Silverberry Newsletter, June 22, 2018

This week’s newsletter is all about the vitamin C and joining the DNA-powered healthcare revolution.
Vitamin C is a pretty phenomenal vitamin, a multitasker, and a potent antioxidant. Find out what other traits it is connected to with this week's "Gene Spotlight."

Never been in a hackathon or don't know anything DNA? We've got the perfect opportunity for you! Come join the Silverberry DNA 24-hour hackathon in the Galvanize speakeasy.

Here's the latest on Silverberry, the world of wellness, and genetic advancements.


Gene Spotlight

Don't forget your daily dose of vitamin C!

Did you know that humans are one of the few mammals who have lost the ability to synthesize their own vitamin C? You’ve probably heard that vitamin C is important when it comes to fighting off a cold, but that’s not all it’s good at!

Our genes can actually influence how much of it we need to eat in order to get all the health benefits vitamin C offers.

Have Alexa? Add Gene of the Day to your daily briefing or listen to it online.


Silverberry Genomix Hackathon

Don't miss this special event!

The Silverberry Hackathon will bring together wellness enthusiasts like you, data scientists, developers, and designers, over an intense 24-hour period of creative explosion. 
Bring your enthusiasm and ideas! Learn from the experts while helping build the next generation of innovative DNA-powered health solutions! 
July 20-21, 2018 @ Galvanize   |   44 Tehama St, San Francisco CA   |   Read More


Join us at the IDEA Fit Conference

Silverberry will be exhibiting at the IDEA Fit Conference in San Diego, from June 28th to June 30th. You can join the expo for free and meet the Silverberry team (Booth #747 in the Nutrition area), learning about new technology and training tools among fellow personal trainers, health coaches, and innovators.


Pondering Your DNA Reports?

Facebook Group

Join us along with other Silverberry members to share your ideas, provide us with feedback, or ask your questions! 

Join Group

Silverberry Club Forum

Join fellow fitness enthusiasts and healthcare providers at the discussion forum.

Ask your questions here!


Genes Making Waves

Could drinking coffee save Type-2 diabetics from insulin injections?

Researchers in Switzerland are hoping to change the lives of diabetics by developing an implant that releases insulin when triggered by caffeine from coffee, tea, or energy drinks in the bloodstream. “According to [them], the future of diabetes will not be a shot in the arm after a meal, but a shot of espresso instead.” [The Guardian]


Are human herpesviruses involved in Alzheimer’s disease?

A new study funded by the NIH has found compelling evidence that human herpesviruses HHV-6A and HHV-7 could be involved in “regulatory genetic networks” that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease. [Medical News Today]


New Vox episode delves into why diets fail.

Vox has a new episode of its show, “Explained” on Netflix. In this one they look at the influence of marketing, food environments, and genes to explain why so many diets fail. [Vox]

Don’t forget your daily dose of vitamin C!

What are the real benefits of vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant which is essential to the normal functioning of our immune system [1]. It boosts our immune system and helps us fight a cold by encouraging the production of white blood cells, lymphocytes, and phagocytes, which are key players in fighting infection. It also helps with red blood cell production and the growth and repair of all connective tissue. Higher blood levels of vitamin C have been linked to a wide range of benefits such as a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as increased vitality and longevity. It contributes to longevity by boosting collagen synthesis and reducing the risk of joint injury with age. Collagen synthesis is important for both strengthening tendons and ligaments, as well as reducing wrinkles in our skin.

[Check your Longevity or Skin Care Reports for traits such as Collagen Breakdown and Skin Antioxidant Deficiency to see if you might have a higher need for vitamin C!]

How do my genes influence how much vitamin C I need?

While vitamin C’s benefits are available to everyone, some people need to consume more vitamin C-rich foods in order to achieve the health-protecting levels in the blood. Vitamin C intake requirements vary from person to person and are partially related to genetics. SLC23A1 and SLC23A2 are two vitamin C transporter genes responsible for absorption of the vitamin in the gut. Certain variants of these genes have actually been shown to decrease the efficiency with which the body can absorb vitamin C. Thus individuals with these inhibitory genetic variants would benefit from an increased nutritional intake of vitamin C. 

Due to its water-soluble nature, vitamin C cannot be stored in the body and excess amounts are usually secreted within 24 hours of intake. This makes it necessary to include foods rich in vitamin C in our daily diet.

