those drugs altogether, it will not go well for you, however you have to do as your doctor says. I’d have the conversation though, especially if you have all 3 of these SNPS.

  95. Jan May 30, 2015 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    What would you suggest for individuals with COMT++ genetics? You mentioned magnesium deficiency. What other supplements do you feel would be helpful to those who suffer from panic attacks? Thanks

    • Suzy Cohen May 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      Jan, if you put the word “panic attack” in my search box, you’ll get about a dozen articles that mention it, and you should find a clinical pearl or two.

  96. judy June 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Thank you Dr. Suzy for this wonderful article. If you have time, could you please tell me if I need to worry about getting the anesthetic propofol fentanyl with a PON1 and an MTHFR C677T homozygous snip? I am scheduled for a parathyroid surgery very soon and I am really worried about getting anesthesia. Thank you
    Judy Curtis

    • Suzy Cohen June 4, 2015 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      I don’t know how to advise you on this, as you need anesthesia, and there are few options. There’s really nothing I can offer you just make sure your detox pathways are open as much as possible. Drink plenty of water and stop blood thinners before your surgery too. Maybe you can find information at Dr Ben Lynch’s site: take a look.

      • Janelle July 2, 2015 at 12:01 am - Reply

        When you say, “make sure your detox pathways are open as much as possible” how do you do that? Do you do that with the MethylFolate and methylB12? I’ve been reading people say that we want to open up the detox pathways but I’m not sure how you know if they are open? I am homo MTHFR 1298 and have had trouble in the past with anethesia for surgeries making me so sick. I’m wondering now if that was because of my SNP.

  97. Fanie June 5, 2015 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy,

    Excellent site. Keep it going.

    I am in South Africa diagnosed with the following:

    MTHFR -Heterozygous 1298AC and Wildtype 677CC.(Very new to me and a shock)

    Do you perhaps have any contact details of medical practitioners, in South Africa ,who treats MTHFR.

    Your assistance will be much appreciated.

  98. Stacia June 22, 2015 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy! I’ve turned into quite a lay researcher since getting my 23andme and reports because I have a serious illness or two( i have 7 or more auto immune diseases) and am bound and determined armed with my genetic info to at least get better by fixing by messed up pathways like several of the ones you mentioned – methylation mthfr, mtrr, bcmo1 (I have that one too and lots of probs with my eyes), and vdr etc… So far, now that my body is getting the right nutrients, i’ve been able to fix my anemia and cbc blood work is back normal, just recently got my vit d and a into normal ranges, and have been able to get my liver function tests back to normal, still fighting with some other things though! I learned so much about so many supplements you are so well versed on. But I know there is still alot more to know on supplements and vitamins and how to re-direct our bodies so we bypass our defects. I’ve been hesitant to take the biologic drugs and trying to stay away from them but there are a few prescripts that are helping that I take. I hope you keep posting what you know in this area! 🙂

  99. Elisabeth June 24, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    I am wondering how to “read” some of the genetic information on the 23andme reports. Specifically, genes that are not interpreted on the Sterling’s App. I am interested in knowing if I have mutated genes on PDSS1,PDSS2,COQ2,COQ8, and CABC1. These are involved in CoQ10 biosynthesis in the body. They are not included in the Sterling’s App, but they are shown in the 23andme report. Specifically, how do I know if I am homozygous or heterozygous, positive or negative? Only letters are given (for example: they say there are versions A or G, and I am GG, or they say there are versions C or T, and I am CC.) Help!

    • Suzy Cohen June 25, 2015 at 1:51 am - Reply

      Yes I’ve wondered the same thing. I do now know how to tell, you might have to just contact 23andme to get that specific. Someone told me they actually answer general questions. You might also contact them at and see if Dr. Sterling knows.

  100. Shelly July 10, 2015 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    I went to the 23andme website and it seems they are only offering a kit that covers ancestry. is that correct?

    also I have read many causes for concern for using this company and having your genetic information being sold. NSA can get whatever information they want. down the line there are concerns for denial of insurance or discrimination etc etc, this company is compiling a lot of very personal information and alot of people seem concerned about that. A google search of 23andme concerns brings up plenty of valid points (google privacy is another topic)

    Suzy can you please tell me your thoughts on this? and am I correct in saying that they are now only offering ancestry kits to USA customers?

