Vitamin D deficiency prenatally may increase risk for preeclampsia

Vitamin D receptors have many roles in addition to helping with bone formation, helping immune strength is lesser known and the receptors also play an important role in prenatal and fetal health and development. Deficiency of vitamin D prenatally may be involved in the risk of preeclampsia occurring during the pregnancy as the vitamin D receptor helps promote secretion of prenatal hormones and reduce inflammatory cytokines that may stimulate preeclampsia and premature labor.

  • Read more: Relationship Between Vitamin D During Perinatal Development and Health, Jovana Kaludjerovic, MSc; Reinhold Vieth, PhD, J Midwifery Womens Health. 2010;55(6):550-560. [http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/733437_3]
  • Citation from the linked article: 15] Bodnar LM, Catov JM, Simhan HN, Holick MF, Powers RW, Roberts JM. Maternal vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007;92:3517–22. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17535985]
  • *Vitamin D levels were measured early in the pregnancy and then the women were followed until delivery. Lower levels of vitamin D early in pregnancy was more associated with preeclampsia developing later during the pregnancy. Infants born to mothers who had preeclampsia during the pregnancy were also more likely to have a low vitamin D level at birth. Autism risk has been associated with low vitamin D levels in infants and mothers of infants who develop autism. Which is discussed in other posts on this site.

Vitamin D is readily available in fortified milk and milk substitutes. It is also added to some yogurts and other dairy foods but it necessary to read the label. The amounts of vitamin D added to milk used to make yogurt or cheese is not regulated in the same way as the vitamin fortification of liquid milk sold for drinking. Vitamin D is also added to many breakfast cereals and protein rich meal replacement bars. It is naturally found in seafood and sardines in significant amounts, and a smaller amount is available in the egg yolk portion of eggs, and in mushrooms. A typical one-a-day vitamin or prenatal vitamin would also contain vitamin D. And our bodies can produce vitamin D from stored cholesterol when we get sunshine, about 15 to 30 minutes of sunshine on the face, upper arms and chest is adequate during summer months.

Excessive levels of active hormone D can cause negative health symptoms but the average person has enzymes that break down excess active hormone. A protein deficiency may also be a risk for low vitamin D because a carrier protein transports the inactive vitamin form and keeps it in the inactive state. Free, loose vitamin D is quickly activated to the hormone form of the molecule – which is actually a seco-steroid similar to cholesterol and other steroid hormones rather than being a typical essential “vitamin” that can not be formed in the body at all.

Preeclampsia is also associated with the presence of more fetal cells, microchimerism, in the mother than for women who had a pregnancy without preeclampsia. [http://sm.stanford.edu/archive/stanmed/2009fall/article1.html]

The vitamin D receptor is involved in the immune system’s ability to suppress allergic responses to foreign material – such as a fetus potentially. The placenta is not able to prevent all maternal or fetal cells from crossing and infants can have maternal cell DNA and mothers may have left over fetal cell DNA. The leftover fetal cells may have protective benefits as stem cells but they may also be a risk for autoimmune conditions such as Grave’s disease which causes a type of hyperthyroidism but can also cause other symptoms. Adequate vitamin D might be helpful throughout life for protecting against overactive allergic responses of the white blood cell portion of the immune system.

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

“50 Shades of No”

50 Shades of No” is a paraphrase of a paraphrase of a book titled, “50 Shades of Grey,” by author E. L. James,  which was also made into a movie with the same title. While I have not read the book nor seen the movie, it is said to be about a young woman who became seduced into an ongoing domestic violence relationship. Reviews suggest that neither the book nor movie are based on research in the area of relationships involving bondage or domestic violence.

While I didn’t make it past the back cover of the book, I did attend most of a forum with a mixed panel of speakers regarding sexual assault policies for college students. The event was advertised as being a scenario based forum and was titled “50 Shades of K(no)w” so I was expecting some role playing to help college students practice different ways of saying no to unwanted sexual relations. That did not occur.

We weren’t even given a list of ways to say no or a handout with contact information for resources to help cope with sexual trauma. However we were assured early in the forum that we would be given contact information for resources later in the session — we were, kind of, a slide was up on the screen briefly, and I did happen to have a pen with me and managed to copy down one of the contacts in the time allowed: RAINN, Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, 1-(800) 656-4673, https://rainn.org.

