Genetic SNP Testing Made Safe, Easy and Affordable With MaxGen Labs

Photo credit:  The Stock Market Photos

Did you know that all of us have genetic variations that make it easier or harder for us to do things like utilize specific nutrients, breakdown neurotransmitters, detox, or lose weight? Do you wonder why you can’t stand the taste of cilantro or the smell of your asparagus pee? Or maybe you’ve had horrible side effects from birth control but your best friend was just fine? These are all due to genetic variations! Our genetics are what make us unique - and also very complicated. We’re not “one-size-fits-all” like conventional medicine often assumes.

What’s amazing is that you can now discover what your individual genetic variations are for a very affordable price. This is a big change from 20 years ago, when it cost thousands to get your hands on this information. Companies are now scientifically advanced enough to run specific DNA sequences and give you valuable insight on how your unique genes may by affecting your health and fertility. For example, a genetic variation in the MTHFR enzyme (a protein that converts folic acid into active folate) can increase your risk of miscarriage. Knowing this information is so valuable because it gives you the opportunity to be proactive and prevent pregnancy complications before they ever happen! 

You may have heard of MTHFR for fertility, but have you heard of PEMT? Or VDR? These are just a few other examples of important variations that can affect the ability to conceive or carry to term. In fact, PEMT can even have an impact on the intelligence of your future child! If that isn’t enough to convince you, I’m not sure what is. As a physician, I clearly see the benefit of knowing these variations, especially if you’re trying to get pregnant. I’ve used several companies, but my favorite new company is MaxGen Labs. They provide a comprehensive test that is easy to read, easy to refer back to, and has all the important markers I want to know about when working with couples. 

The specific test is called MaxFunction, short for “maximizing function”. I don’t know about you, but maximizing healthy function always seems like a good idea! The test kit contains a simple cheek swab test that you complete at home and mail back to the lab. The lab then checks for specific genetic variations that are known to alter function in a particular protein in the body. Then the lab generates a fancy report that lists out all your variations and the best ways to address each one. You can see an example of the report here

Whoa, back up. Catch me up on the basics.

Each cell holds a copy of your DNA. The DNA is wrapped up into tight, secure packages called chromosomes. One set (23 chromosomes) is from mom and the other is from dad. Our DNA is like the blueprint for each cell to work from. Fun fact – red blood cells are the only cells in the body that don’t contain DNA. 

Genes are sections of the DNA that provide the instructions for proteins and traits, like having blazing red hair. They’re made up of nitrogenous bases (A, T, C, and G) and are arranged in a unique sequences that vary just enough to ensure the human race doesn’t only look like George Clooney multiplied by 6 billion (it could be worse I guess). 

Our evolutionary process isn’t perfect (like Clooney) and slight changes happen to the DNA sequences over generations. One common change (and the reason you’re reading this) is called a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP). This simply means that one letter of the DNA was swapped out for another and BOOM – it changes how the gene is translated and how the end-product (usually a protein) functions. 

Remember that you inherited DNA from mom and dad, which means that you also inherit SNPs from each of them (thanks mom and dad). So, the lingo is that if you didn’t inherit a SNP in a particular gene from either mom or dad, then you have the “wild-type” (very bohemian). Wild-type simply means it’s the most common gene found in the human population. If you inherit a SNP from only one parent, this means you’re “heterozygous” and if you inherit the same SNP from both parents, you’re “homozygous”. 

Does heterozygous and homozygous mean that you’re doomed to sickness and despair?! Absolutely not. 

Enter epigenetics. Epigenetics translates to “on-top-of” genetics, which means that there are external controls that determine how the genes are used and expressed. These controls are highly influenced by your environment. When you discover you have a particular SNP, this doesn’t mean it’s being expressed and that you’re forever doomed. It does mean that you’re at a higher risk for experiencing symptoms related to the SNP. 

For example, you can be tested for the “Alzheimer’s” gene, known as APoE. The wild-type is E3, but if you inherit E2 or E4, you’re at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This in no way predicts that you’ll get the disease, it simply means that research shows that more people have the disease with the E2 and E4 gene than the E3. 

You may feel scared to discover this information. However, I challenge you to change your perspective and let this knowledge empower you. This amazing science allows you to know where your potential weaknesses are and how to prevent future illness. Knowing your SNPs can help you stay inspired and motivated on a day to day basis. Most importantly, it allows you to customize your nutrient intake and lifestyle to your unique needs, making a big difference in how you feel each day.

