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Recent research into genetics has revealed that our genetic makeup influences our gut health as much as diet and lifestyle.
While we can influence our DNA with healthy choices and by managing stress, our DNA is the blueprint.
It plays a deciding role in the health of our inner ecosystem.
The FUT2 gene controls how much bifidobacteria you carry in your digestive tract. (1)
Bifidobacteria are probiotic bacteria. They are good for the body, and they promote wellbeing. As babies, most of us have an inner ecosystem teeming with bifidobacteria—especially if we are breastfed. But as we age, the numbers of bifidobacteria decline. (2) This is unfortunate since bifidobacteria repair leaky gut and protect against Candida overgrowth.
Studies show that bifidobacteria produce special fats that feed intestinal cells. These fats, called short-chain fatty acids, also team up with the immune system and get rid of inflammation. (3)
Bifidobacteria strengthen the barrier system in the gut—protecting you and your immune system. (4)
Roughly 20% of people carry an FUT2 gene variation, making them unable to house robust bifidobacteria in the gut. This may leave you vulnerable to autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, and urinary tract infection.
The FUT2 gene decides whether or not the body will show blood type tags in bodily secretions (like saliva, gastric juice, and breast milk) and in the lining of the gut. Everyone has a blood type (like blood type A, B, AB, or O). But not all of us communicate our blood type in saliva and in the mucus lining the gut.
These secretions (and whether or not they contain tags for our blood type) influence the kind of bacteria that grow in the gut.
Roughly 20% of people carry a variation of the FUT2 gene that does not allow the body to reveal its blood type in secretions and in the lining of the gut. (5) This 20%, called non-secretors, is also unable to house a robust community of bifidobacteria.
The FUT2 gene determines if we are vulnerable to:
If you fall into the 20% that carries the non-secretor variation of the FUT2 gene, it is important that you place special emphasis on your diet. Remember—non-secretor carriers of the FUT2 gene are more likely to show signs of Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and Candida overgrowth.
These two steps can help to preserve your health:
1. Support Your Inner Ecosystem
Because non-secretor carriers of the FUT2 gene are genetically wired to have a wounded inner ecosystem, we suggest eating cultured foods with every meal.
We also suggest supplementing with a high-quality probiotic that contains plenty of bifidobacteria, like the probiotic found in Body Ecology’s Multi-Pack.
2. Be on the Lookout for B12 Deficiency or Anemia
Non-secretor carriers of the FUT2 gene are more likely to suffer from heartburn and infection with H. pylori—a type of bacteria that infects the stomach. Because of this, researchers have found that the FUT2 gene has the most impact on your ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food. (13) Vitamin B12 helps the body make blood and new DNA. It also supports the immune system and the nervous system.
Vitamin B12 is mostly found in animal meat; vegetarians and vegans must be especially careful if they have the non-active FUT2 gene. The good news is that fermented Spirulina is a vegan and gluten-free source of vitamin B12. (14)(15)
Your genes are just as influential to your gut health as your diet and lifestyle choices. DNA is the blueprint for your inner ecosystem that can be affected by the healthy choices you make.
Specifically, the FUT2 gene determines how much bifidobacteria you carry in your gut. This gene is important because your body needs these probiotic bacteria for overall wellbeing. Bifidobacteria help to protect against harmful Candida overgrowth and leaky gut.
Close to 20% of people carry an FUT2 variation that makes the gut unable to house a robust community of bifidobacteria. This may leave you vulnerable to autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, urinary tract infection, Candida overgrowth, B12 deficiency, and some forms of anemia.
Take charge of your health in two easy steps:
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