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The Gene Mutation That Helps You Cope with a High Sugar Diet



Are you a mutant? Chances are you have at least one or two mutated genes. Fun fact: blue eyes are caused by a harmless genetic mutation that occurred around 6,000-10,000 years ago in the Scandinavian region and then spread around Europe. So if you have blue eyes, you most likely have a mutation on your OCA2 gene.


Genetic mutations can occur for a multitude of reasons. Environmental factors are a common reason why genetic mutations occur. They can also occur because of a misprint as cells divide. Often times they are harmless. Some may even be helpful when environmental changes occur.


Here's an example. I have a genetic lipid disorder called hyperbetalipoproteinemia. This is caused by a genetic mutation. I read somewhere (I wish I could find the source) that this mutation occurred during the middle ages when the black plague was killing a bunch of people in Europe. My European ancestors developed this mutation to make them immune to the plague. So, this means I'm immune to the black plague if it were to ever come back. Fun, huh? Of course, this mutation doesn't come without negative health effects. The worst effect is doctors annoyingly urging me to get on a statin. I'll pass.


Researchers recently discovered a new mutation that allows some people to cope better with a high sugar diet. Until very recently in our evolution, high sugar consumption was not a thing. With the recent addition of high sugar came a higher risk of disease. Some people have a genetic mutation to help their bodies deal with this.


This mutation is actually not that new. Researchers posit that it first developed long ago after farming and agriculture became more widespread. Increased consumption of carbohydrates could have been the driving force in this mutation. Researchers from the University College London are looking at the CLTLC1 gene. A mutation in this gene may help people cope with modern diets by keeping blood sugar low. It may even help some ward off Type 2 Diabetes.


People with a mutation in their CLTCL1 gene are more likely to be able to regulate blood glucose levels after a carb-heavy meal. These people are better at clearing glucose from their blood.


People with the older variant of this gene are more likely to develop diabetes and become insulin resistant or intolerant to heavy carbohydrate diets. They would be better suited to adopt the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors. This is just another example of why there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diet and nutrition.

Meet Stephanie

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Hey there! I'm Stephanie, a functional nutritional therapy practitioner, restorative wellness practitioner, certified holistic health coach, and educator. I teach individuals how to take back their health with real food so they can finally get to the root cause of dysfunction and restore wellness within themselves. I reside in Boise, Idaho where I enjoy spending lots of time outdoors, drinking copious amounts of tea, cuddling with cats and reading good books.