Methyl Genetic Nutrition Analysis (MGNA) Program with Elizabeth Large, ND

Elizabeth Large, ND

Elizabeth Large, ND

Over the past 2 years, I have pursued my interest in applying the growing knowledge of genetic variability in the context of the individual with chronic illness. My ability to combine the genetic possibilities with your symptoms produces individualized protocols that give your body the support it needs to heal.

Methyl genetic nutrition analysis provides a cutting-edge approach to looking at genetic susceptibilities to developing chronic illness. Supporting your genetic susceptibilities with nutrition is based on current scientific research. I have found that looking at an individual’s genetic susceptibilities can provide the “Aha moment” in discovering a missing piece to lifelong health problems. Variants in DNA can impact your ability to make and use different nutrients critical for reducing inflammation, supporting healthy circulation, promoting a strong immunity, supporting emotional health, and proper removal of the toxins we are exposed to, as well as slowing the aging process.

I highly recommend this for everyone, either to prevent potential health conditions from developing, or to shed light on a chronic illness that you have been unable to cure. Understanding how DNA impacts human health and metabolic processes is the future of medicine. Thanks to the information these tests give, Dr. Large is seeing fast and quite amazing results in patients who have had health problems for most of their lives.

See Dr. Large's bio
DNA Is in Every Cell of the Body

Made of chemical bases (4): adenine(A), guanine(G), cytosine(C) and thymine(T), attached to a sugar and phosphate molecule called a nucleotide (2 long strands/double helix) these long strings of nucleotides form genes, and groups of genes are packaged tightly into structures called chromosomes. The sequence of bases in a portion of a DNA molecule, called a gene, carries the instructions needed to assemble a protein/enzyme.

DNA can replicate itself and when this happens sometimes the genetic instructions from the existing cell divides to make a new cell are copied incorrectly which leads to variations in the DNA sequence. This is called a single nucleotide polymorphism, known as SNP (pronounced “snip”). Most SNPs do not cause any observable differences. The location and total number of SNPs a person has may influence their susceptibility to health issues or impact how they react to certain drugs or even specific foods.

DNA, environment and lifestyle affect the expression of SNPs and how you absorb, utilize nutrition and eliminate toxins and by products. Genetic variations impact us differently. These inherited genetic issues may inhibit someone from making enough antioxidants (good guys), or may cause us to produce too many oxidants (bad guys) causing free radicals and oxidative stress which may lead to inflammation on a cellular level. Cellular damage may lead to slower rebuilding and repair of cells and ultimately faster aging. MGNATM is here to help support patients and clients nutritionally by providing researched data, and a closer look at your genetic makeup as it relates to the building blocks needed for energy, enzyme production, anti-aging, detoxification, etc.

Methyl Genetic Nutrition Analysis (MGNA) program

I have found that looking at an individual’s genetic susceptibilities can provide the “Aha moment” in discovering a missing piece to lifelong health problems.

Clearing Histamine Issues

When you see a lot of variants in one area – histamines, for example, the testing can help people clear up a lot of unresolved issues. Because histamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter, a patient with genetic variants might have more anxiety or insomnia from chronically elevated histamines. Difficulty in clearing histamines can also be expressed as food sensitivities, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), and/or environmental allergies. Identifying the genetic aspect that goes beyond those triggers can lead to effective treatment, and in some cases resolution of symptoms after years of suffering and frustration.

Natural remedies like food and herbal supplements can do much to clear histamines. I have seen vegetarians who thought they were doing everything to promote health and yet were eating all the wrong things. Allergy tests may not show which foods are not optimal.  A patient might be eating fermented foods like cheese and kombucha because they think it’s healthy, and unknowingly perpetuating their symptoms. In that case, a different diet might be part of the treatment I would recommend.

To clear histamine from the body we need methyl groups. If a patient’s genetic makeup includes methylation defects, more support in the form of Methyl B12, sam-E or folinic acid might be part of the treatment plan.

The Methylation Pathways

Once you know the interaction of the methylation pathways, you can start to help. Even patients with more complicated clinical presentations have noted improvement in their health.

For example, methylation defects can suppress the urea cycle. These genetic variants make it harder to clear ammonia. People who have a lot of ammonia in the urea cycle may have problems with mood. They pull BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin) which is needed to clear ammonia and so they can’t make enough serotonin and dopamine – and they will have more mood swings. People may be taking amino acids when that is not what they should be focusing on.

Another example is choline, a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, important in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. People with choline issues are much more susceptible to cognitive decline. If genetic variants cause difficulty in producing acetylcholine, brain function can be impaired.

Another piece of the puzzle is that choline genes require estrogen, so the body’s ability to make choline declines with age.

Choline is also important for patients dealing with mold toxicity. Variants in the PEMT genes for producing choline can make it harder for patients to recover. If you don’t produce enough choline, you don’t make enough bile to emulsify fats and absorb and make healthy membranes, very important in mold treatment. You can have sludge in the gallbladder and congestion in the liver that compromises liver function.

If you don’t produce enough choline, you don’t make enough bile to emulsify fats and absorb and make healthy membranes, very important in mold treatment. You can have sludge in the gallbladder and congestion in the liver that compromises liver function.

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Testing Used

Doctor's Data - Methylation Cycle
Doctor's Data - Methylation Cycle

The Methyl Genetic Nutrition Analysis (MGNA) program integrates labs such as the Organic Acid test (OAT), Doctors Data Methylation Panel, Urine Neurotransmitters and a Sulfite/Sulfate urine test. Most likely you will not need all these tests. The OAT test is the one most commonly used to assess metabolic issues. This testing helps us correlate what is happening in the body now and compare it to your genetic potential.

