My last post was about MTHFR.  If these letters are new to you or you think I just called you an insult, please go back and review before proceeding.

Letters like MTHFR, COMT, MTRR, and today’s topic of VDR have to do with your DNA code.  Genetically, the human race is virtually identical.  You can take a female from Sri Lanka, mate her with a dude from Alaska, and they will produce a gorgeous baby with all the right parts and capacities for that human to become a world leader someday.

Functional Medicine Colorado Springs

The goofy letters I listed above fall into the category of what makes us unique.  MTHFR is used in how we process folic acid.  MTRR is used on how we process B12.  COMT has roles in breaking down neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine.  Regardless of your stance on creation and/or evolution, the one point of agreement is that today’s modern human has been around for 10,000 years.  This means your DNA code has been unchanged from classic hunter-gatherer type populations.

What has changed immensely is our environment.  That’s why this has the greatest factor on your overall health expression.  With that same DNA code being passed from generation to generation for 10,000 years, there’s potential that the basic blue print over time can have a typo here and there or even a little fading at times.

It’s these ‘typos’ that may create challenges the more your environment is compromised in your eating, movement, thought, social, and spiritual patterns.  They are called SNPs (snips).  Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms.

One I want to highlight today is the VDR.

Vitamin D Receptor

Your Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) is responsible for your ability to utilize Vitamin D.  This is especially pertinent as you’re going to be soon scared to death of the doom and gloom of the thing they call ‘flu season.’

Your vitamin D receptor is on your DNA.  Because vitamin D ultimately binds to your DNA, the implications of a deficiency are global inside your body.  Part of the story is being sufficient in your vitamin D levels.  The other part of the story is your body’s ability to receive vitamin D.  There could be a hang up in your liver, kidneys, and ultimately your DNA.

It’s this last one that may be a missing link in your Hashimoto journey.  SNPs in the VDR have been linked to xenobiotic detoxification, insulin sensitivity, possibly scoliosis, risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, increased risk of free radical pathologies like breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and even non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  A problem in the VDR can lead to low dopamine levels, increased risk of HIV infections, and coronary heart disease.

But the one that caught my eye the most was Hashimoto’s, since elevated thyroid antibodies cross my desk weekly.  Many of these people had no idea and were just told to take Synthroid the rest of their lives.

With not just Hashimoto’s becoming more prevalent, but all auto-immune conditions, could one of the underlying problems be a VDR SNP, not allowing full expression of a balanced immune system response?

If you’re one of the individuals with family histories of the cancers I listed above as well as auto-immune conditions, you may want to expand your SNP profile past just having an MTHFR and look at the VDR.  The cool thing is that it doesn’t have to be a scary thing.  You will just have to support that code variant more than someone that doesn’t have a variant and go about enjoying life to the fullest again.  If you need help, you know how to find me.


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