Archive for the ‘Genetics / Inheritance’ Category

Polygenetic and Poly-etc..

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The predisposition is not only genetic (polygenic) but also environmental. Every single experience you had in life, every food, every substance that entered your system, and ones that are lacking.. all come into a complex play with your genes and body systems, even your mind-set, and produce physical outcomes.

Is Patterned Hair Loss Genetic?

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Yes and no. Genetics do play a role by causing a predisposition or a susceptibility to hair loss in individuals. However, saying something is genetic does not mean it is caused by one gene alone.  It is becoming evident the susceptibility to hair loss is driven by multiple genes, not just one. Thus what we consider male pattern baldness is Polygenic.

As more discoveries in the human genome were made researchers began to see previously unknown genetic complexities that played a role in the inheritance or manifestation of AGA.

As of March 2008 only one gene was identified to be related with AGA: “The origin of AGA is genetic, with the X chromosome located androgen receptor gene (AR) being the only risk gene identified to date.” [8] Quickly after, by September 2008, a better understanding of the polygenic nature of AGA was acquired: “Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common heritable polygenic disorder whose genetics is not fully understood, even though it seems to be X-linked.” [16]
Based on current knowledge, we can define AGA by saying that inheritance of AGA traits is polygenic, meaning the inheritance has many, or several, different sources of origin.

Written on July, 22 2010

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Comment:

Polygenic is a better word to associate with male pattern baldness than Androgenic since research found non-androgen dependent pathways involved with male pattern baldness. I am also of the opinion that genetics only play a role but do not determine the outcome. Research does show that environmental factors can trump genetics, they can trigger genetics, alter genes or prevent the expression of certain treats. Exercise, a good diet, a clean environment, a good mindset, and healthy gut flora all contribute to optimal health and can trump genetic predisposition.

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The Genetic Link

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Looking at research into Androgenic Alopecia (AGA) here’s what I found:

Hair follicles in different parts of the human body behave differently throughout the human lifespan. Beard growth is androgen-dependent, while hair sensitive to androgen experiences thinning as result of androgens. [25]

It seems androgens cause beard hair, armpit (axillary) hair and pubic hair follicles to enlarge while frontal and vertex scalp hair decrease is size. Others hair follicles like eyebrows and eyelashes don’t seem to change in size. [28]

Researchers in one study concluded this opposite impact of androgens on hair follicles of the beard and scalp was due “to differential gene expression within hair follicles”. [18] Another study stated the factors behind AGA “to be genetic predisposition coupled with the presence of sufficient circulating androgens” and “require the inheritance of several genes”. [3]

A study published in 2005 summarized the role of genetics with AGA by saying AGA is “androgen dependent, and genetic predisposition is the major requirement for the phenotype.”[9-] In other words, we can define AGA not only as androgen-dependent but also as a genetic condition.

Androgens would have no effect if it wasn’t for androgen receptors (AR’s). AR’s are what enables the human body to respond to androgens, and thus play a crucial role in male sexual development. Genetic variations in the AR gene are more common in men with an early onset of AGA.

German researchers named the androgen receptor gene as the cardinal prerequisite for balding.[9-] They concluded a certain variant of the androgen receptor is needed for AGA to develop. In the same year the results of this study were confirmed by other researchers.[10-]

This gene is recessive and a female would need two X chromosomes with the defect to show typical male pattern alopecia. Seeing that androgens and their interaction with the androgen receptor are the cause of AGA it seems logical that the androgen receptor gene plays an important part in its development.

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DNA Testing vs. Diet and Exercise

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

-::- Note: The below is published here for archival purposes -::-

Healthcare: DNA Testing vs. Diet and Exercise

Contributions of genetic alleles to disease are useful for understanding, but not in predicting disease. Diet and lifestyle are the major determinants of disease and not genes for most common diseases.

OTC Genetic Screening Kits

A recent headline touted the availability of a kit at Walgreens to screen for “predisposition” to a hundred common diseases. A few months earlier, scientists admitted that after lengthy examination of a dozen major diseases, the genetic contribution was negligible. It may now be possible to cheaply (less than $25,000) determine the sequence of the entire genome of an individual or even more cheaply test for the presence of particular genetic alleles, but that information is useless compared to diet for predicting if the person will actually get the disease. The screening kits were pulled before they reached the shelves.

Gut Flora Dominates Gut Genotype

I think that the reason why an individual’s genes don’t dominate health issues, is because the composition of meals dominates the development of the gut flora community and it is the interaction between the gut and its bacteria that dominates health. The genes of the individual are just not that important in determining disease.

You Are What You Ate

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