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X Fact
July 14, 2020
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What Are SNPs (Pronounced SNIPS) and Why Are They Important?

SNP is the acronym for 'Single Nucleotide Polymorphism' which means that there is a deviation of the normal sequence in a gene segment with a single base mutation. On average, for every 1000 bases (nucleotides) there is one 'spelling' mistake (polymorphism). This means that most people have about 4 to 5 million SNPs in their genome. Most of the time, these spelling mistakes don't matter, but sometimes they do. For example, lactose intolerance in adults is often caused by a SNP that leads to a defective gene for the enzyme that converts the carbohydrate in milk, lactose to glucose and galactose.

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Words You May Not Know
Base
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Base

Individual Bases form Base Pairs

Base Pair

A base pair contains two chemical bases bonded to one another forming a "rung of the DNA ladder." The DNA molecule consists of two strands that wind around each other like a twisted ladder. Each strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (deoxyribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases--adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), or thymine (T). The two strands are held together by hydrogen bonds between the bases, with adenine forming a base pair with thymine, and cytosine forming a base pair with guanine.

Who Wrote This
Jonathan Bortz MD
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Jonathan’s background as a practicing diabetes specialist for 15 years and 17-year career developing nutritional prescriptive products for the pharmaceutical industry has contributed to his ability to understand nutrients, how they work and why they are important.

Over the years he has acquired broad and in-depth knowledge in minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients, but has special expertise in Vitamin B12 and choline metabolism. He is often asked to speak at national and international venues to articulate why B12, folate and choline are so important to gene function, brain development, liver and cardiovascular health. He applies pharmaceutical standards to nutrient science and has developed a unique ability to translate complicated concepts into simple promotional messages that resonate with practitioners and consumers. He has developed dozens of innovative nutritional products, of which many are category leaders in the US. Jonathan obtained his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa and did his fellowship in Endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

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