Does your DNA make you more empathetic?

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

Would you peg me as an “acroyoga” guy?

It might surprise you that I’ve recently gotten really into this sport and it turns out that I’m really good at it (you can often see it on my Instagram stories).

First, it actually requires a lot of strength, and I’ve been able to overcome some bad genes to really optimize my strength.

But, it’s also a very social sport where you have to have a good rapport and trust level with your partner. After all, it does require me to spin someone around in the air on my hands and feet.

I’ve even been able to do acroyoga with some first timers and it turns out really well. For that, I can actually thank my genes.

Empathy, Oxytocin and the OXTR Gene

Oxytocin, sometimes called the love hormone, is vital for social bonding and empathy.

The more oxytocin we have and the more active our oxytocin receptors are, the more likely we are to feel for others and to respond with altruism and generosity.

The OXTR gene provides instructions for making receptors that oxytocin latches onto.

When oxytocin latches onto these receptors, it signals our brain to amplify feelings of trust, empathy, and social bonding. It’s like flipping a switch that lights up our emotional world, enabling us to connect with others on a profound level.

There are a few SNPs of the OXTR gene that decrease the number of oxytocin receptors you have available, and also how well they function – leading you to become less empathetic.

I’m generally known to be an empathetic person, and my genes reflect that.

If you have low oxytocin levels, it’s best to look at the recommendations to increase oxytocin so that you can develop empathy that will lead to healthier personal and professional relationships.

The recommendations for you might include probiotics or orange blossom aromatherapy, but there are a total of 30+ recommendations that can help increase oxytocin levels, all prioritized in the SelfDecode report.


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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