Genetics, genetic testing, toxicity, and thriving in a toxic world.

Newsletter Published:  January 13, 2014

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a newsletter, and there have been some interesting changes both in the practice, and certainly in the world.  I am proud to say that these changes I have implemented are at the cutting edge of wellness and preventative health care.

Below I will discuss how the autistic community has provided the inquisitive and determined health care providers with an understanding to the nature of chronic dis-ease, not just autism.  There is a link between our genetic profile and our ability to detoxify to many dis-eases.  The good news is that our understanding of custom tailored nutrition, via gene mapping and functional testing, can go a long way to reverse and inevitably prevent many health problems from occurring.

We’re on the cusp of a monumental change in healthcare that offers us great tools for avoiding many of the problems we have seen many friends and family members succumb to.  If we wish to avoid those same problems, we must do things differently than they have.   In fact, with an ever increasing toxic world (see Fukushima), and the age of antibiotic resistance now here, life will prove exceptionally challenging to those who continue the same path they’re on without adopting much of the this new information. 

This information is so important, I plan on doing classes over the next few months to help each of you become more properly prepared for our increasingly toxic world with increasingly virulent microbes.   If you want to know what I mean by all of this, read on…  

It’s a toxic world, and how you cope with it comes down to genetics, nutrient status, and environmental exposure.

While the conventional model of medicine continues it’s quest for one cause = one cure mode of diagnosis and treatment, a more mature model of understanding health and lack thereof is emerging in the functional analysis health care delivery system.   A key aspect of this functional analysis involves looking at our toxic body burden, our nutrient status, and what we can do to improve our ability to detoxify from a genetic standpoint.

Are we really toxic?
Recent studies have shown that the umbilical cords of babies have over 200 toxic chemicals burdening their systems, and many of these chemicals are both carcinogenic and have been banned for years(
1).   Likewise, the CDC has been monitoring the toxic body burden of American’s and the conclusion is that everybody is dealing with a toxic body burden, and the burden increases with age(2).   No studies have been performed to understand what the synergistic effect is of multiple low level toxins, but it’s reasonable to believe that a number of low level toxins may be as harmful as one high dose of a single toxin due to how these toxins can deplete key nutrients/anti-oxidants. Needless to say, our bodies are challenged by a number of poisons on a daily basis, and to act and eat in the same manner as our parents and grandparents did will result in shorter, more uncomfortable lives, for many people.

So what do we do? 
Well, the number one thing to do is to  remove our exposure to known toxins.  Food, air, and water need to be as pure as possible, and then we have considerations about what we put on our body as far as cosmetics, soaps, etc.  These are the basics, or the “macro detoxification” keys, and I find that most people do not do enough in this category.   I’ll be discussing much of this in my upcoming detoxification series.

What does autism have to do with all of this?
Dr. Amy Yasko, a naturopath with a genetic background from Maine, introduced to the health care community an understanding of how genetic mutations may affect what is aptly referred to as the backbone of the biochemistry of our body, the methylation cycle.  She found that many autistic children had a number of genetic mutations which impaired their ability to properly detoxify and repair their bodies at the cellular level.  She took this knowledge and created strategies to optimize this cycle by providing key nutrients depending on what mutations existed in the individual, and has helped set a few thousand patients down a road to recovery from very challenging health conditions, conditions which are deemed “incurable” by orthodox medicine.  In time, Dr. Yasko will be recognized for her work and significant service to humanity.

What is the methylation cycle?
Without getting too technical about this, the methylation cycle occurs in every cell in our body, and is responsible for DNA repair, in addition to synthesizing very important molecules such as glutathione, serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline.  Additionally, it’s proper function helps our body suppress very damaging molecules for our nervous system such as superoxide and peroxynitrite.  Impaired methylation cycle function may result in, to name just a few things: acne, ADHD, depression, chronic fatigue, cancer, heart disease, thyroid diseases, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons.  Given the broad effects of the methylation cycle, it could be reasonably argued that virtually every chronic disease known to man has some involvement with impaired methylation.

