Episode - How Genetics and Methylation Impacts Thyroid Health with Dr. Sam Shay


How Genetics and Methylation Impacts Thyroid Health with Dr. Sam Shay

“If you know your genetics, you know your ideal.” – Dr. Sam Shay

Methylation is an extremely important biochemical process essential for numerous bodily functions. The MTHFR gene was one of the first genes identified and available for testing to the public, so many practitioners and patients have become hyper-focused on methylation when it comes to genetic testing.

The truth is, while methylation is crucial, there are other processes that the body will prioritize over it. Rather than looking at it as the most crucial pathway, we need to explore other genes that control disease drivers, have significant variation in the general population, and are supported by scientific research for lifestyle and nutrition interventions. Understanding this broader picture allows us to take a more holistic approach to optimizing health.

Today, I’m excited to chat with Dr. Sam Shay, DC, IFMCP, a chiropractor and functional medicine practitioner who focuses on genetics and methylation. Dr. Sam solves health puzzles for busy, health-conscious moms, mom-preneurs, and adults with Aspergers so that they can exit survival mode and re-enter the community. Known as the friendly “lab nerd,” Dr. Sam specializes in functional lab and genetics analysis for data-driven results. Dr. Sam is also a Stand-Up Comic, using clean, observational comedy to educate and entertain.

In this conversation, Dr. Sam and I discuss the role of genetics and methylation in health and thyroid conditions specifically. We talk about why Dr. Sam recommends comprehensive genetic testing for most of his clients, the need for personalized health strategies based on individual genetic profiles, how we can integrate genetic and functional medicine testing, the long-term benefits of genetic testing, and more. Enjoy the episode!


During this episode, you’ll learn about:

  • Why Dr. Sam is passionate about educating people about methylation
  • The importance of methylation and its critical role in signaling other body systems
  • Prioritization filters Dr. Sam uses to determine which genes to focus on
  • How we can integrate genetic testing with functional medicine testing
  • Determining your ideal diet based on your genetic tolerance for processing carbohydrates and fats
  • Genes that impact detoxification and how they influence glutathione production
  • The bidirectional – and sometimes controlling – relationship between inflammation and methylation
  • What you can learn from various oxidative stress markers
  • The connection between mitochondrial health and thyroid function
  • How variations in vitamin D receptors affect your ability to utilize vitamin D
  • Genes involved in liver detoxification and how understanding the variations can influence your lifestyle choices
  • Utilizing genetic testing to identify trigger foods and the best eating behaviors for your body
  • The long-term value of genetic testing
  • What you need to know before doing genetic testing
  • Recognizing that genetics form a part of an overall health plan and not the complete picture
  • Dr. Sam’s stand-up comedy and goal to educate through humor


Connect with Dr. Sam Shay


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