6 fruits high in vitamin C: Kiwi, oranges, guava, pineapples, strawberries, grapefruit

6 vegetables high in vitamin C: Kale, broccoli, parsley, brussel sprouts, red and green peppers, peas

Daily Recommended Intake of Vitamin C [2, 3]

Woman over 18 years of age: 75 mg/d

Men over 18 years of age: 90 mg/d



Vitamin C and Iron

Another one of vitamin C’s benefits is its ability to aid in the absorption of iron. This is especially important for women, since they have a higher daily requirement for this mineral [8.1 compared to the 6 mg/day needed by men]. Iron is a component of hemoglobin, a multimeric protein in our red blood cells that grabs oxygen and carries it through our body. Iron is what actually binds the oxygen molecules, making it hugely important in our body. A lack of enough hemoglobin, and thus iron, results in a condition known as anemia, with symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption by limiting the formation of an insoluble form of dietary iron and transforming it into an absorbable form. [4]

If your Vitamin Reports show a predisposition for Iron Deficiency, consider increasing your intake of vitamin C alongside iron intake!


Keep in mind:

  • Natural sources of vitamins are almost always better than supplements, as they are easier to absorb. [Hence the need for supplements to contain 1000% of Daily Value.]
  • Fruits and vegetables differ greatly in the density of vitamins and minerals. For example, parsley may contain 133% DV of vitamin C per cup, but no one is trying to eat that much parsley in a single sitting. When planning to meet your daily requirements, always consider serving size.
  • The amount of vitamin C that is available for absorption can also depend on whether the foods are raw or cooked, so variety is key!


Silverberry Newsletter, June 15th, 2018

This week’s newsletter is all about the Mediterranean diet and dear dad.

So you checked your free Basic Wellness Report… now what? Learn more about the Mediterranean Diet and other traits that might influence how beneficial, or easy to follow, this diet may be.

In honor of Father’s Day, our weekly news round-up focuses on all the dads out there.

Here’s the latest on Silverberry, the world of wellness, and genetic advancements.

Gene Spotlight

The Mediterranean Diet – Is this the one?! ?

Did you know that the Mediterranean diet, rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, increase good HDL cholesterol, and slow down cognitive decline? Despite these benefits, people with certain genes, especially those related to fat metabolism or vitamin deficiencies, may find that this diet is not as beneficial as it would be for others.

Read more

What’s New at Silverberry

Download Summary Reports

PDF Reports now include a one page summary for each package that groups traits per their assessment. It makes it easier to navigate and quickly find what you want to know.

Export User Profiles

If you have created multiple user profiles, for friends, family members, or clients, you can now export each profile to create a separate account.

Starting your day with Alexa?

Add Gene of the Day to your Daily Briefing or listen to it online.

Join us at the IDEA Fit Convention

Silverberry will be exhibiting at the IDEA Fit Convention in San Diego from June 28th to June 30th! You can visit the expo for free, meet the Silverberry team, and join fellow personal trainers, health coaches, and innovators to learn about new technology and training tools.

Get your FREE ticket to Expo

Genes Making Waves

Why do men have shorter lifespans?

Researchers believe that as a large percentage of males age, the cells in their body begin to get rid of copies of their Y chromosome. This Y chromosome decluttering appears to put men at a higher risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Leukemia, and largely explains the increased mortality rate in men as compared to women. [New York Times]

A saliva test could determine the risk of prostate cancer

A trial has begun for a saliva test that can potentially identify the top 10% of men who are most at risk for developing prostate cancer. Kickstarting the trial was a major study into the genetics of prostate cancer that identified 63 new gene variants associated with the disease.
[The Guardian]

Could a father’s stress alter the brain development of his offspring?

A new study in the field of epigenetics explores how a man’s experience of stress can alter microRNA’s within vesicles fused to his sperm. These altered microRNAs can ultimately impact gene expression within his offspring, leading to noticeable changes in development.
[Medical News Today]

Silverberry Certification Course

The Silverberry Certification Course is now on UDemy!

Learn how to create personalized exercise and nutrition plans using genetic assessment.

Take me to the UDemy course

Silverberry Newsletter, June 8th, 2018

To our fellow genetics and fitness enthusiasts,

We are pleased to announce the start of our weekly newsletter where we share important reminders, interesting articles related to health and genomics, and our "Genetic Trait Spotlight" to help you get the most out of your Wellness Reports.

We've got a lot going on in the upcoming months and the developments in genetics aren't slowing down either! Here's the latest on Silverberry, the world of wellness, and genetic advancements. 

