Episode 91 - Genetic Expression

Speaker 1: 00:00 This is Dr Chad Edwards and you’re listening to podcast number 91 of against the grain.

Speaker 2: 00:05 This is Diana Edwards and I’m here with the amazing Dr Chad Edwards. We’ve been talking about genetics. We’ve been talking about snips within those genes. We’ve also been talking a little bit about methylation again. Uh, and then of course some bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, lots of good stuff like that, but I don’t think you’re done. So where exactly are we going today?

Speaker 1: 00:29 You know, the genetics thing is, I mean, that was never my big thing and Undergrad. I mean, I didn’t really like genetics, but you know, as, as the science moves forward, as my education moves forward, I just discovered that there’s more and more to this and especially in trying to customize our medical approach, each one of our patients, you cannot overlook the genetics and you know, of course, as we get into cancer therapies and things like that, you can’t overlook the genetics. So it’s a big, huge topic that for a lot of people is like, you might as well be on another planet. Um, but today, so we’ve talked a little bit about the, the gene itself, your chromosomes. We talked about single nucleotide polymorphisms, which helps us to understand differences from one person to the next and why a certain medications and chemicals and nutrition, uh, alter the expression of some of these enzymes and how that can affect your overall health, especially with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and medications and things like that. So today I wanted to talk about gene expression.

Speaker 2: 01:39 Okay. So now we’re talking a little bit about epigenetics, which is actually very, very new discovery and with our science, our, our medical community and what exactly it does. So just a little bit about epigenetics. I imagine genetics as being the puppets and epigenetics or like the puppet masters they get to pull the strings and make things go. Am I close?

Speaker 1: 02:03 Yeah, I’ve heard some people say that genetics loads the gun and the environment pulls the trigger and I liked that because that lets, you know, like, here’s your overall, um, you know, here’s your, here’s kind of what you’re given, but that doesn’t mean that this is ever going to happen. You know, at, at, at any given time, so you may be at higher risk for something like one of the things I, I’ll, I’ll side note for just one second on breast cancer and the bracket gene. Uh, so some people think that if you have the bracket gene, oh my gosh, you’re going to get cancer. That’s just not true. And the reason for that is because the bracket gene is not a cancer gene. The bracket gene is actually a, a cancer or DNA repair gene. So there’s constantly things. We’re getting these insults to our physiology, to our genetics.

Speaker 1: 02:54 And interestingly like, well we talked about last time on that four hydroxy estrogens. They, if you don’t methylate well then you have buildup of three, four quinones which are known to damage DNA and you get something in there going in and screwing up your DNA, then your chances of cancer go up. So these are, these are potential carcinogens that we want to eliminate. Um, so that’s one of the many reasons why that stuff is very important, especially if we’re talking about hormone replacement therapy. Yeah. So the brackaging so that we constantly have these cancer cells that are being presented and because of the, the DNA gets screwed up because of, you know, a number of things. The bracket gene, like the [inaudible] three tumor suppressor gene, these are, these are genes that help repair the DNA so that cancer doesn’t perpetuate if you have the Braca abnormality, Braca one and two, that just means that you don’t repair as efficiently.

Speaker 1: 03:56 They don’t cause cancer, but they do help repair cancer. So when you’re trying to reduce your risk of cancer, you certainly, you want to be able to repair anything to which your exposure, you know, as your DNA gets messed up, you won’t be able to repair that. But ultimately you want to do what you can to minimize the damage to the DNA. And there’s a whole host of things that can be done. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay attention if you’re, if you have a Braca one or two, your chances go up period. But just understand it doesn’t cause cancer. So I just wanted to sideline and talk about that for a second. So now with what I wanted to talk about today is genetic expression, and so, you know, in our, our human genome, we have estimated 19,000 to 20,000 genes, but, and so each one of those genes are going to encode for a certain protein or enzyme and you know, it, it’s not like when you’re not making all of these proteins on the same chromosome all at the same time, that’s not what happens.

Speaker 1: 05:06 You have, through the signaling mechanisms that that happened, the DNA will begin producing rna through transcription and, um, and we’ll start producing these, these proteins, and, uh, there’s a number of factors that will cause the DNA to do this. And so that is genetic expression, but that doesn’t all happen across the chromosome. At the same time, um, you know, many of these things will be dormant and you’re not actually expressing these proteins, uh, that gene is not expressing itself at any given time. So there are some really cool things that we can do that with. There’s some tests that we can use that measure genetic expression. And two things that come to mind right off the right off the bat. One is a cardiovascular test that we do, it’s a blood test and we are looking for a certain proteins or rna or protein in the blood that help us understand if some of these specific genes are turned on and transcribing, um, proteins.

Speaker 1: 06:18 And so the test that I’m talking about is called the chorus test, c o r u s chorus test, and it when you have the expression of these certain proteins or rna, then you have set yourself up for having atherosclerotic plaque so you have plaques in your arteries. That test is fairly well validated. We’re going to do a, a, a, another podcast on this task because I think it’s a very important test, uh, but it helps predict the atherosclerotic plaques, uh, and that, that happens because the environment is arrived, there’s some things going on and you start turning on the DNA and you start expressing these proteins. And there is a high correlation with astro atherosclerotic plaque and the expression of these proteins. The other thing now, the other common one that I can think off the top of my head is some tests for looking at cancer, different kinds of cancer, uh, and we can use some of these genetic expression tests to evaluate if the, uh, the, the playing field is set for breast cancer, colon cancer, any of these other numbers of things doesn’t tell you that there’s cancer or not cancer, but it’s just like, okay, the fields are ripe, you know, things are looking at to be at risk for cancer.

