Inflammation, Diet & The TERC Gene

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

Your body is crying for help… Fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain, digestive problems and skin issues are ALL signs of inflammation problems.

Inflammation in itself isn’t bad. Short-term, it is helpful in defending against outside invaders.

It’s when it becomes chronic that it becomes deadly…

Chronic inflammation is responsible for 3 of 5 deaths worldwide.

I know it won’t surprise you to say genetics plays a huge role. So, I’ll show you instead…

CRP & Weight Gain

Like many illnesses, inflammation is highly linked to obesity and weight problems. It causes weight gain and weight gain causes inflammation. It’s a two-way street.

But for people carrying specific genetic variants, that link is much stronger than with others. I actually carry one of these variants…

I carry a CRP gene variant linked to higher inflammation in obese people. Because of this, I need to take special care of maintaining my weight to prevent any inflammation.

Diet and inflammation

Obviously, maintaining a healthy weight is easier said than done. That’s why I looked at my Weight DNA Report to see which weight-loss recommendations are right for my body.weight and inflammation

Because of a FTO gene variant I carry (shared by 26% of the population), I was recommended a high-protein diet.

Since following this recommendation, I’ve gotten and kept my body fat under 25% which is considered healthy. Maintaining this weight is a top priority. And since getting my body fat under 25%, I have kept my CRP levels optimal and reduced inflammation.

Diet, DNA & Inflammation

SelfDecode has consulted 1,000+ people with inflammation, and 99% of these cases were linked to diet. Not that diet was the only reason for their inflammation. But it’s a major part.

An anti-inflammatory diet means different things to different people – it depends on your DNA.

Take me for example. I have a rare TT genotype (shared by only 3% of the population) linked to lectin intolerance. Through trial and error, I discovered this sensitivity was a major cause of my inflammation.

For long time readers, you know my difficulties with lectins and their effects on my health. But lectins aren’t the root cause of most people’s inflammation, and that’s why it’s important to understand your DNA.

A good example of this is a team member here at SelfDecode. He discovered through his DNA Wellness Report that his current diet included many foods known to cause inflammation in people with his TERC gene variant like red meat and dairy.

Based on his genes, SelfDecode recommended the Mediterranean diet to reduce inflammation. He said it’s the first diet he’s tried that felt “like it was made for me.”diet and inflammation

Stress & CRP

Stress is one of the major causes of chronic inflammation.

We all feel stressed from time to time. Work problems, relationship problems, or even getting cut off on the commute to work can cause stress. It’s when the stress doesn’t stop that it becomes a problem.

Everyone needs to be careful about the amount they stress. But people with this gene variant need to be especially careful…

My IL6 gene variant is linked to high inflammation and stress. This is why I started doing yoga consistently.

Stress and inflammation

I’ve always known I was prone to stress. This was confirmed by my genetic risk score in my Stress Wellness Report.

Yoga has been amazing in helping me reduce my stress. And I know that Yoga isn’t for everyone. Luckily, science has proven many other relaxation techniques to be effective:

  • Positive engagement coping
  • Mindfulness
  • Tai Chi
  • Qi gong

Sleep, NR3C1 & Inflammation

Everything comes back to a good night’s sleep. If you’re suffering from any illness or symptom, the first question to ask yourself is – have I been sleeping well enough?

Inflammation is just one of many negative effects to come from a lack of sleep. And people with some genetic variants are more likely to get inflammation from poor sleep than others.

My NR3C1 gene variant is highly linked to inflammation when carriers don’t get enough sleep.

Sleep and inflammation

But optimizing sleep isn’t something you can do by snapping a finger. That’s why I checked my Insomnia Report for sleep recommendations based on my genes.

One of the best recommendations I got for my sleep was light exposure. Exposure to light early in the day rebalances my internal clock and boosts melatonin at night. It’s especially important for me because of my MTNR1A gene…

Sleep and inflammation

Getting optimal sleep is one of the biggest factors in managing my inflammation, as well as almost every other aspect of my health.

Whenever I feel symptoms of inflammation now, I can link it back to my sleep habits or diet.

Probiotics & CRP

Probiotics are increasingly popular in the health world. Like with any popular health “fad”, I was skeptical about them for a while.

But evidence continues to build for this popular supplement. Probiotics are used to maintain gut health, support a healthy immune system, improve your mood, and maintain healthy blood sugar.

It wasn’t until I saw probiotics as a recommendation on my Inflammation Report that I decided to try them out. They’ve become a staple in My Regimen.

Because of my CRP gene variant, I am at a risk for high CRP levels, a major indicator of inflammation. Probiotics have helped reduce my CRP and get back into the optimal range.

Poor inflammation created a lot of problems for me in the past, so keeping my CRP levels optimal is extremely important to me. Probiotics play a big part in helping me do that.

But many things contribute to inflammation (in fact, our report analyzes almost 10K genetic variants involved). It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to find one, single solution.

Try the general health solutions all you want, but Dr. Google doesn’t know your genetic makeup. What reduces inflammation for one person won’t necessarily work for you.

Luckily, with today’s science, you can shortcut the journey to optimal health. Get the Inflammation DNA Wellness Report to see what your body needs to win the fight against chronic inflammation.

P.S. Checking your CRP levels is the best way to see if you currently have inflammation. By keeping those levels in the optimal range, you’ll minimize your chance of inflammation.

With the new SelfDecode Labs Shop, you can order your CRP lab test online and get your results uploaded directly to SelfDecode.

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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