36 minutes | Jun 12th 2020

Feeding on Fear with Morgan Knull of Feed Your Genes

In the first of this two-part series, we explore how environmental and emotional factors such as stress and fear can highlight and exacerbate unhealthy eating patterns. We discuss the connection between neurotransmitter production and function and mood, sleep, weight management, and cravings. We look at two of the most important neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine, and what role each one plays on our behaviors that drive our habits. Then, we welcome certified nutritionist, Morgan Knull of Feed Your Genes, to talk about how she works with the genetic variations of her clients to empower them through custom supplementation and meal plans. Key Takeaways: [2:42] There are two main neurotransmitters that can play a big role in our mood. Serotonin helps regulate sleep, appetite, mood, while dopamine is our “feel-good” neurotransmitter and acts as the pleasure and reward-seeking hormone. [5:43] Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can determine how we react to our environment and can give us some real insight on how to leverage these variations to support our health. [9:29] Good Medicine uses Pure Genomics 2.0 for many reasons, one being that it is a well-organized way for providers to see different SNPs in a simplified way, which will assist us in this rapidly evolving field. With so many different SNPs it can get confusing, or seem like “alphabet soup”, but Pure Genomics provides a user-friendly system. [11:10] Morgan herself spent decades trying different diets, and feeling frustrated when they wouldn’t work. She decided to get her own genetic testing done, and it changed the game, both how she ate, and how she looked at her own cravings. At her company Feed Your Genes, Morgan offers nutritional genomic consultations, which then can help her create customized meal plans based on the specific genetic needs of each individual. [16:01] When we are under a lot of stress, the demand for these neurotransmitters can be kicked into high gear which can deplete us and lead into the habit of self-medicating. When we are depleted of serotonin our cravings can be towards chocolates and sugary foods, while dopamine causes us to seek out salty foods such as chips and cheese. [21:22] The SNPs talked about in this episode include COMT, TPH2, FTO, and DRD2. [24:34] The FTO SNP is known as the obesity gene and one of the most well-researched genes, connecting appetite and satiety. There is a connection between FTO and the need to snack constantly because one never feels full. Morgan explains that when she sees the FTO gene, she can help create meal plans using protein to give her clients more satiety. COMT can help us see how we can clear out dopamine, and TPH2 is the precursor to serotonin which helps us with mood and appetite. [27:04] Morgan works with her clients to uncover reasons for eating patterns and behaviors that they may have beat themselves up for decades. When they have the tools and knowledge of knowing why something is happening, they change the narrative about who they are and success seems more possible. Quotes: “When we say sugar is an addiction and we laugh it off, it really is.”  “The heart of functional medicine is discovering the why to the symptoms of our illness.” “This is why you are, this isn’t who you are.” Mentioned: Good Medicine Pure Encapsulations PureGenomics Free 30-minute consult. Schedule Here 23andMe Ancestry.com Kara Ware, LLC LivingMatrix Color Coded Cheat Sheet Feed Your Genes Dr. Penny Kendall Reed First Things First, Mental Health
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