We were also assured that the goal of all of the panel was to not re-victimize the victims, but as a survivor of child sexual trauma and date rape in college and as an adult, I would have to say that their policies may fall short of that goal. And the scenarios that the forum was based on also seemed to be casting the victims as at fault for their date rape and gang rape situations or as a liar who led her young man into a bad situation that could ruin him for life if he ended up charged and labeled a sex offender.

False accusations are unfair but that situation involved a father that was likely a domestic violence offender himself and the girl was lying because of her fear of her father. She was made to press charges by the father. A child who grows up in a traumatic household may not learn the skills necessary for handling an adult relationship with complete honesty because domestic violence households are all about denying truth, denying that anything is not perfectly normal. And she may not have even learned how to say “No” in such an household.

The first and third scenarios were very similar to each other in that a female college student drank too much at a large party and then was assaulted after trying to say that she was uncomfortable with the situation and was too drunk — Was that a “No” or not quite a “No“? We learned from the panel that too drunk to be able to legally say no requires the person to be “incapacitated,” which is a vague term. Is “incapacitated” equivalent to “Stumbling and slurring words drunk,” or “Falling down and vomiting drunk,” or “Totally passed out drunk“? Based on the panel’s responses it seems that it is equivalent to “Totally passed out drunk.”

We learned that on campus students who reported a sexual assault situation that occurred while under the influence of alcohol or other substances would not be charged for the substance violation however the Prosecuting Attorney made it clear that an entire house party serving alcohol might be charged with running an unlicensed liquor establishment. A girl might want to think twice about just how bad her bad experience was before getting involved with getting an entire house of college students arrested for serving alcohol.

The other main difference between the first and third scenarios was that the first girl was raped by one acquaintance who had invited her to the party and who she seemed interested in as a potential boyfriend (that didn’t happen, he never called her again.) She was deemed at fault for not reporting the situation until six weeks later due to a female friend prompting her too as it seemed like she had been raped. While the girl in the third situation was raped by the whole household who, she found out later, had also taken pictures of themselves with the passed out victim and posted the images online.

We learned from the panel that each case is handled individually and what happens depends on what the Defendant and the Complainant describe. In the third scenario the girl was described as sexy and suggestive and the Prosecuting Attorney suggested that it is the responsibility of the girl to keep her clothes on or to not ever do anything that she wouldn’t want posted online in this day and age of cell phone recording and instant upload capability. He did suggest that cellphones are very traceable and that would likely be a way to apprehend some of the violators.  [The three scenarios were prepared by Alan McEvoy, Professor of Sociology, NMU, All Rights Reserved. The paraphrased title, “50 Shades of K(no)w” is not part of the Scenario handout, so he might not have been responsible for the title of the forum event.]

Note to females — password protect your cellphones before going to any parties and practice saying “no” as the drinks are being forced on you by “house party rules.” Females tend to have smaller body masses and can get drunk on fewer alcoholic beverages than males, on average. One serving is recommended as a moderate amount for drinkers of a legal age.

Note to males — always check the female’s real driver’s license or state issued I.D. for her birthdate before sharing a “bad experience” with her because it was made clear that if she is 17 or younger than you may be liable for the worse offense of abusing a minor.

Bad experience” is a term I read somewhere that was suggested as a better catch-all phrase for those date-rape type situations where it is hard to tell if “no” or “yes” had ever been asked or answered. I have found the phrase useful in coping with my own history of “bad experience,” as it is easy to feel at fault, especially as a survivor of child trauma. Children raised in domestic violence or otherwise dysfunctional households may have learned the core message that they are always at fault for everything bad that happens to the family or to other family members. Children who grew up experiencing sexual trauma frequently have trouble with normal adult relations and may either be overtly sexual without realizing or without the skills to control it (“sexy and suggestive“) or they may be less sexual than usual or have other difficulties understanding or handling normal adult relations.

It is a myth that rape is mostly a stranger danger problem. More typically females or young boys have bad experiences (sexual assault) with acquaintances, mentors, or family or extended family members. Note to self — go buy that can of Mace and carry it everywhere.