What do I mean by genetic mutations?    Genes are codes of instruction within our DNA for the production of proteins.  In short, a mutation may result in an impaired ability to produce a key protein or enzyme.  One of the more important enzymes is called MTHFR, which helps our body convert dietary folic acid (vitamin B9) into its active form called 5-MTHF within the methylation cycle.  Impairment in this gene is very common and can result in it working at about 30% efficiency, which does fuel, many, many dis-ease processes.  The solution for many people is simply taking a supplemental form of 5-MTHF.  There are two MTHFR mutations which are so common, and have such an impact on our health that you can have a lab like labcorp or Quest test for them.

What does this have to do with toxicity?      Lots!  The biggest issue is probably the impairment of producing glutathione, which is our bodies most important detoxifying molecule.  If you have genetic mutations which are actively expressing themselves within the methylation cycle, you can be fairly certain that toxins are accumulating in you at a more rapid rate than what they will in somebody who doesn’t have those mutations, assuming all other things are equal.  Recent studies have shown that lower levels of glutathione increase the aging process(3).  If that doesn’t impress you, then watch this video to see how profound a change occurs in a Parkisons patient following an IV infusion of glutathione.  After watching that, think about how it may have been beneficial to this individual to work on optimizing his bodies own production of glutathione via optimized methylation 20 or 30 years prior to all of this!

Can nutrients really change our genetic expression?    Your genetic profile will never change, however, your genetic expression can be profoundly influenced by your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and certainly nutritional status.  Below is an image from a study of two genetically identical mice who lived in the same environment, and were fed the exact same things.  You’ll notice they look a little different, but they are indeed genetically identical!   The only difference between the two was that the healthy looking brown one was supplemented with key nutrients which support the methylation cycle.

How is genetic testing performed?   
You may have heard of the company and how the FDA had come down on them for some of their practices.  In short, the issue arose because 23andme was making claims about specific genes having a specific risk with a specific disease.  While I don’t agree with the FDA sticking its nose in this, nor do I necessarily agree with 23andme’s disease risk assessment, there was never an issue related to the integrity of the gene mapping process.  Dr. Ben Lynch of has a good write up on this topic for those who are interested.   With that said, for $99 plus shipping 23andme will STILL map your genome, and you can take that raw data and plug it into additional software ( which can generate a report that we can use to determine where genetic problems with regard to methylation, and much more may occur.  This is a simple saliva test.

What do I do with that data?
By looking at the report, in conjunction with other testing, I can help you formulate a more refined nutritional protocol to help you optimize your health.

What other testing do I recommend?
The micronutrient evaluation test by spectracell laboratories measures 31 key nutrients as extracted from your own white blood cells.  The significance of this test is that it provides a window of approximately the last 6 months into what your nutrient levels have been.  By comparison, a standard blood test provides us with a snap shot of a moment in time when the test was taken, not necessarily how things have been trending biochemically.   The micronutrient evaluation has proven to be a great tool in helping to find some hidden deficiencies in those I’ve used it on, including myself.  Remember, nutrients help our biochemical machinery work right.  When we lack in those nutrients, we become toxic.  When we become toxic dis-ease and infectious agents take root.  You can read more about the micronutrient testing

Upcoming classes on detoxification:

If you think you’d be interesting in attending one of my detoxification classes, please send me a quick email letting me know that you might want to attend.  I’ll send out a notice at least 2 weeks ahead of time with the details of the class. 


Quote of the month:

“If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat-diseased tissue-rather than being the cause of dead tissue. In other words, mosquitoes seek the stagnant water, but do not cause the pool to become stagnant.”- Dr. Rudolph Virchow, the Father of Modern Pathology


Dr. Matthew Buckley, DC, DM(P)
2700 Bee Cave Rd. #101
Austin, TX. 78746

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