30 minutes | Jul 3rd 2020

Why is the generic advice ‘eat right and exercise’ bad advice? with Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed

This episode featuring Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed explores how clinicians can use genetics to inform patients in their weight management journey. We discuss how certain hormones and SNPs can determine the best diet and what “eating healthy” really means for each individual. We share practical advice for providers to identify which variants to reference that play a role in regulating the metabolic hormones that influence hunger and satiety. Key Takeaways: [0:51] We get a much better result of managing mood and weight when we first determine the underlying genetic drivers that influence appetite and satiety. [3:08] Dr. Nathan Morris shares a story that shows the importance of understanding the relationship between dopamine and serotonin with mood and food. He highlights the connection between our genetic variations and how they affect our eating behaviors weight. [12:39] Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite and also plays a role in our weight. Leptin decreases our appetite and lets us know when we are full and satiated. [INSERT] FTO plays a role in the production of these and has a big impact on our metabolism. FTO does not like simple sugar or saturated fats, and when you are variant with FTO you are likely to burn fat slower and not feel full. It is especially important to look for FTO before recommending the ketogenic or paleo diet. [15:48] With MC4R gene variant, there is a 43% increased chance of obesity. Patients with variant MC4R have often struggled with weight management, and despite trying different diets, they have a hard time with finding long term success. [17:45] FTO and MC4R are both influenced by the dopaminergic pathways. Their activity influences ghrelin, which can cause patients to become constant snackers seeking a dopamine hit. This relationship with dopamine means it is important to also look at the DRD2 (dopamine receptor) of patients to make sure their dopamine uptake is working properly. [18:53] FTO will also dictate how much protein we need per meal, the A/A risk variant, with the slowest metabolic position typically needs the highest amount of protein. [20:20] Those with the MC4R gene variant may have dealt with childhood obesity and struggled just trying to find balance most of their life. Dr. Penny suggests diet and exercise alone won’t always work, and we can benefit from treating this using a supplemental protocol including a combination of Piper betle, Dolichos biflorus, and acetyl-L-carnitine. [21:58] Leptin is our metabolic hormone which signals when we have had enough to eat. When we are constantly snacking, leptin may build resistance and prevent us from feeling full. Intermittent fasting may work well for patients as a way to help combat leptin resistance.  [23:03] The APOA2 gene variant also affects these metabolic hormones and when Dr. Penny sees this she recommends the patient eats under 22 grams of saturated fat a day. [26:02] Understanding how genetic variations play a role in our mood and weight management takes away the guilt people feel and realize they have control over it. When they feel better and have a road map of what eating right really looks like for them personally, they are more likely to see good results and stick to their plan. This transforms food from a burden to a gift and pleasure. Mentioned: Good Medicine Pure Encapsulations PureGenomics Free PureGenomics Business Integration 30-minute consult. Schedule Here Ep 2 - First Things First, Mental Health Ep 5 - Feeding on Fear with Morgan Knull of Feed Your Genes Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed PKR Health   Quotes: “Eat right really is generic advice that gives no clue to the patient of what that means.” - Dr. Nathan Morris “We are in some way enslaved to these hormones. It’s almost irrational what they make you want to do.” - Dr. Nathan Morris “We have our DNA which is our nature, but we can nurture it to be able to express optimal function.” - Dr. Kara Ware
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