Since I didn’t get a handout with 50 ways to say no, for practice saying no, I’ll try writing one:

50 Shades of No

  1. No, I’m saving my increased risk for autoimmune disease for the DNA of the father of my children and the DNA of my future children — and I don’t know if your DNA is qualified to be the father of my future children yet. [For more info: microchimerism]
  2. No, I’m too drunk and you’re too drunk and I don’t want an unplanned pregnancy with a baby that has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. [For more info: risk of FAS and father’s alcohol use]
  3. No, I’m not on birth control and we don’t have a condom.
  4. “Ewwww, Gross.” No, no way. [Quote from the television show The Unusuals, a dark comedy/drama about an unusual team of NYPD police detectives (2009). ][http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1240976/]
  5. Not in this lifetime or any future reincarnations, buddy. In other words — No.
  6. Your joking, —- Right?  Ewwww Gross, no.
  7. No thanks, I have two hands and I know how to use them.
  8. No, that won’t be happening if the four pairs of tights that I have on have any staying power at all. [A counter-strategy used by female candidates in some African nations where raping the female candidate is a strategy used to discredit her chances in the election. Smart — very smart thinking. Reference, I think, was the book “Half the Sky.” Amazon]
  9. No, not even if the sky was falling or you were the last man on Earth.
  10. You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?” “I’d say more like one out of a million.” [Note – that line didn’t work for the female lead in the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” 1994, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109686/quotes?item=qt0995799 ] Some people need a very clear, “No, never, ever, ever.”
  11. No, no, a million times no.
  12. Do you see this wedding ring? It says “No” and I say “No.” [Note – some people may want to buy a cheap wedding band for wearing to some locations, to assist with this response. Note – there is no direct lie in the statement, as no direct claim is being made to actually being married. However there is definitely an implication, in wearing a ring on the ring finger of your left hand. So don’t try the tactic if you do hope to meet new people for potential relationships. Additional Note – some people may remove wedding rings at some locations — look for a lack of a tan in a ring shape on a person’s ring finger of their left hand.]
  13. No thanks, I believe in protecting myself from having bad experiences and this feels like the beginning of a bad experience.
  14. No, really, I was just leaving, really, really quickly.
  15. No, I have Mace and know how to use it.
  16. Thanks but no thanks. That means no, in case you are hard of understanding.
  17. No for today, but let’s try again another day when we are both not inebriated. That does still mean no for today, though. Just to be clear. But you seem nice. Thanks for asking.
  18. No, I’m saving myself for myself.
  19. No, I’m saving my purity for my future children and I don’t like condoms.
  20. No, I don’t do that with people I just met, even with a condom.
  21. No, really, as in not today, and probably not tomorrow either.
  22. No, not in a million years.
  23. No, not if you were the last man on Earth and I was the last woman on Earth.
  24. No, a thousand times no.
  25. No, I have a lawyer and know how to use her/him.
  26. No, I have a whole lot of STDs and I don’t like to share them with anyone. [Note – this might earn you a reputation that you don’t want. It may be best only for people who actually do have a whole lot of STDs and who don’t like to risk sharing them.]
  27. No, thanks, I have to go wash my hair — and everything else you may have touched.
  28. No, I don’t want a shoulder massage or anything else from you.
  29. No means no, and it will always mean no, not maybe, or yes if you just keep hassling me longer. That’s what this Mace is for. It likes saying “No” and making it stick. So, you have been warned. Quit hassling me RIGHT NOW.
  30. Yes, I did smile in your general direction, but that doesn’t mean that I instantly fell in love with you or ever want to have sex with you. So for clarity’s sake, that is a “No.” No, I didn’t smile in your general direction because I want to have sex with you. [For more info – research does suggest that guys can get the wrong idea about a woman’s interest level very easily: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201112/sex-and-smiling-when-is-smile-not-smile]
  31. No thanks, I have a headache just thinking about the idea of doing that with you.
  32. No thanks I have to go water my houseplants, like right this minute — they need me and I love them.
  33. No, I have a police whistle and know how to use it.
  34. No, and take warning: I have been trained in self protection maneuvers and would hate to have to break any of your body parts, but I will do what I have to do in order to protect myself from you violating the privacy of my body.
  35. No thanks, you seem like a really creepy and disgusting person, and I and my future children deserve better than that.
  36. Not a chance buddy. Yes, that does mean “No.”
  37. No, I’m saving myself for someone else; I’m not sure who, except that it’s not you.
  38. No, I would rather not participate in a meaningless encounter with you even though sexual release does have health benefits — use a sock like everyone else.
  39. To do or not to do?” Not, this is definitely a “Not” situation — and for clarity’s sake that means “No, I do not want to have sexual relations with you.” [Note – “to do or not to do” is a paraphrase of a line by William Shakespeare from the play “Hamlet,” “to be or not to be, that is the question.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_be,_or_not_to_be]
  40. No thanks, it sounds fun but let’s think about that a little later in our relationship.
  41. No, not today, let’s get to know each other a little better first. Thanks for being understanding about my desire to learn more about you before we get more intimate with each other.
  42. Whoa, what do you think your fumbling around down there is going to get you? A knuckle sandwich? And for clarity’s sake that means take your hands off me this instant or your knuckle sandwich is going to have a Mace dessert.
  43. Let’s slow down and enjoy getting to know each other before we start talking about sports terms, such as “getting to second base” or “hitting a home run,” — and just for clarity’s sake that means “No,” not today, but maybe another day, with appropriate contraceptive aids.
  44. Yes, you have heard correctly, I have enjoyed fooling around, in the past, but that was in the past. Now I’m saving myself for a more serious relationship, and I’m not sure how serious you are. So for clarity’s sake, that means “No,” not today and not until I get to know you better.
  45. No, I’m a little tipsy and you’re a little tipsy and we’ll have a much better time if we wait until we are in better shape and I also don’t like the idea of risking an unplanned pregnancy that might cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the unexpected bundle of joy.
  46. No thanks, I really have to get home and feed my dogs, my big, protective dogs, like right now, this minute. Bye.
  47. No, do I have to get out the Dictionary? No means “No,” take your hands off me, or I may have to use that Dictionary in a way it was never meant to be used, and I would really feel bad about that.
  48. No, I need trust in a relationship and I don’t trust that this is a relationship. By the way, that means “No, I do not want to have sexual relations with you.”
  49. Yes, I did raise my middle finger at you, but that wasn’t an invitation, it was intended as a good-bye, as a “No thanks, not a chance, zilch, zip, Absolute Zero chance of that ever happening.” And for clarity’s sake that does mean “No, I do not want to have sexual relations with you.” [Note for more information on the absolute absence of heat: http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryfaqs/f/absolutezero.htm]
  50. No, I do not want to have sexual relations with you. [Note — it seemed to be the main point; and Clarity is a good thing. So it felt good to conclude by giving the phrase its very own line.]

