What do your genetics and Lionfish Hunting and Reef Conservation have in common?
by Dr. J Dunn
It’s a fascinating relationship between our genes and how we are in the world. At first glance it would appear that there was no connection there with lionfish hunting and reef conservation. But there is an interesting correlation between these activities and our genetics.
The desire to make the world a better place is also a trait that can be seen with certain genetic variants. Lionfish are an invasive species that causes a great deal of damage to a fragile ecosystem. The type of person that cares about the world and tries to improve things often has higher levels of oxytocin. Baseline oxytocin levels are genetically determined. Oxytocin is better known as the “love” hormone but in those persons who have high levels of oxytocin genetically, you will see higher levels of empathy and compassion for the world. Those that are working to remove lionfish from the environment might be those same people.
Certain genetic variants in the human genome cause people to be the type of person that would be considered “novelty seeking”. These folks are interested in new adventures and novel events. They are always looking for some new exciting things in their lives. It takes a certain kind of person to want to dive in the first place, but hunting lionfish takes it to a whole other level. Genetic variants in the DRD4 gene can lead a person to want new adventures such as this.
A third area where genetics can come into play is the perception of pain. Those with COMT variants have been shown to be more sensitive to pain and upon being stung by a Lionfish (which is no picnic!) will suffer more than the average person.
About Dr. J Dunn
Dr. J Dunn, BS, DC, CWK has been practicing natural medicine for over 30 years. She is a Chiropractic Physician and certified in Functional medicine. She began studying the connection between genetics and nutrition in 2013 when she stumbled across information about methylation, genetics, nutrition, and nutrigenomics that sparked her interest. She realized that this was the missing piece to understanding true underlying causes of disease. Her drive to understand true causes and her passion for helping those who are suffering with depression, anxiety and attention issues has lead her to create this program. To learn more about Dr. J Dunn view her MyHappyGenes site.