    I am needing to get to the bottom of my health and issues and appreciate any insight you can give me my questions and concerns

    • Suzy Cohen July 12, 2015 at 12:25 am - Reply

      I think it’s fine to do, it’s the same genetic test that everyone is doing. They are just not allowed to interpret the results that’s the only change.

  101. Jennifer July 17, 2015 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy ~
    I am heterogenous for a couple of MTHFR genes, and homozygous for PEMT and SOD2.

    My doctor recommended a B complex with methylfolate and B12, and also choline for the PEMT gene. However, she didn’t recommend SOD. I am a bit worried, as some websites say the chance of side effects from methlyfolate are increased for people with the SOD2 gene.

    I am on Co-enzyme Q 10. Can this take the place of SOD? Or should I consider supplementing with it as well?



    • Suzy Cohen July 18, 2015 at 1:26 am - Reply

      CoQ10 intake doesn’t affect SOD gene or SOD levels in any way to my knowledge.

      • Jennifer July 18, 2015 at 3:06 am - Reply

        Should I consider supplementing with SOD then? If so – what brand – and what dose?


        • Suzy Cohen July 19, 2015 at 6:00 am - Reply

          Hi Jennifer
          Not 100% sure what’s right for you; I supplement but I know it’s right for me through trial and error. I take breaks for no particular reason but go back on every few months. You just have to try. I have tried 3 or 4 different brands, one per day (whatever the dose is on the label) and I do not have a favorite they have all been fine/tolerated. If you prefer to get the highest dose of SOD, it comes from freshly pressed wheat grass shots! I do this sometimes myself but don’t like the taste honestly, I just do it to get a quick shot, so again not sure of the dose, just one shot at the juice bar. Does this help?

  102. Marina July 21, 2015 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Hi Suzy,

    Where can I find more on the PON1 SNP? Could you recommend a web site and/or book?


  103. Will July 25, 2015 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy – Great website! It’s obvious you’re passionate about health and natural medicine, and approach learning/new ideas with a strong sense of natural curiosity. Very refreshing.

    Question – I was able to download my AncestryDNA raw data but many of the sites that create custom gene reports seem to be 23andme centric. Do you have any thoughts on reputable websites to create custom genome reports based on AncestryDNA data?


  104. Sandra Bales July 30, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy…I am a retired pediatrician with a passion for learning more about epigenetics. I have a 23andme sample cooking and am so grateful for the information in your article!

    • Suzy Cohen August 1, 2015 at 5:01 am - Reply

      Nice to meet you Dr. Bales, 23andme… it’s like a giant puzzle for our body! I will be writing more on that in the future.

  105. Christine August 11, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you very much for your article on Babesia. I have been suffering with similar symptoms for years and your article pushed me to get tested and sure enough I have babesia. I was diagnosed with lyme 5 years ago and was treated with antibiotics for 3 months and thought I was better. However, the air hunger has grown increasingly worse and am still testing positive of lyme as well. I know the treatment ahead of me is not going to be easy. Any suggestions?

    • Suzy Cohen August 12, 2015 at 3:13 am - Reply

      Just don’t give up hope, Babesia is more straightforward than Lyme actually, it doesn’t morph and change forms. Keep your immune system strong by eating well and build a support system with good friends and family who believe. Who care.

  106. Ann August 15, 2015 at 1:56 am - Reply

    My 16 year old son had his colon removed (J-pouch) in 2012. Sudden onset and diagnosis IBD-UC. He struggles to keep weight on. I give him probiotics, Metabolic Mtc. Multi, Emergen-C, fish oil, Coq10 and CuraMed (curcumin). Which type of probiotic is safe for him? Doctors won’t answer this. They told me Culturelle, which is what I use but wonder if something else might help him stay out of bathroom so much!

    Puzzled mom thanks you!

