Carnitine, IBD5 Genes & Butyrate

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

You’ve probably heard about carnitine before. It’s the supplement you see fitness “pros” online promoting for burning fat and increasing energy.

Sounds like the perfect supplement, right?

The problem is, like many supplements, it seems to work for some and not for others. That’s because your body already makes all the carnitine it needs. Except for when it doesn’t.

Carnitine is an essential nutrient for gut health that enables the uptake of fatty acids and their metabolism. The issue comes when you end up with bad genetic variations in the IBD5 region, which is a group of genes that have been strongly linked to IBD and poor gut health.

I’ve been particularly interested in this gene because the bad variety is overrepresented in people with food sensitivities.

Two SNPs in the IBD5 region are responsible for enabling carnitine transport in the gut and when they aren’t working correctly, it can lead to carnitine deficiency, deplete butyrate and pave the way for inflammation and gut damage.

I stopped taking carnitine a long time ago, because I didn’t think I needed it…until now.

I love SelfDecode because I get to learn new things about myself all the time. You can say I’m a professional biohacker, but there’s only so much I can learn without knowing my personal blueprint – my genes.

Right when I saw my results for the IBD5 genes on SelfDecode (keep reading to find out how to check yours!), I bought carnitine and have started taking it. Now, I can actually incorporate more foods into my diet because I’m counteracting the negative effects of this genetic variation.

The Downside of Carnitine Deficiency

Like I said, carnitine is very important for gut health. In fact, genes in the IBD5 region are some of the very few with a proven link to a major gut disorder (IBD). But, it’s not just your gut that’s affected when you have carnitine production issues.

It’s common for people with carnitine deficiency to experience fatigue, irritability, low energy and many more symptoms in addition to gut disorders.

The gut barrier uses butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids as the primary source of energy and anti-inflammatory protection. Carnitine deficiency results in depleted butyrate and lower butyrate levels means you could experience symptoms like:

  • Inflammation (in the gut and other places in your body)
  • Impaired immune system
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • Low energy
  • And more…

How To Check Your IBD5 Region To See If You Have a Carnitine Problem (and fix it!)

As you can see, having just a couple of genes that aren’t functioning properly can result in a chain reaction that affects your entire body. For me, I was having a lot of the symptoms above, plus wasn’t able to eat a lot of the foods I love without experiencing issues. That’s why it’s so important to check your DNA to find out what genetic variants you have and implement changes that can improve their function.

Checking your DNA sounds complicated, but with SelfDecode, it’s extremely easy!

All you need to do is buy a DNA test kit (or upload an existing file from other companies) and look at your results for this SelfDecode Blog Post about the IBD5 region. We support most genetic files, but we feel our test is the best on the market, and it comes with privacy assurances.

I have the bad variants for the IBD5 region, which is why I got a red sad face for this blog post:

The good news is that at the end of the blog post, I got 3 specific recommendations. These recommendations help improve the genes in my IBD5 region so that I don’t have to suffer from all the negative effects of my genes.

Even if you aren’t a SelfDecode member, you can click and read more about the IBD5 region, but you won’t be able to see your genetic results until you order a SelfDecode DNA kit and get your genes analyzed. Or, you can upload your DNA file that you already have from another company and get the results right away!

So, sign up for SelfDecode today and check your IBD5 region to find out if you could be having a carnitine deficiency problem. And, more importantly, what changes you need to make to improve your carnitine levels.

In addition to being able to check your genes for food sensitivities, you’ll also be able to:

  • Download comprehensive DNA health reports on topics like gut health, sleep, mood, inflammation, weight loss and more!
  • Access ALL of your personalized results on the SelfDecode blog to check your genetic scorecards and see what you need to change to combat bad genes.
  • Track and analyze your lab test results to get diet, lifestyle and supplement recommendations that will help you get your levels in the optimal range.
  • Get to the root cause of your health issues by finding out which genes are responsible when you use the Symptoms and Conditions Analyzer

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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