Gene Spotlight

It's All About Vitamin D!

Did you know that vitamin D is associated with several aspects of our health? Multiple studies suggest a correlation between sun sensitivity, memory performance, depression, and how the body produces and uses vitamin D.

Read more

Join us at the IDEA Fit Convention

Silverberry will be exhibiting at the IDEA Fit Convention in San Diego from June 28th to June 30th! You can visit the expo for free, meet the Silverberry team, and join fellow personal trainers, health coaches, and innovators to learn about new technology and training tools. 

Get your FREE ticket to Expo

Father's Day Special

Order now and save 20%

Silverberry Certification Course




The Silverberry Certification Course is now on UDemy!

Learn how to create personalized exercise and nutrition plans using genetic assessment.

Take me to the UDemy course

Genes Making Waves

Are we one step closer to directly targeting cancer cells?

UCLA scientists are now able to see the inner workings of telomerase, an important enzyme closely tied to cancer and aging, with near atomic resolution. Could this lead the way to the development of targeted drugs? [Science Daily]

Netflix series "Explained" releases an episode all about DNA.

A 20-minute episode entitled "Designer DNA" covers a bit of genetics, with a heavy focus on the new gene editing technology shaking up the industry [along with ethicists].  One of the researchers who discovered CRISPR, Jennifer Doudna, explains the tool she stumbled upon - a potential force for good, and evil. Sadly, the full episode is only for Netflix subscribers, but others can check out a clip at Vox. [Vox]

At-home DIY gene editing has people nervous.

Several companies are now offering gene therapies you can assemble at home and self-administer. [Popular Mechanics]
Former Nasa biochemist Josiah Zayner injects himself with a DIY gene therapy on live-stream internet to dramatically increase muscle mass. [The Guardian]

Aerobic Performance

Aerobic Performance 

Interesting studies have shown that certain genes control how we perform in aerobic exercises, such as running or swimming. Having a bigger lung capacity or VO2 max means you'll generally have a more comfortable experience and better aerobic fitness. This is because your lungs will be able to take up use more oxygen in one minute. These studies have shown that certain genes actually influence our lung capacity. For example, certain variations of genes  like RBFOX1 or were related to a bigger lung capacity, while others like NFIA were associated with a smaller lung capacity. Age also has an influence in addition to our genes, since our lung capacity beginning to decrease around the age of 30. So, a young  soccer player with a gene contributing to a greater lung capacity is likely to experience less shortness of breath and better endurance than someone older with an opposing genetic variation.  

Exercise Aversion

Studies have found that our level of motivation for exercising is partly influenced by our genes. So how your body physically holds up during a workout and how you mentally respond to the challenge both come down to your DNA.
Certain variations of genes like LEP or SGIP1 were found to be associated with a greater motivation to exercise. But, certain others like LEPR were found to be related to less motivation for exercise. These studies indicated that up to 50% of our like or dislike for exercise is due to these genes. But don't confuse Exercise Aversion with a lack of motivation. Exercise Aversion is stronger than a simple lack of motivation since it has a genetic basis. People who have a genetic variation that contributes to Exercise Aversion will have less of a desire to exercise, and it might even be their least favourite activity.


The Mediterranean Diet – Is this the one?!

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean being restrictive, but rather being mindful of which foods work best for your body. To assess whether a certain dietary plan is best for you, it’s important to look at genetic predispositions you may have for a variety of influential traits, from nutrition to personality!

The Mediterranean diet consists mainly of plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains. It incorporates healthy fats, such as the monounsaturated fats [MUFAs] found in olive oil or avocados, and emphasizes fish while limiting red meat.

How could my genes affect the outcome of this diet?

Genetic variations in the ADIPOQ gene have been found to be associated with an increased advantage of following the Mediterranean diet, as a way to facilitate fat loss and improve metabolic health. Other genes contributing to the effectiveness of this diet include PPARG and LPL. Do you have any of these genes? All three of these genes are related to fat storage and are produced by your fat [adipose] cells. Imagine your fat storage apparatus as the organizational system in an airport. Molecules of fat would be the suitcases to be stored within the airplanes, or cells. PPARG is responsible for directing which line and to which gate the suitcases need to go through in order to reach the right plane. When suitcases are being checked in, adiponectin would in charge of determining how much space is available to accommodate them. Finally, the enzyme LPL is the labourer who does the hard work, loading each suitcase onto the planes, like molecules of fat entering the cells.


