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With host Dr Nirala Jacobi BHSc ND, Chief Medical Officer,

Jun 29, 2017


In this episode Dr Nirala Jacobi is in conversation with Dr Denise Furness, molecular geneticist, registered nutritionist, and registered exercise professional. 

Today’s discussion centres around nutrigenomics, methylation, and digestive health.

Dr Furness completed her PhD at CSIRO Human Nutrition and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Adelaide’s Research Centre for Reproductive Health.


Her research focused on folate, nutrigenomics, methylation and DNA damage in relation to pregnancy outcomes.  She has published her work in peer-reviewed medical journals and regularly presents at national and international conferences.


In 2012 Dr Furness shifted from an Academic Research position to a consulting role at Your Genes and Nutrition, helping patients understand the role of nutrigenomics and genetic testing in relation to various health outcomes.


Dr Furness is passionate about helping couples achieve optimal health and wellness to improve their chances for natural conception and healthy pregnancy outcomes.  She also holds regular educational seminars and workshops discussing the links between our genes and our environment, and how these impact on our health throughout all stages of the life cycle.


Topics discussed in this episode include:

Overview of methylation.

What to look out for with patients with ongoing digestive symptoms, and how can we utilise some of the genomic testing that’s available?

Methylation as being responsible for switching genes off and on - the epigenetic component, as well as neurotransmitters, detoxification, and many other functions.

How do we truly test methylation?

Genetic terminology suggestions.

How is methylation important in digestive issues?

How SIBO relates to methylation variations.

Nutritional cofactors implicated in the wider picture of methylation.

Dr Furness’s most recent collaboration project with Bioceuticals.

Clinical services

Genetic Testing options

Guidance with further testing

Which genetic testing service will serve your needs the best?

FUT2 gene variants and the link to digestive disorder.

FUT2 secretors and non-secretors, and the direct influence on the gut bacteria altering levels of Bifidobacterium and B12.

Detoxification (CYP450) systems and their prevalence in the gut versus the liver.

CYP polymorphisms, upregulation, and the resulting impacts on the digestive system.

Glutathione S-transferase (GST) phase 2 deletions and the requirement for detoxification support in light of the body using different, slower pathways.

Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) as the safe pathway to process catechol oestrogen metabolites.

Nutrients that support COMT and methylation, such as magnesium and b vitamins, respectively.

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzyme system that helps to clear neurotransmitters.

Why support COMT and methylation during times of stress and anxiety.

Why to never just start with folate supplementally - The Folate Trap.

Why the gut is the first port of call for systemic health.

Dr Furness’s dosing inclinations.

B12 deficiency in the presence of oxidative stress (due to gut issues), the recommendation towards hydroxy B12 supplementation over any other forms of B12, and why.

Various testing that Dr Furness recommends.

DUTCH testing

8-Hydroxyguanosine as a marker of DNA damage and oxidative stress

Endotoxicity and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and how this can affect certain genes

Low homocysteine and what this can mean.

Gut issues and the relationship with oxidative stress.

Where to start with a client who has genetic complexities and oxidative stress issues.

Methylation education necessities for practitioners.

Dr Furness’s plan for upcoming workshops in Melbourne, and online offerings for clinical application.

The transsulfuration pathway and what can go wrong here.

The Cystathionine Beta Synthase (CBS) SNP as the first step in transsulfuration pathway, which pulls homocysteine into the pathway, and the CBS impact in detoxification.

Sensitivities with sulphur and the relationship to CBS.

How one SNP does not provide the whole picture - look at the diet, lifestyle, symptoms, and testing, using an integrative picture to address the issue.

How B6 works to speed up the transsulfuration pathway, pulling homocysteine down into it.




Dr Denise Furness

Consults available at Your Genes & Nutrition, Brighton, Melbourne

Consults available at Your Health, Brighton, Melbourne


Genetic Testing Services

Smart DNA

Fit Genes

DNA Life



Microbiome PCR testing


Dr Furness’s 1000 kit free link


Dr Anderson

DUTCH testing

8-Hydroxyguanosine as an indicator of DNA damage and oxidative stress

Doctor’s Data

8-Hydroxyguanosine as an indicator of DNA damage and oxidative stress