135: Understanding Genetic Testing, Epigenetics & Genetic Polymorphisms with Dr. Ben Lynch

135: Understanding Genetic Testing, Epigenetics & Genetic Polymorphisms with Dr. Ben Lynch

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Understanding Genetic Testing, Epigenetics and Genetic Polymorphisms with Dr. Ben Lynch

Today Dr. Benjamin Lynch is joining me on the podcast, and we’re in for a treat. Dr. Ben is most importantly a dad of three amazing boys, and (just a side note) he’s also a doctor and one of the top experts in the world on epigenetics and genetic polymorphism. He has a naturopathic degree from Baiser University and went on from there to really dive into the world of nutrigenomics, methylation, and genetic research.

Dr. Ben Lynch also is the president and founder of Seeking Health, and you’ve probably seen me recommend a lot of their supplements on Wellness Mama.

“Dirty Genes” (& How to Turn Them Off)

If the podcast today peaks your interest, you should definitely read Dr. Ben’s new book (literally hot off the press) called Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health. I got a chance to read it and he really lays out how to identify which underlying causes of disease are genetic and gives practical ideas for improving your prognosis. He’s one of the top experts in the field so this really is a must-read.

Enough from me … let’s hear from Dr. Ben!

In This Episode You’ll Learn

  • what we’re able to test and know about genes with modern technology (and what the limitations are)
  • why the sun is so important, especially for those with genetic polymorphisms
  • an explanation of genetic polymorphisms and how they work for (or against) our health
  • the surprising link between MTHFR and malaria
  • the best form of vitamin D to test for and how to supplement
  • why you may feel terrible even if you improve your vitamin D levels
  • what happens when the active form of vitamin D is high but another marker is low
  • the reason we should never, ever take folic acid and what to do instead
  • and more!

Resources We Mention

Related Episodes & Reading

Have you ever had genetic testing done? What did you find out? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments or leave me a review on iTunes. I read each and every comment, and my guests often do too and might answer your questions!

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Vivos. This is something we recently invested in for our entire family and we are absolutely loving it. Here’s why: data shows that the nutrition we receive in utero determines our palate development and how narrow or open our airway and jaw structure are. So a narrow mouth, jaw, and airway increase the chances of needing braces, of getting sleep apnea, breathing difficulties, and much more. Vivos created a non-invasive, non-surgical, easy way of widening the maxilla, jaw, and airway. So for our kids, this means that they get to avoid braces and it’s also made my husband’s sleep apnea disappear. (He also stopped snoring, which is a bonus for me.) I’ll be writing more about this soon but you can check them out in the meantime at wellnessmama.com/go/vivos.

This podcast is also brought to you by Beekeepers Naturals. Humans have been benefiting from bees and their nourishing superfoods since prehistoric times. From Cleopatra using honey to keep her youthful glow to Hippocrates prescribing propolis to cure everything from sores to bacterial infection, our healing relationship with bees goes way back. Beekeepers Naturals is dedicated to bringing the age-old benefits of bee products in to modern times. And they offer really high quality propolis, royal jelly, bee pollen, and raw honey as well as many other products. All of these are sustainably sourced from a company dedicated to protecting and improving the bee population. My personal favorites are their propolis spray, which helped me to head off a scratchy throat, and their B.LXR mix which is a mixture of all of those ingredients and it’s a natural nootropic that I use on busy days. You can check them out at wellnessmama.com/go/beekeepers

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Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. Hi Katie,
    I had genetic testing done…I was diagnosed with breast cancer (stage 2) in 2004. I was 38. The doctor team recommended aggressive chemotherapy, radiation, a double mastectomy and genetic testing. I asked the surgeon what my chances were with chemo and radiation and what they were without it – the difference was under 8%.
    The genetic counselor told me that (at the time) about only 2% of cancers were truly genetic and that most were familial (how we’re raised, diet, environment, etc). She explained that being “predisposed” didn’t mean that disease was inevitable like I and so many people I knew had believed. My genetic test came back negative.

  2. Do you mean Bastyr University?

    • I was wondering the same thing. I believe Dr. Lynch is from the Seattle area so I’m going to guess that yes, she means Bastyr.

  3. I’ve heard 23 And Me testing is not private which is why it’s so cheap. Is that true?

    • I’ve heard that as well but haven’t been able to verify it. I do have another option that I’m researching that definitely is private and I’m trying to get access to it for readers. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

  4. Hi Katie — I couldn’t find the link to the prenatal vitamins you mentioned in the podcast and I couldn’t find them on Dr. Ben’s website either. Could you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

    Loved this podcast!

  5. I have some questions hoping for some clarification:
    1. What exactly is methylfolate, and how can we consume it (only via supplement or through food)? I heard that it is “even more man-made than folic acid and no better that folic acid even for one with a mthfr defect” from a doctor. I disagree with that statement, but would like to get a better understanding of it myself.

    2. So how would we know if a methylated folate supplement will help us or hinder us?

    3. If we have children with tongue/lip ties, would it make the most sense to ask to be tested for MTHFR? I’m expecting now, and taking a methylated folate within my prenatal, but how does one know what is the best for her? doesn’t it vary person to person?


  6. How can I find a reputable practictioner that will help me navigate this testing and dig deeper?

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