Genetics

Medical Institute of Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging Medicine Clinic & Regenerative Medicine located in Walnut Creek, CA & Napa, CA

Your genes are a huge determinant in whether you have a certain predilection for certain chronic diseases. Understand how your genetics are affecting your health with the guidance of Paul H. Kim, MD at the Medical Institute of Healthy Aging with locations in San Francisco, Napa, and Walnut Creek, California. He focuses on the impact of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These little changes in your genetic code are the most common type of genetic variation among people and are a determinant of your future health. Call the office or schedule online to learn how your genetics are affecting your health.

Genetics

What are single nuclear polymorphisms?

Single nuclear polymorphisms (SNPs) are small “snips” of your DNA. SNPs represent variations on the “wild” type of the gene that can lead to dysfunction of certain enzymes in metabolic pathways.

What is the significance of single nuclear polymorphisms in genetics?

SNPS can act as biological markers, indicating where disease may get its “window of opportunity” to take hold within the subject. When SNPs occur within a gene, they affect the gene’s function and make you more vulnerable to disease.

But researchers have discovered that some SNPs can help them predict certain health consequences. These include:

  • Risk of developing specific diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
  • Response to certain drugs
  • Susceptibility to toxins, such as environmental pollution

Evaluation of SNPs can also track how diseases are passed down in families. At the Medical Institute for Healthy Aging, Dr. Kim helps you learn how your specific SNPs lead to metabolic deficiencies that may lead to problems with chronic disease later in life.

Can SNPs be passed down through genetics?

You inherit your DNA from your parents, so you also inherit single nuclear polymorphisms. You have multiple matches of SNPs with your siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. But, you’re less likely to have a number of matching SNPs with distantly related people. Evaluating SNPs can help you determine how closely related you are to someone or a culture. This is how companies such as GeneSavvy® and 23andMe® help you understand your heritage and health. Dr. Kim can help you interpret what the results of these tests mean and the implications on your future health and course of aging.

What genetic SNPs are of interest?

Some SNPs are more prominent than others. Tests such as 23andMe may identify defects with the MTHFR, which represents an impaired ability to use the nutrient folic acid. You may have symptoms of folate deficiency even if you have a seemingly adequate intake. You may be more vulnerable to depression, low energy, and fatigue. Dr. Kim helps you overcome this genetic malfunction with B vitamin and folate supplements.

Another common SNPs is the APOE gene, which has to do with Alzheimer’s disease. Having the e4 allele in APOE increases your risk of late onset Alzheimer’s. Dr. Kim helps you understand the implications of this risk and take steps to reduce it.

For more information about your genetics and how they influence your future health, consult healthy aging and SNP variant medicine expert Dr. Kim at his office or book an appointment online.