Once you have submitted your genetic information, lab work and symptoms, I generate a report that will help us discover where your body may be lacking in the production of nutrients needed for health. It aids us in finding the root cause where genetic variants are causing the nutrient imbalance. The beauty of this system is that it continuously evolves with the rapid rate of genetic research.

FAQ

An MGNA Report Includes

1. Gut Health and Digestion

2. Kreb cycle – where energy is produced

3. Detoxification Capacity

4. Folate Creation and Pathways

5. Methionine and Trans-sulfuration Pathways

6. Neurotransmitters

7. Inflammatory Tendencies

8. Vitamin D, Cell Membrane, Intestinal Bacteria, SHBG, Cardiovascular and Iron

9. DNA Repair Variants that Impact Exercise and Fitness Potential

10. Electrical Sensitivity Potential

11. Lyme Study SNPS

12. Empathy and Oxytocin Receptors

Who Should Get an MGNA?

Choosing the MGNA protocol is not a requirement for Dr. Large’s patients (unless genetic counseling is the only service they seek) but it can aid the doctor by providing a more thorough visibility of the patient’s genome and SNPs. Specifically, it allows Dr. Large to pinpoint areas where the body is lacking enzymatic support. It is encouraged that patients receive genetic counseling if they have an extensive medical history, extreme sensitivities, and/or very complex medical cases.

In addition, other doctors both in the GMA offices, and outside, may choose to refer their patient for an MGNA program.

What is discussed at the appointment after report is in and survey is complete?

The discussion at the appointment largely depends on the amount of information the patient wishes to receive. The doctor may only review problematic SNP’s, or can go into length on reviewing the entire report. Depending on the number of SNP’s requiring attention, the doctor may or may not recommend supplement support.

A 45 minute – 1 hour appointment is scheduled for the doctor to discuss the report with the patient. The doctor may recommend supplements to support particular methylation pathways. It is important to recognize that if there are multiple areas that need support, they should be treated one at a time, and supplements can be added on as the treatment progresses. The steps and process vary per case and will be discussed at the initial appointment.

Will I know if I carry the gene for Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, Parkinson’s etc.?

The 23andMe test report may indicate SNPs that show higher risk for certain conditions, including some SNPs associated with breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s. If those SNPs are positive on your 23andMe results, you may wish to discuss them with your practitioner at another, separate appointment.

The MGNA form of genetic testing is not aimed at diagnosing for these conditions. Unlike some genes, the SNPs that we focus on are nutrition-based and code for the structure of proteins and enzymes. By examining these SNPs, we can see what areas are causing the body excessive stress or intolerance. Once these areas are identified, options regarding diet change and supplemental support to minimize bodily stress become clearer.

What if I am already receiving medical treatment?

Illness, whether acute or chronic, can be a major stressor and can result in inefficient protein/enzyme activity. The body’s ability to supply essential proteins and enzymes plays a large role in the body’s receptivity to treatment and the overall effectiveness of the treatment. Both genetic support and medicinal practice work symbiotically to improve the patient’s health and address these areas of deficiency without conflict. If you have any specific questions regarding your medical and genetic treatment plans, please discuss this with your doctor directly.

How Do I Get the Analysis Done?

If you already have a 23andMe Report

1) Genetic information

You need to have the Health and Ancestory data. The Ancestory data alone is not sufficient. 23andMe does not send results to your doctor. The results are available on the 23andMe.com website by logging in under your account.

If you have already received your genetics through 23andme.com, contact your Medical Assistant to find out how to get the data to the office, and how much the fee will be.  There is a minimal fee for uploading the data to the website used to process the information.

DO NOT send the info from geneticgenie.com.  The software program we use processes the data differently. If necessary, go to the 23andme website and download the raw data from there. The instructions to download the raw data are here.

The document you will provide our office will look like the picture at the top of the column. There will be multiple pages.

GMA Patient Portal

If you Do NOT have a 23andMe Report

1) Genetic information

The 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service can be purchased at 23andme.com for $199. 23andMe does not send results to your doctor. The results are available on the 23andMe.com website by logging in under your account. You can go to the 23andme website and download the raw data from there. The instructions to download the raw data are here.

Once you receive your genetics, which takes about 8-12 weeks, contact your Medical Assistant to find out how to get the data to the office, and how much the fee will be.  There is a minimal fee for uploading the data to the website used to process the information.

23andMe Health and Ancestory Service

Once You Have the Genetic Information from 23andMe

2) Upload other labs

If you have recent labs such as the OAT, the Methylation Panel or other relevant labs, you can upload lab results through the GMA Patient Portal. It’s important to communicate with us through the Patient Portal to protect your privacy, and so we will have a record of our communication in your patient record.

Log into the portal, then choose Labs and Documents from the menu on the sidebar. You can upload a variety of file types by following the directions. If you have probelms uploading your labs, contact your Medical Assistant for help. If your labs were ordered by a GMA practitioner, they will alreday be part of your patient record and will not need to be uploaded.

Patient Portal
3) Complete symptom survey

Once we have received your genetic raw data, your Medical Assistant will send you a link to the Symptom Survey on the MGNA website. When you have completed it, it will automatically get uploaded to your account. If you have problems with the Survey, contact your Medical Assistant.

4) Make an appointment

A 45 minute – 1 hour appointment should be scheduled for the doctor to discuss the report with the patient. In order to get an appointment when it is most convenient, be sure to schedule at least 3-4 weeks in adavance.

The discussion at the appointment largely depends on the amount of information the patient wishes to receive. The doctor is able to only review problematic SNP’s, or can go into length on reviewing the entire report. Depending on the number of SNP’s requiring attention, the doctor may or may not recommend supplement support.

Methyl Genetic Nutrition Analysis