And I will also repeat the national hotline for sexual assault type issues contact information: RAINN, Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, 1-(800) 656-4673, = (800) 656-HOPE, https://rainn.org.

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

 

Methylation Cycle Defects – in me – genetic screening “for research purposes only”

I purchased an independent genetic analysis which clearly states that it is “For research purposes only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.” The screening is for informational purposes as there isn’t a physician providing individual care. But that is okay since I enjoy research with an experimental group of N=1 (me).

The genetic screening panel, is self pay, not covered by insurance, and while the company provides free information it also sells nutritional supplements designed to support the special metabolic needs associated with defects in the methylation cycle, which can affect levels of B12 and folate in particular. The screening assessed my genes, (from a finger stick blood sample that I provided by mail), for thirty different gene mutations known to be involved in the methylation cycle, and found — drum roll — eleven mutations in my genes. Four of them are double mutations which I think means that the mutation is on both genes – no normal genes for that protein for me, means that my body has no recipe card to make four types of proteins.

And — drum roll — one of the single gene mutations is on my Vitamin D Receptor gene — specifically of the Fok1 type which has been associated with an increased risk for autoimmune disease.  With a single gene mutation I think roughly half of my Vitamin D Receptors might be normal and half might be three amino-acids longer than normal as described in the following excerpt from a research article about Type 1 Diabetes:

“Variants of the VDR gene have been associated with susceptibility to several autoimmune processes. The roles of the VDR gene polymorphisms depend on their locations (Slattery, 2007). FokI polymorphism is within the DNA binding domain, near the 5′ end, and the rest of the SNPs are in the 3′UTR region within the ligand binding domain. The FokI polymorphism creates an alternative ATG initiation codon in exon 2 leads to a 3 amino-acids longer VDR protein by directly introducing a start codon. A functional impact of this polymorphism on the immune response has been demonstrated (Colin et al., 2000; van Etten et al., 2007). However, VDR gene SNPs influence on VDR expression differ in different populations.” – Elham O. Hamed et. al., “Vitamin D Level and Fok-I Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphism in Egyptian Patients with Type-1 Diabetes,” [http://app.egyptlearn.com/eji/pdf/june2013/1-Elham-Sohag.pdf]

I’m not sure if having an extra “start” codon on half of my Vitamin D Receptors makes them more “startable” / more over active, or whether it would make them less effective. The article suggests the mutation does leave patients more likely to become calcium and vitamin D deficient but it never mentions whether hormone D levels were ever measured or not.