Speaker 1: 07:40 So I’m very, very cool stuff that we can do and it’s just, it was very interesting to me when I first understood that not all of your genes are being turned on and expressed at any one time and there are things that will affect the weather. Those genes are getting turned on or turned off. So it’s pretty cool stuff.

Speaker 2: 08:02 Very cool. So nutrition medicine, my environment itself, so things that I come in contact with, is that going to cause me to turn things on and turn things off?

Speaker 1: 08:12 Oh, absolutely. There’s no question. Um, you’re, you’re certainly the nutrition plays a big role. Uh, the, uh, you know, we talked last time about the broccoli seed extracts and um, you know, with, with the hormone foundation supplement and the Donald Methane and Glucoraphanin that’s a nutritional supplement that can make a difference in the expression and how we metabolize estrogens. Uh, but there’s, you know, across all of the genes that nutrition without question plays a role and it can play a huge role. Um, environmental toxins plays a huge role. Inflammation plays a role. There is a lot of things in our health that will affect whether these genes are turned on or turned off.

Speaker 2: 09:02 Very good. Um, what about other events in our lives like pregnancy, could that do it as well? Just some, some sort of event that we go through health wise.

Speaker 1: 09:12 Sure. Uh, you know, um, so yes, pregnancy, there is no question certain certain things you start producing certain things, I mean that, that is like a miracle in and of it. So it’s just, it blows my mind how that whole process happens. But, uh, I was listening to a lecture by Dr Zavala. He runs Zrt lab and he has done years of, of uh, research on estrogens and breast cancer and one of the things that he talked about is when he talks with women that have had breast cancer, he nearly always asks them what happened two years ago. And he said that you can almost always tie it to some major event that, that, uh, that caused the triggering of this. And he said, the other thing is that, you know, cancers don’t develop overnight. They take years to develop. And he said, when cancer expresses itself within a two year window, what that means is that the cancer was already there.

Speaker 1: 10:15 Okay. And something caused the scale to tip and allow this cancer to really take foothold. And it’s, and again, when we talked earlier about these, uh, we, we constantly have these cancer type cells that are being produced and our immune system will put them in check and keep them suppressed. A, that’s a, that’s a common process. It when, when you get cancer, that is because there is a [inaudible] been able to take hold and grow to a point where it’s going to cause a problem and whether it’s any number of things that, that can express the cancer, the number of problems that cancer can cause. Um, but these cells, it’s common that we’ll have this damage and we’ll put it in check. You’ll get a cell, put it in check, and it’s when something happens, whether it’s to the immune system or to the cancer, um, a induction itself, uh, that, uh, that causes that thing to really take a foothold. So yes, a lot of emotional stress is that stress. Yeah, that is definitely something that, uh, can, can alter the expression as well.

Speaker 2: 11:31 Now is this where, um, the, the blueberries came in as part of the nutrition, amping up the NK cells because the NK cells are the ones that can go out the natural killers and. Yeah. And annihilate the abnormal cells which we would refer to as possible cancer cells.

Speaker 1: 11:46 Absolutely. So what Diane is referring to is that it’s been shown that wasn’t a cup a day, I believe it was a couple of days. I think it was a couple days. Dr Mitch [inaudible], g h e n m I mentioned this in one of his lectures that a couple of days of blueberries enhances your natural killer cells, which will help keep some of these cells in check. So again, nutrition plays a role in your overall health. So it’s really cool how, how a lot of this stuff plays together. Very nice. So, uh, that’s Kinda my thoughts on, um, on the genetic expression gene expression. We can use this in lab testing. It’s a target for some of our therapies trying to optimize your overall health. Nutrition without question plays a major role in your overall health and certainly something that Diane is working on. She’s working on a um, uh, what’s the name of your functional medicine health coach.

Speaker 1: 12:50 So very, very cool. And it’s going to take her a little bit to get, to get completion on this. Uh, but she will be able to work one on one with clients, helping them to optimize their health and really in a way that I can’t and in a way that our clinic currently can’t. So we’re very excited about having her get this certification and the training. And of course she’s phenomenal. You taught physiology and anatomy and science for years, decades. I didn’t want to like, tip tip the hand because you, I mean, you look amazing for 29 years old. So I do, I didn’t want to tip the head too much. So anyway, um, the uh, so she’s going to be able to bring some stuff to the table that really I can’t and be able to help patients in a way that I’ve not been able to.

Speaker 1: 13:39 Uh, but I think at the end of the day it’s going to be an invaluable tool to optimize the health of our patients and make sure that we are expressing genes appropriately to reduce risk of things like cardiovascular disease and cancers and all kinds of other good things. So as always, be sure and go listen to, uh, our other podcasts. Be sure to leave us a review on itunes. The more reviews we get, the better off we are in. The more people will, will see our podcast. If you’re not a patient, come see us. A lot of stuff that we can do for you. Um, so, um, I don’t have anything else, neither revolution, health and wellness, making sure that you are. Stay in tune to our podcast. We’ve got a lot of great information coming at you. Awesome. We’ll talk to you next time.