This is fascinating, Marc. Almost makes me want to do the full exome scan when I see exciting new data like this
FWIW, from Rhonda Patrick’s site, I learned I was heterozygous for both of the FADS1 & FADS2 snips below leading me to guess
I don’t have the pure vegetarian gene. Can we deduce that a pure vegetarian would be CC on rs174548 (FADS1) and AA on s1535 (FADS2?) FADS1:rs174548(C/G)
This polymorphism in the fatty acid desaturase FADS1 gene affects phosphatidylcholine levels. The genotype rs174548(C;G) is associated with having intermediate phosphatidylcholine levels (more than the lower genotype (G;G), but less than the high (C;C) genotype).
Phosphatidylcholine is a key component in all cell membranes and plays a very important role in the structure of the cell, which affects all biological functions. It is also a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which has been shown to play a role in promoting REM sleep. Damage to the cholinergic system in the brain has been shown to be plausibly associated with the memory deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases, and for this reason has also been a therapeautic target through the action of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which prevent the enzymatic breakdown of acetylcholine.
Phosphatidylcholine can be found in supplement form and its precursor choline can be found in dietary sources, which include things like organ meats and egg yolk.FADS2:rs1535(A/G)
This is a common polymorphisms in the delta(6) desaturase gene FADS2. FADS2 is responsible for elongating polyunsaturated fatty acids like alphalinolenic acid (ALA) and converting it into eicosapentenoic acid (EPA). The rs1535(A;G) genotype is associated with a roughly 26.7% decrease in the efficiency at which ALA is able to be converted into EPA relative to the most efficient genotype, which is rs1535(A;A). Since ALA is found in plants and EPA is found in fish, having one of the genotypes associated with a reduced efficiency of FADS2 may influence how much fish or algae you choose to consume.
This polymorphism may also be particularly relevant to vegetarians or vegans, since many may rely predominantly on ALA (from flaxseed or chia seed, for example) as their source of EPA and DHA, instead of fish or fish oil, which contains both EPA & DHA, and circumvents the need for conversion. Another option, microalgae oil, may be an alternative source that could be attractive to vegetarians or vegans since it has EPA & DHA. Interestingly, curcumin has been demonstrated to increase the level of FADS2 enzyme, leading to an increase in brain DHA content.