A different older post has a citation that clarified the roles of vitamin D and hormone D. Vitamin D is actually only associated with a carrier protein that seems to act as an “off” switch and prevents it from activating the Vitamin D Receptor. Any free D that is not carried by the special carrier protein, becomes activated to the hormone. And since there are typically many, many more open Vitamin D Receptors in the body than the supply of active hormone could ever fill, any free D, if there is a deficiency or lack of the carrier protein, is likely to become activated to hormone D and then proceed to activate a Vitamin D Receptor. My lab tests and symptoms have always been worse when I have excess D so I’ve been wondering if I might have a genetic mutation in my D carrier protein gene, but this methylation cycle panel didn’t check that gene.

The four double mutations are in the genes: MTHFRC677T (Call – T), MTRR/A66G (Call – G), BHMT/1 (Call – T), and MAO A/R297R (Call – T).

The seven single mutations are in the genes: SHMT/C1420T (Call – Hetero), MTR/A2756G (Call – Hetero), BHMT/8 (Call – Hetero), CBS/A360A (Call-Hetero), COMT/V158M (Call-Hetero), COMT/H62H (Call-Hetero), as well as the VDR/Fok1 (Call-Hetero) mutation.

Genetic defects in the methylation cycle of expectant mothers or in the expected infant have been associated with an increased risk for autism developing in the infant later in life. Children with a COMT mutation were at increased risk to develop autism, but I will have to dig through old posts, (1, 2), to find that citation: [4: Schmidt RJ1, Hansen RL, Hartiala J, Allayee H, Schmidt LC, Tancredi DJ, Tassone F, Hertz-Picciotto I., Prenatal vitamins, one-carbon metabolism gene variants, and risk for autism., Epidemiology. 2011 Jul;22(4):476-85, [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21610500] I didn’t include the specific genetic mutations in the old posts; the article mentioned two for mothers and one for the child. The COMT 427 AA gene in the child turns out to be a slightly different mutation than the COMT mutations reported in my genetic panel, however I do have the double T mutation in my MTHFR 677 gene mentioned in this article as placing expectant mothers at increased risk for having a child with autism. But my CBS mutation is single and also different than the one mentioned in the following excerpt:

Excerpt from the Abstract:

“Significant interaction effects were observed for maternal MTHFR 677 TT, CBS rs234715 GT + TT, and child COMT 472 AA genotypes, with greater risk for autism when mothers did not report taking prenatal vitamins periconceptionally (4.5 [1.4-14.6]; 2.6 [1.2-5.4]; and 7.2 [2.3-22.4], respectively). Greater risk was also observed for children whose mothers had other one-carbon metabolism pathway gene variants and reported no prenatal vitamin intake.”

Excerpt from the article:

“However, children with the COMT 472 AA genotype were at increased risk for autism if their mothers reported having taken periconceptional prenatal supplements (OR = 1.8 [CI = 0.99–3.5]), and were at substantially higher risk if their mothers did not (7.2 [2.3–22.4];”              [4, full text article available]

The four double mutations are in the genes:

  1. MTHFRC677T (Call – T), Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase, This version of the gene may have less activity than the more typical version of the gene (the T stands for Thymine, the more effective version has a C, cytosine). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylenetetrahydrofolate_reductase  It may cause hyperhomocysteinemia especially if levels of folate, B6 and B12 are deficient. [http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/81648] May make deficiency of methylated folate more of a risk and make folic acid supplements not useful.
  2. MTRR/A66G (Call – G), 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase reductase or methionine synthase reductase, This mutation may increase risk for elevated levels of homocysteine and may affect folate and vitamin B12 methylation. Levels of B12 might be normal but not functional due to the lack of methylation. [http://mtrra66g.com/] * this site is commercial and recommends a methyl form of B12 however one of my other mutations might be affected negatively by excess methyl donors, see the selfhacked.com link in the #4 “warrior gene” within this list.  [https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/MTRR] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/4552]
  3. BHMT/1 (Call – T), Betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT),  This enzyme helps produce  the amino acids methionine and Dimethylglycine (DMG). DMG has been found helpful in ADHD, autism, allergies, alcoholism drug addiction, and chronic fatigue syndrome among other chronic issues. Methionine has been found helpful in treating depression, allergies, alcoholism and schizophrenia among other chronic issues. Hypothyroidism may be associated with over expression of this gene: [http://www.wikigenes.org/e/gene/e/635.html] Choline deficiency disease and hyperhomocysteinemia (a heart disease risk factor) may be associated with this gene — (not necessarily with this specific mutation though). The protein that the gene normally produces is necessary in metabolism and in the CDK-mediated phosphorylation and removal of Cdc6 SuperPath: [http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=BHMT] And the CDK-mediated phosphorylation and removal of Cdc6 SuperPath involves 97 other pathways which include a Calcium2+ pathway and a Parkinsons Disease pathway and creatine metabolism (important for muscles) and synthesis of DNA and many other metabolic paths/chains of chemical events  (so a double mutation in this gene may make it difficult for me to make phospholipids endogenously, but this information is out of my depth, organic chemistry wise): [http://pathcards.genecards.org/card/cdk-mediated_phosphorylation_and_removal_of_cdc6] This double mutation in combination with the single mutation (+/-) in (#3 below) BHMT/8 and (#4 below)CBS/A360A may exacerbate each other’s negative effects on my body, causing an up-regulation of the CBS pathway and also may make it more difficult for me to remove toxic heavy metals from my body – see #4 in the next list for the link.
  4. MAO A/R297R (Call – T). “Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) is an enzyme in the brain,” Nick-named “The Warrior Gene” because levels need to be just right because it causes the breakdown of neurotransmitters and too little or too much can cause different symptoms from increased violence to increased anxiety and less aggression. “The G or GG allele indicates higher levels of the enzyme, while the T allele indicates lower levels (T is the ‘risk’ allele). (R)   In females, the G allele was associated with higher outward anger (p = 0.002) and it seems like G allele also causes aggression in males. (R)” The T version of R297R mutation is associated with generalized anxiety disorder (which was one of my earlier “diagnoses” but it was from talk therapy with a MSW so it never really “counted” with psychiatrists that I saw more recently.) “Females with TT reported higher levels of ‘‘angry temperament’’.  Female suicide attempters with TT reported higher ‘‘self-aggression’’” “Women are less likely to have these genes.” “People with the low activity MAO-A gene (2R, 3R) are overall more prone to violence. Specifically, when these people feel very provoked or socially isolated their aggression will come out. People with low MAO-A are more likely to be risk takers.  They are are also more likely to take revenge and use greater force if they get screwed over, but not for small screw overs. Mice with low MAO-A are also more aggressive in general and are more likely to start turf wars. People and mice with low MAO-A are more impulsive and aggressive. People with low MAO-A who are abused as kids show more aggressive behaviour as an adult.” The herbal supplement Gingko biloba, riboflavin (vitamin B2), bio-identical progesterone, and keeping to my circadian rhythm, (keeping a regular day/night wake/sleep cycle instead of pulling all-nighters and then sleeping in), may help me if I have low levels of the enzyme (and excess aggression/anxiety): [http://selfhacked.com/2014/12/07/about-mao-a-and-what-to-do-if-you-have-the-warrior-gene/] Reserpine, a drug based on an herb called Rauwolfia serpentina, or Indian snakeroot or sarpagandha may also help: [http://www.warriorgene.info/] * a commercial site.

The seven single mutations/polymorphisms are in the genes:

  1. SHMT/C1420T (Call – Hetero), Serine hydroxymethyltransferase, This polymorphism was not found to have an increased risk of Down’s Syndrome (DS) (thought possible because it affects folate) and levels of metabolites of the folate pathway seemed similar between the experimental groups of mothers (had children with DS) and control groups of mothers (did not have children with DS).  A protective role was actually found for this polymorphism (which sounds nicer than mutation, allele is another word for variations of the same gene.) [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21687976]
  2. MTR/A2756G (Call – Hetero), methionine synthase gene, This mutation may cause up-regulation of the conversion of homocysteine to methionine which requires and might use up stores of methylated B12. [http://mtra2756g.com/] * a commercial site.
  3. BHMT/8 (Call – Hetero), see #3 above for general information about this gene’s protein.
  4. CBS/A360A (Call-Hetero), “CBS (cystathionine beta synthase) is a gene that converts homocysteine into cystathionine. 
The CBS pathway is the gateway into a number of essential biochemical processes. 
The biochemical pathways that follow and are linked to CBS are Transsulfuration and Glutathionine Synthesis.

