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interpreting genetic results re: sulfur


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kt - the things susie lists are called snps (snips) and they represent mutations of one particular gene called CBS. Your CBS gene is one of about 30 genes involved in a process called methylation - our methylation cycle fires every second of our lives and it impacts many aspects of health. But for our kids, it's important because these 30 genes work together to create and balance neurotransmitters. You can order a spit test from a company called 23andMe for $99 (no dr order required) and they give you info on 990,000 snps of your genes - not just the ones involved in methylation. You can go to the pinned threads at the top of the forum and find a long post from me with links that will help you learn more about the topic.

 

Susie - there are two parts to your question. First, having a mutation doesn't automatically mean that mutation is expressing itself. It only means it's possible. In today's world, there's no test to say whether the snp is expressing. Instead, you look at clinic evidence. The two bad things that happen when you have a CBS mutation that's expressing is that 1) you can't tolerate sulfurs as well. When you eat protein or ingest sulfur medications/supplements/foods, your body has to convert that sulfur into a less damaging sulfite. Having a CBS mutation reduces your ability to do this. The CBS cog of methylation also produces an ammonia byproduct. Having a mutation reduces your ability to handle that ammonia.

 

So how can you tell? The easiest way is to buy urine test strips and test your urine. You may also notice that your urine has a strong odor to it, something a little reminiscent of that ammonia smell that comes from a full can of wet diapers. The odor will get stronger after you've had a meal high in protein or sulfur. Another sign that you have a CBS issue is if you have negative reactions to sulfur drugs or foods or supplements. I took NAC for a few months last year, before I knew I was CBS +/-. My liver panel - AST and ALT levels - rose well above normal. I couldn't neutralize the high level of sulfur in the NAC. I stopped taking it and my liver panel dropped to normal. NAC makes my CBS +/- DD very angry and edgy.

 

You can more complete info here http://www.heartfixer.com/AMRI-Nutrigenomics.htm and this "methylation for dummies" written by one of Yasko's students: http://autismnti.com/images/Website-_Yasko_Education.pdf

 

One word of caution tho - both Yasko and the Dr who wrote the heartfixer document I just linked both make recommendations about various supplements to use or avoid based on your genetics. Always, always do your own research on these supplements. For example, you'll see Yucca touted as a great supplement for CBS issues. Yet, Yucca is estrogenic, meaning it can raise your levels of estrogen. For a perimenopausal woman or a girl approaching puberty or even a boy, I'm not comfortable messing with estrogen levels. So I won't use Yucca. Yet molybdenum, which is recommended for ammonia levels, has been great for my family. But I only started using it once I'd done my own research on it and added in slowly. Be a skeptic and do your own research. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for this stuff.

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Hi LLM - Just wondering if you ever tried charcoal flushes to decrease ammonia and if that helped or not?

 

Susie - A low protein diet (not low sulfur diet - we definitely need sulfur in our bodies to function) is also recommended to address sulfur levels. So, I am starting to switch to vegetarian options, but I do keep things like brocolli and garlic (high sulfur donors) in the mix because they are so good for you:

 

"I would take your protein down to a moderate amount and make sure the carbs you eat are the right ones. The best are the highly complex carbs instead of what most people eat. So qunoa, basmati, oats, buckwheat, millet, and vegetables instead of white rice, pasta, and breads." - from this thread http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/heres-the-cbs-sulfate-sufite-answer.15113/

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I am sorry that no one is commenting on your actual results. As far as I can tell, these are not mutations that should make you worried about sulfur. do you think you have any symptoms associated with inability to process sulfur?

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Pr40 - fwiw, three in my family are CBS heterozygous and all of us have degrees of sulfur intolerance. For us it's a matter of quantity and duration. We can handle small spikes of it or short-term doses of a medication. But over time, as I mentioned in my liver panel results, we see consequences. I don't think you can say that just because someone is homozygous, they won't be affected. It's something someone needs to be aware of and determine their own particular tolerances. For me, it's something I definitely need to limit.

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thanks for clarifying that, LLM. We are, too, hetero and we have similar problems.

but susieq's child has only one hetero out of 3 CBS genes. I don't see how her absence of mutations on all but 699T would give her problems with sulfur. Perhaps I just don't understand mutations well enough.

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You're right pr40 - I didn't really address Susie's original post, but instead assumed her child was intolerant and then just spoke to that...

 

Susie, as far as knowing what the symptoms are for sulfur intolerance, there is nothing concrete behaviour-wise that will point specifically to sulfur intolerance, which is why urine test strips will help (tests just how high your sulfate levels are). According to Amy Yasko, sulfur build-up, in general, can trigger the cortisol stress reaction, and exacerbate other situations in the body with excess glutamate and throw off the epinephrine/norepineprhine ratio.

 

With regard to the snips, the CBS ones are linked to excess ammonia and sulfites but they are not the only ones (and again, this is assuming that these genes are in fact expressing). The BHMT enzyme affects the "shortcut" route to methylation. Having BHMT mutations (1, 2 & 4) can produce results similar to that of a CBS mutation (or as I think of it, a functional CBS mutation), to the point where ammonia and sulfur need to be addressed similarly.

 

Ammonia levels can be checked with a UAA (Urinary Amino Acids) test. High levels can be addressed with a low protein diet (ammonia is a by-product of protein break-down), as well as charcoal and magnesium flushes (which I have personally never tried, but may do so soon). Yucca was once touted as something that could also help out with high ammonia levels but this has now become controversial given the estrogenic connection.

 

Molybdenum is used to process sulfur and may be helpful to address high sulfur issues. A UEE (Urinary Essential Elements) test can help you monitor Molybdenum levels, and determine if supplementation is in fact needed. Be advised that I know of one person who went overboard on Molybdenum and when she got tested her levels were toxic! She now does UAA and UEE testing every 6 months.

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