Chris and I were having a conversation about how some people do really awesome on pretty low carb and some people feel sick. I started getting curious about whether this might have something to do with "neanderthal ancestry." If you have DNA data you can go to http://esquilax.stanford.edu/#explore and select the neanderthal exercise. It counts how many of your alleles are derived/"neanderthal." I have only 7 of these. Chris has 10. We both do better on diets with 100-150 grams carbs a day.
*yes, I know there are other carb metabolism genes out there
EDIT: 23andme now has a neanderthal meter in their labs sections
What a great little gadget! I just ran mine and got a score of 20. I've been thriving on a "zero-carb" diet for the last two years, and have found that vegetables -- with the exception of some nuts (walnuts, macadamias) and dark leafy greens (e.g. kale, but not broccoli or other brassicas) -- cause joint pain and weight gain. And unlike many people, I never got "induction flu" when I went from the SAD to VLC eating, four years ago.
Don't know if it's my Neandertal alleles, but what an interesting idea. Thanks for posting this.
This is SO cool!
UPDATE: I got a '12' (had to switch to Google Chrome to get it to work). Personally I do quite well with VLC, though have been considering introducing some 'starchy tubers' as an experiment. I'd like to test my wife, see if her 'O negative' blood type makes her more 'primal.'
I've had my genome tested recently (at 23andme.com) and it's a huge and fascinating wealth of data, and includes some tidbits useful to "Paleo" types. For instance, I have a marker for low serum levels of vitamins D and B12 - though having the marker doesn't mean I actually have that symptom (always something to keep in mind when looking at genetic data). I'm also a "fast caffeine metabolizer" - which explains why I can drink coffee at night and sleep like a baby. Reduced risks for certain diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's, Norovirus) and increased risk for others (e.g., Cardiovascular Disease) - all great stuff if kept in perspective.
There is a lot to learn, but I'm discovering that there are different sites - like this one - that will 'slice' the info in different ways or compare against different databases.
There are sites that review scanners. My sense is that 23andme is more consumer-oriented, with nice graphical summary pages of certain syndromes - for instance it displays my cardiovascular risk as a chart mapping the various genes and their cumulative impact. Other sites might be more technical but harder for the non-expert to interpret. The price seemed cheap to me: $99 for the test and $9/month for a year of updates.
I'll update this post with my Neanderthal 'rating' when it completes.
From recollection, I scored a 7 also. I didn't get "induction flu" when I started paleo, though tend to feel a lot hungrier if I don't eat tubers or other starchy foods every few days. Other than the hunger feeling, I feel fine on VLC otherwise.
I'm not convinced these neanderthal alleles have anything to do with this, though.
I have a neandertal score of 9. I tried doing VLC but found that I had terrible insomnia and felt shitty most of the time. I do well following something similar to the Perfect Health Diet with around 100 g of carb, with white rice and fermented dairy, but no alcohol, ever.
I was actually a little disappointed when I got my 23andMe results... I am homozygous for the markers they have for blue eyes over brown, and blue eyes over green, but in reality I have hazel eyes that tend towards brown most of the time... I feel that the true utility of the service will come about in at least a few years, but those of us "early adopters" are being told we need to get the new chip and sign up for the subscription. Ugh. Wasn't my initial investment enough?
It looks like I have a count of 0. Is that even possible? All the counts on the far right of the table are 0, and the meter reads 0.
Anyway, I'm a ZC'er out of necessity, so that doesn't fit the proposed pattern.
Edit next day: Thanks to WyldKard, I realized I hadn't loaded my data properly. Now I score 16, which does fit the proposed pattern. Neat!
Apparently, if you're not of African descent, you're probably pretty neanderthal.
Non-Africans Are Part Neanderthal, Genetic Research Shows http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718085329.htm
That is REALLY COOL :) Thank you for posting!!
Just recently something was published so I wonder if the Stanford group has the new updated findings? http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/07/neanderthal-human-mating/
WIRED SCIENCE: The ancestors of the Neanderthals are believed to have left Africa between 400,000 to 800,000 years ago. However, by 30,000 years BC, they had disappeared. The ancestors of modern man left Africa between 80,000 and 50,000 years BC, suggesting that there was a definite crossover between the two.
Discovery News adds: “The team believes most, if not all, of the interbreeding took place in the Middle East, while modern humans were migrating out of Africa and spreading to other regions.”
This finding comes nearly ten years after Labuda and team identified a piece of DNA in the human X chromosome (called haplotype) that seemed different. A release detailing the findings explains: “When the genome of Neanderthals was sequenced in 2010, they quickly compared to 6,000 chromosomes from across the world with the haplotype of the Neanderthal. The sequence of the Neanderthal man was found in people of all continents, including Australia, but with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa.”
Have you heard of a specific dopamine receptor subtype DRD4 7R also related to Neanderthal genes? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/garret-loporto/surprising-way-your-neand_b_568455.html
(that guy cracks me up -- love that video...)
I'm not too surprised about Chris' hemachromatosis -- one of my uncle's has it and is a business/entrepeneurial HUNTER and brilliant. I think it goes along with other parts that make us uniquely neanderthal -- out of the box thinking, adhd-like restlessness and gluten sensitivity.