Is Your MAOA Gene Just Right?

The following is part of our informational series that clarifies some of what you'll learn about your nutritional genetics after you've submitted your DNA Essentials Plus test.

Your MAOA gene & what it means.

Your MAOA gene is responsible for making an enzyme of the same name. The MAOA enzyme helps the body handle the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Norepinephrine and dopamine are important neurotransmitters that in turn help you to engage your stress response.

MAOA is also necessary for serotonin. Serotonin is what enables you to feel calm, optimistic, and balanced.

Like the tale of Goldilocks and her porridge, you want your MAOA to be functioning "just right".

Your DNA Essentials Plus test results will include a MAOA score. Much like the COMT gene MAOA can function too quickly or too slowly. We want just right, not too fast or too slow.

Potential impacts of too slow or too fast.

A slow MAOA gene can cause an excess of these neurotransmitters to hang out in your body.

Signs that your MAOA gene is too slow could be headaches or migraines, finding it difficult to unwind after being annoyed or aggravated, lots of overwhelm or worrying, someone who startles easily, feeling blah or bloated after eating foods like chocolate, cheese, or wine.

A fast MAOA does the opposite and they're cleared from your body too quickly.

If your MAOA gene is too fast you may experience mood swings, lack of motivation or focus, addictive behaviors like smoking and alcohol, cravings for carbs and sugar, early graying of the hair or hair that turns white, mood swings, and fatigue.

While all of that sounds potentially awful, there are upsides too! Someone with a slow MAOA tends to be alert, focused, and productive while the fast MAOA folks tend to be more relaxed and easy going.

Your test results will arrive soon and you'll know much more about how you and your genes are genetically predisposed.