Would you like to see sample reports?

Variants of the mentioned genes could result in an LPL that doesn’t work as hard, for example, or PPARG that has trouble signalling efficiently. Due to these variations in how each person’s body deals with fat, the Mediterranean diet, rich in healthy fats, can be more beneficial for some than others.

Your Nutrition Package includes a report on the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet for your health and wellness. However, having a genetic predisposition for this trait may not necessarily mean it is practical or even maximally effective for you. This is due to the fact that a combination of different traits affect how you lose weight, which nutrients your body needs most, and even how easily you embrace a specific lifestyle change. Delve a little deeper and find out!

What other traits should I look at?

For example, if your Vitamin Reports show a predisposition for Iron Deficiency and Vitamin C Deficiency, you may need to supplement your diet with foods rich in iron and vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries, spinach, and poultry. Due to these predispositions, relying solely on the Mediterranean Diet — which is not particularly rich in these vitamins — would not be enough to cover all your body’s nutritional needs.


Example 2: If you are elevated for Sweet Tooth and Carb Overconsumption, you may find it more difficult to reduce your sugar intake and moderate your carbohydrate consumption. Thus embracing the Mediterranean diet, with its focus on carbs from vegetable, fruits, and whole grains and minimization of sweets, could be more challenging for you than the average person.. If you know whether you have predispositions for these traits, you can be aware of what makes a certain diet challenging for you to follow, and focus on making the necessary  adjustments.

Example 3: If someone has a predisposition for Satiety Impairment and Fat Taste Perception, the increased protein and healthy fats of the Mediterranean diet would help contribute to satiety and make the diet easier to follow.


This gene codes for a protein that plays a role in normal pigmentation. It is found on the surface of melanocytes, which are cells responsible for the production of melanin — the pigment giving skin, hair, and eyes their colour. There are 2 types of melanin produced: eumelanin and pheomelanin. People with more eumelanin tend to have brown or black hair and skin that tans easily. On the other hand, people with more pheomelanin production tend to have blonde or red hair, freckles, and less protection from UV rays and photoaging. One gene responsible for the synthesis of pheomelanin is the ASIP gene. Having variants of this gene could lead to an increased risk of facial pigmented spots with sun exposure, as it would lead to the clumping of melanin to form areas of hyperpigmentation. [NIH]

If you are worried about photoaging, protect yourself! By having a diet with sufficient vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for your genetic makeup, you can reduce your the risk of photoaging and have plenty of fun outside this summer. ??

It’s All About Vitamin D!

Several studies have examined the relationship between vitamin D and mood disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorder [SAD].

(Check your genes for SAD or Seasonality!)

One study found that depression was greater, as assessed by the Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), in people with deficient levels of vitamin D compared to people with normal levels. It was also found that just 1 hour of light therapy a day during winter months significantly decreased symptoms of depression in people with SAD, as compared to the control group. No wonder we tend to feel better when it's sunny! Interestingly, in addition to mood, another study found a link between vitamin D deficiency and worse cognitive performance in older adults.

Vitamin D production is initiated by sun exposure and is impacted by age, location (latitude), time of year, as well as the amount of melanin our bodies have, corresponding to skin pigmentation or colour.
If your Vitamin D Deficiency trait is at all elevated, check your Skin Care Report for traits such as Sensitivity to Sun, Facial Pigmented Spots, Poor Tanning Ability, etc. You may have genetic predispositions that increase the risk of sensitivities due to UV rays of the sun, making it a wiser choice to incorporate foods rich in vitamin D into your diet and to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun!

If you have a poor tanning ability for example, your skin may have lower levels of melanin, a natural pigment produced by the body. Melanin reacts with UV rays to produce a darker skin tone as a way of adaptation (tanning), and so in some ways it provides the skin with protection and tolerance to the sun. Having less melanin (and so lighter skin) means the skin can be more prone to sensitivity, sun burn, and skin disease.

Variants of genes such as PDE3B, CYP2R1, and NADSYN1 contribute to the Vitamin D Deficiency trait. Check your Vitamin Reports Package to see if you have any of these genes!

Always remember, having a genetic predisposition doesn’t necessarily mean the genes are active and the trait is expressed, so consult a healthcare professional before making major changes to your lifestyle. They can order blood tests to verify nutrient deficiencies and determine if supplementation is necessary.

Would you like to see sample reports?