 It is essential to address that Glutathione (GSH) is among the most important endogenously-produced antioxidants in every cell of the body. Glutathione activity in cells is critical for normal detoxification and defense mechanisms in every cell.” (I’m suggested to eliminate eggs from my diet — too late, they are already gone, but also cruciferous vegetables, onions and garlic – sad face. but I’m also suggested to avoid excess methyl donors like choline — and coffee is a methyl donor – sad face – it is already gone too, very sad face): “Restriction of supplemental methyl groups is important. We all need methyl groups, but those with active CBS up-regulations 
need to be cautious with how much sulfur and how many methyl groups they are taking in daily.
 This includes common supplements such as: L-methionine, L-cysteine, L-taurine, MSM, Glucosamine,  L-Glycine, DMSO, SAMe, NAC, methylcobalamin, methyl-folate, Betaine HCL, Choline. Restricting Vitamin B6 may also be warranted in CBS up-regulations. P5P (pyridoxal 5 phosphate), however, does not appear to increase CBS activity.” [http://metabolichealing.com/metabolic-gateways-cbs-gene-mutations-glutathione/] *That link is to a clinic. (So when my B6 runs out, I should special order the P5P version — which a pharmaceutical company is trying to patent as a prescription medication, if it can gain the FDA’s approval to make the more biologically active form of an essential nutrient unavailable without a prescription because it would interfere with their potential profits: “How does Medicure think it can get away with this? Its petition states rather candidly: “Pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs must be protected from companies that may seek to market the ingredients in those drugs as dietary supplements. The marketing of such products has the potential to undermine the incentive for the development of new drugs because many people may choose to purchase the supplements rather than the drugs.”” An essential nutrient is not a drug — companies have to tack on a fluoride or bromide or something else that makes the new chemical slightly different in order to be able to patent a chemical within the normal process. Bio-identical nutrients are not usually able to be patent protected – because they are essential, especially for people with metabolic defects in their ability to convert less active forms to the more active form. In my state, the Michigan Consumer Protection Act of 1976 is supposed to protect people from having their disability used against them in business transactions such as buying a supplement or prescription medication. 445.903x: “(x) Taking advantage of the consumer’s inability reasonably to protect his or her interests by reason of disability, illiteracy, or inability to understand the language of an agreement presented by the other party to the transaction who knows or reasonably should know of the consumer’s inability.“, And products aren’t supposed to misrepresented such as calling an essential nutrient a prescription medication: 445.903e: “(e) Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another.”  [http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(45hcye5dzt3luno152p33nku))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-445-903])
  5. COMT/V158M (Call-Hetero), Catechol-O-Methyltransferase, Variations of this gene may lead to swings in dopamine levels that can cause mood swings. Red and purple foods may not be processed well and also may cause problems in mood swings for some people (like purple berries and red food dye (?) just reading, aghast that I’ve survived this long. Red food dye was one of my earliest migraine triggers.) [http://resqua.com/702188759/what-does-the-comt-gene-mutation-mean] Defects in this gene are associated with ADD/ADHD. [http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Yasko_Methylation] And with panic disorder. [http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=COMT]
  6. COMT/H62H (Call-Hetero), see #5 above.
  7. VDR/Fok1 (Call-Hetero). – the gene for the Vitamin D Receptor, see the excerpts within the earlier text of this post. And: “VDR Fok is involved with Blood sugar regulation. VDR mutations oppose COMT mutations in the regulation of dopamine levels. A VDR mutation means that a person is less sensitive to methyl group supplement levels. (Mood swings.) A VDR mutation can result in behaviors opposite to a COMT mutation. See Dr. Roberts comments at http://www.heartfixer.com/AMRI-Nutrigenomics.htm#VDR%20Taq:%20%20Vitamin%20D%20Receptor%20Taq%20Abnormality ” [http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Yasko_Methylation] Dr. Roberts comments suggest that my normal VDR Taq gene helps balance the COMT +/- genes so that I have reasonable dopamine production but might have increased risk for mood swings. hmmmm

So I went and bought some more wild yam progesterone cream because I had run out a while ago and forgot to buy more and it has helped my mood and other peri-meopausal symptoms in the past. I also bought some Gingko biloba because I have also used that in the past with no problems and mood swings and self-aggression are no fun.