    • Suzy Cohen August 15, 2015 at 5:23 am - Reply

      Hi Ann
      The probiotic matters, but the organism that has caused the “sudden onset” is important to know, so you can eradicate it. People who can’t keep weight on often have parasitic infections, the parasites eat all the nutrients so the human can’t assimilate the nutrients (they lose weight). Make sense? Have him tested for SIBO (it’s a breath test) and also do a stool test called GI Effects (link for this latter test:
      GI Effects Gastrointestinal Function Comprehensive Profile (One day collection)-METAMETRIX KIT

  107. Bev August 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you Suzy;
    The quality probiotics might be my missing link to health.
    I am Type 2(on glucotrol), MTHFR C677, with high A!C, hyporthyroid, inflammation, and high homosystein.
    I need to order a SNPs report.
    The site offers different Probiotics: Professional, Detox, Heart and Energy.

  108. Pam August 24, 2015 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    I have the MTHFR gene mutation but unfortunately haven’t been told which variant yet (C677T or A1298C). My Psych gave me samples of Deplin 15mg to try. It seems to make a difference but I do tend to have “up” better day and then next day may wane. What is your opinion on mega high doses of L-methylfolate in lieu of OTC good quality B-Complex and B-12 supplement? Also I have some concern if Mega doses could cause other side effects if I am not absorbing properly. Psych told me I couldn’t take enough B-Complex supplements or eat enough leafy greens to help with the MTHFR issue. Not sure how he would knows this since I don’t even know when variant I have. When I asked I was told, “That’s getting out in the weeds.”, as if to dismiss my question. Deplin is extremely expensive so even though I am feeling some significant benefit, although up and down, there is no way I could afford $100+ per month for this “Rx food” that is not covered by insurance. Thank you, in advance, for any direction you could give me.

    • Suzy Cohen August 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Mega high doses of LMF are bad. I am not in agreement with that.
      It will deplete all your other Bs.
      Go visit and put “methylation” in my search box please and read my other articles.

  109. Todd August 27, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    My question us related to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. For years I have been suffering. I started a support group that is flourishing. Many people have questions. My question to you is with this research do you think that one we will have a cure or maybe a vaccine? Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease affecting 7.5 million Americans. It’s also the most misunderstood because it’s visual. We have Hollywood to blame for portraying the villains with skin ailments. Our group is

  110. Michelle August 28, 2015 at 4:36 am - Reply

    Is there a SNP for low ferritin and zinc? No matter what I try I simply cannot get my ferritin and zinc up.

    • Suzy Cohen August 28, 2015 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      What kind of zinc did they measure, serum or RBC, that makes a difference.
      Low iron and low zinc will make you feel ‘thyroid sick’ so please read my Thyroid Healthy book 🙂
      Coffee binds up those in case you’re a heavy coffee drinker (or black tea).
      It could be infection related, it’s probably not SNP related.
      If it’s low TISSUE zinc (as in RBC) and NOT serum zinc then that could be yeast or fungus or Candida, etc.

  111. Sarah March 14, 2016 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for a great article. I’m particularly interested in the possible link between PON1, homocysteine thiolactone, and seizures. Also PON1 and sensitivity to medicines. I did some googling and found supportive research in mice. I was wondering whether you were aware of any research in humans that might urge my doctor to take a look. Thanks in advance.

    • Suzy Cohen April 1, 2016 at 2:48 am - Reply

      You should buy a copy of audio of my Medication Induced SNPs and/or my Keyring SNPs.
      I discuss PON1 in the audio/presentation. It’s sold here either by themselves, or as a combination, doctors love this, scroll down:

  112. Susan Sentilles March 15, 2016 at 12:00 am - Reply

    I looked today and 23andme costs $199. Unless I’m mistaken. AncestryDNA costs $99. Is that one as good?

  113. Jennifer PG March 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    I had the GeneSight test done and it said I had the MTHFR heterozygous for C677T, the reduced folic acid conversion, with moderately increased homocysteine levels. I have high anxiety, neuropothy in my hands and feet with foot cramping, always cold, arthritis in hands, extreme lethargy. I am not sure if I should take the folate…if it would help my symptoms.

  114. Ken March 25, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Suzy,

    Thank you for the great article above. Toward the end of your article your mention that “genetic tests are highly controversial”. I have had a gene test done and have five SNP’s. My ND doctor told me that the testing is more accurate for some SNP’s than others, which makes me wonder how accurate the results were for my particular SNP’s and just how helpful the things I’m doing for them are.

    Thank you!

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