EP 175: HOW YOUR GENES CAN AFFECT YOUR FERTILITY
Understanding your genes
Meet Angela Heap, a Nutritional Therapist who is working in fertility having come to it from her own experience of PCOS and Prolactinoma as she found she wasn’t helped from conventional medicine.
Angela grew up in Hong Kong, had a very healthy lifestyle came back to the UK at 18 and started to experience migraine, it was at this point in her life she started to pay more attention to what was going on in her body.
She started to look into genetics and found out she had some of the genes such as insulin mutation genes that would predispose her to PCOS. She also has a family history of glaucoma
Angela has spoken around the world on her studies and in 2013 talking about it, in the US
and discovered people like Amy Yaskos and Dr Ben Lynch – epigenetic and nutrigenomics and she started looking into it more. Angela explained how you can change things but only if they are expressing.
We spoke about the tests you can do yourself such as 23andme
and she explained how when you do these types of test, it’s worth going through them with someone who understands, as you can get quite scared about them. The test is telling you a predisposition, it’s not saying you’re actually going to get a certain disease.
She also explained how Google heavily invested in 23andme and is very interesting, which is something I didn’t realise. It’s important to understand the time frame involved when trying to make lifestyle changes and Angela explained
“I always say this when I speak to people – it’s about a long preparation period. You wouldn’t do a marathon without all the training, you wouldn’t just jump into that… It’s exactly the same for preparing for a baby because it’s your family line. It’s not just that one baby you’re trying to get because you want to complete your family it’s your family line and it’s quite important to make them as healthy as you possibly can”.
Angela has worked with people with egg health and has had some great results working with people with IVF to the point that the fertility consultant has asked the patient what they have been doing as they had expected the patients eggs to have degenerated.
“What you do prior to conception is the most consequential thing you can do”
Angela has also been invited to Parliament to discuss Micronutrients related to how in the UK they’re going to be fortifying folic acid. She also explains about the MTFHR gene and how we ingest folate and it doesn’t just get into the cell it has to be broken down
15 or 25% have the MTFHR gene, so it’s not just a straight forward case of taking folic acid when you are trying to conceive. She has specific opinions about off the shelf pre conception supplements. “Going along to Boots or Superdrug and just picking up, you know standard prenatal’s isn’t the way forward. Any medical professional would say “I’m not just going to assume – let’s test and find out” and that’s exactly the point I’m coming at. Let’s look at some of your genes and see if there’s some variance there that may be causing some issues and then we can have that conversation”.
Angela’s advice is to always look at people who are specialists in the fertility who have been trained in nutrition as she says there are a lot of doctors and nurses on Instagram who haven’t been trained, giving advice on supplements, and they haven’t been trained. Work with someone who knows what they are talking seek out professionals who are functionally trained. For more information on Angela You can follow her on Instagram here
Angela made reference to the following people and organisations:
Source: The Fertility Podcast