Why use MaxFunction?

Good question. I first heard about SNPs 6 years ago, when the only way to find out what I had was to use 23andMe. But 23andMe didn’t actually report the SNPs, only the raw DNA data. So I had to use another website to upload my raw data and get a report. This worked great at the time and I was grateful to find out I was homozygous for MTHFR C677T! Using 23andMe is still a good option, but they’ve changed what they report on the raw data and many SNPs I consider important are no longer available. MaxFunction provides all the SNPs I like to see for optimal fertility and preconception preparation.

The next reason is that, when you upload your raw data to other sites, it’s hard to know how secure your data is. I’ve done it enough times with my own data, I’m sure I’ll run into my own clone before I’m dead. I don’t wish this upon my own patients if I can help it. 

Also, you may be totally against giving your DNA to any company, which totally makes sense! I like using MaxGen because they’ve committed to destroying all evidence of your DNA and results after you receive your report. Since your DNA doesn’t change, you don’t ever need to do the report again. So you’re one and done. Big brother will not find you. 

Another reason is the reports provided by other sites are hard to read and you need a physician who knows what they’re doing to interpret the findings. If you can’t understand the results, then what’s the point? MaxFunction is very user friendly. They give great explanations on each page and you can get really far with “maximizing function” on your own! 

What can I expect?

The test will tell you if you’re sensitive to or need to supplement with certain forms of:

  • B12

  • Folate

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin D

  • Fish Oil

  • Choline

  • Probiotics

And the report will help you understand:

  • Stress and how your body responds (fight-or-flight)

  • Antioxidant production and recycling in the body (Glutathione)

  • Estrogen metabolism

  • Detoxification process for hormones, chemicals, and heavy metals

  • Response to inflammation

  • Genetic expression and the repair of your DNA

  • Neurotransmitters and the balancing of brain chemistry

  • Energy and overall production

  • The repair of cells damaged by free radicals

  • This test contains MTHFR, COMT, CBS, MAOA, and many more methylation SNPs

Do you have a MaxFunction report, Dr. Haylee?

Yes! In fact, I also completed a report for my infant daughter as well. Let me tell you, I’m so glad I did! I found out that she’s also homozygous MTHFR C677T (thanks to her parents…sigh) and that she doesn’t make antioxidants very well. This was hard news to digest, as I know this will make her more susceptible to illness and chronic symptoms. However, I’m so happy to know now while she’s so young because I know what I can do to support her. I have more motivation to support her via diet and supplementation than I would have without this knowledge. I’m all for prevention, so I feel grateful that modern science has given me insight into her genes and weak points so that I can help prevent potential future struggles. 

An example of my personal report. Photo credit:  The Stock Market Photos .

An example of my personal report. Photo credit: The Stock Market Photos.

In Summary

Genetic variations make us unique and also very complex. We’re not “one-size-fits-all” and testing can give you valuable insight on how your unique genes may by affecting your health and fertility. 

MaxGen Labs provide a comprehensive test that is easy to read, easy to refer back to, and has all the important markers needed to make an informed decision on how to support your health before and during pregnancy. The test kit contains a simple cheek swab test that you complete at home and mail back to the lab. 

The lab is checking to see if you have the wild-type, heterozygous or homozygous variations of certain genes known to alter function in a particular protein in the body. Having this information keeps you informed on the best ways to prevent future conditions you may be susceptible to, allowing you to customize your nutrient intake and lifestyle to your unique needs. Knowing what your weaknesses are can also help you stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle.

4 Reasons To Use MaxFunction by MaxGen Labs: 

  1. Comprehensive report with the most relevant SNPs according to current research. 

  2. Your data is secure, not shared with 3rd parties, and is destroyed after your reported is completed.

  3. Easy to read, user friendly report that can be referred back to as needed. Any doctor could help you utilize the info in the report, even without genetic expertise.

  4. It’s affordable and you can order on your own without the need of a doctor.

To learn about what genetic SNPs are, why they’re important, and 3 specific SNPs that are well-researched for their implications in fertility and pregnancy, click here.

 

In the spirit of full disclosure, we receive a small commission from MaxGen Labs when you use our link to purchase. We are very picky about which labs we align with and promote and we chose them because we truly believe in their value and routinely recommend this test to our clients. We want you to have the same opportunity to get tested without the need for a doctor.