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

The voices that people with schizophrenia are hearing are probably their own inner thoughts

This is kind of breaking news — new news: A research scientist, with the aid of a powerful microphone, was able to record a patient with schizophrenia speaking to themselves in a sub-vocal voice. The patient was not aware that they were speaking at the time.

The research is very early, a first in its field perhaps, but the theory seems to suggest that the patients with schizophrenia symptoms may have some disconnect with the normal ability to identify internal thoughts and sub-vocal speech as being self generated and instead are interpreting the internal thoughts as coming from some external source of whatever type the person might think.

(Example of my interpretation of sub-vocal speech: the almost silent muttering under your breath that you don’t notice yourself doing, until suddenly you do notice that you’re talking to yourself, and then you stop because you don’t want anyone to notice. The brain of a someone with schizophrenia may no longer recognize the voices of self-talk, or those of voices in memories or in imagined conversations, as being internally self-generated and instead probably tend to make up some explanation for  whatever or whoever might be doing the talking that is being heard — hearing voices. Our internal chatter can get busy and sometimes pretty mean, it would be scary to not realize that it is just yourself. )

Read more, of the actual article:  [http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2016/03/schizophrenia_and_subvocal_speech_why_schizophrenics_hear_the_voices_of.html]

This seems like very important news — patients with schizophrenia may be able to be gently reminded that those voices are just brain mumbles, and to try to ignore them.

People with schizophrenia are generally not associated with violence unless there is also a history of violent behavior, alcohol or drug abuse, or more persecutory fantasies. [citation missing, I don’t remember where I read that recently, but I posted it in a comment somewhere.]

Mental health symptoms sometimes may be due to underlying issues that could be easily fixed, rather than considering the patient as being ‘mentally ill’ for the rest of their life and likely being placed on medications that tend to have severe side effects. Effective health care would seek for any underlying causes that can be returned to a state of normal function with the simplest solutions possible, “Let food be thy medicine,” the first part of the quote by Hippocrates may be the most important part.

There are several different nutrient deficiencies that can cause symptoms similar to schizophrenia or may be involved in an underlying cause for the condition, this information was from an older post of mine but it was not grouped together:

Regarding trends seen around the world in rate of schizophrenia, it has been dropping in South Korea and increasing in Japan. North Korea has the highest rate for the region: http://global-disease-burden.healthgrove.com/l/58241/Schizophrenia-in-South-Korea

Malnutrition in North Korea is more likely involved in the increased rate for the nation than cat ownership due to the many years of sanctions against the country. B12, folate, zinc and vitamin D deficiencies and excess copper may be involved in risk of developing schizophrenia like symptoms. Folate and calcium are considered to be potentially deficient for the typical Korean diet. Fortified milk products aren’t typically consumed so extra vitamin D from that source wouldn’t be available. Iodine is also a nutrient that may be deficient in the diet. http://adoptionnutrition.org/nutrition-by-country/korea/

And low iodine levels can increase risk for hypothyroidism which has been found to be more common as a comorbid condition with patients with schizophrenia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30350120

Bromine excess can compete with iodine and may increase risk of hypothyroid or schizophrenia symptoms. http://www.kumc.edu/school-of-medicine/integrative-medicine/health-topics/iodine-supplementation.html

Low thyroid levels have been associated with schizophrenia in early treatment of the disease and has been used in more recent care of patients by an alternative physician. The following link includes excerpts from many older research articles and one mentions kryptopyrroles being elevated in some patients so a genetic cause may be involved for some patients that would cause low zinc and low B6 levels (pyroluria). http://www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2001/articles/2001-v16n04-p205.shtml

Schizophrenia treatment and other psychiatric care in Russia does not seem to be an ideal to follow anywhere else – or there: http://www.sras.org/snezhnevsky_schizophrenia_soviet_psychiatry However Russians on average do own a lot of cats, especially in comparison to residents of South Korea: https://www.statista.com/chart/10267/which-countries-have-the-most-cat-owners/?utm_content=buffer35f5b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer 

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Addition – current medications used to treat schizophrenia may be increasing oxidative stress. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12031-018-1165-4