Genetics Training

In-depth look into the science of DBC

In-depth look into the science of DNAbeautyControl

Spoken text of the video

Just like genes influence various aspects of our bodies, they also influence the structure and maintenance of healthy skin. DNAbeautyControl focuses on analysing certain genes that we know are important for maintaining healthy and young skin and where we know that certain genetic variations appear in the general population and that gives some people strengths or weaknesses concerning how their skin is maintained and how their skin ages.

I will have a few examples of how genetics impacts the way that our skin ages and I will talk you through different aspects of this program. In total we are looking at 10 different aspects of how skin may age. There are a number of factors. One of them is collagen breakdown, the loss of firmness of skin.

The second aspect is collagen production. The third aspect is UV protection from the skin. While some people get sunburns more easily than others, which is a purely genetic difference from one person to the next.

Then we look at skin moisture, oxidative stress, the effect of coenzym Q10, the selenium requirement, the inflammation response, the biological age and then we look at how we can look at all of these things together and create a personalized strategy of how to combat these aspects of the aging skin.

Collagen breakdown

Looking at the first aspect collagen breakdown. What you see here is a diagram of how the MMP1 gen is supposed to work. This gene has a function of finding and then breaking down old collagen in skin. Collagen essentially is a kind of structural protein where cells can attach and they hold on to the scaffold and this ensures that the skin remains firm.

Collagen is broken down because the body continues to produce more collagen. So, you want to breakdown old collagen, produce new collagen and this way the collagen content of the skin remains fresh and functional. This is an important function of the MMP1 gene.

In some people this gene is not working correctly and contrary to normal mutations where usually the function of a gene is lost, this kind of genetic variation that some people have, super charges this gene. What happens is, instead of making a normal amount of breakdown mechanisms that break down old collagen, it's producing way too much.
What happens is, collagen is broken down. Not only old collagen, but also new collagen that is just being produced and we can see in these people that with increasing age the amount of collagen in their skin decreases rapidly.

Some people have a functioning gene, others have a version that breaks down collagen way too much. We can test for this genetic variation in this gene. So, we can tell you if your collagen breakdown is normal or if it's actually sped up and we might need to do something about it. Now, let's assume in a hypothetical case one person has this genetic variation where they are breaking down collagen too fast, because the gene is overactive.

There are certain substances, specifically lutein which have the ability to block these breakdown mechanisms. What happens is, if we supply lutein and other substances such as antioxidants, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C and phytosterols. What happens is, we can block enough of these breakdown mechanisms to return to the normal breakdown of collagen. While a gene is overactive we can use certain nutrients supplied in the right way to contract this genetic effect.

These substances, most of them can actually penetrate through the skin, lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid if applied in the form of skin cream from the outside, can migrate through the skin and have this function of reducing the activity of this gene. Now, these substances can also be taken through nutrients. They can be swallowed which leads to the substances circulating in the bloodstream, being distributed to the right tissue, to the skin where they can also have the same function.

We have a certain number of substances that we can increase in skin cream as well as through nutrient and we would then give a recommendation. In the first line you can see 'Internally' in the way of supplements or nutrient we would like to increase lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E and phytosterols.
From the outside we would also increase certain substances. You can notice that phytosterols are not actually being recommended externally in the form of skin cream. That is because of these substances cannot penetrate the skin, so it does't actually make sense to put it into skin cream, but we have to supply it in the form of nutrient from the inside.

Depending on the genetic results we would recommend higher doses of these substances or just low doses to combat the graduate breakdown of collagen with increasing age. This is gene number one.

I don't want to bore too much with science, but you really should quickly see the kind of scientific basis we have behind this program. Here you can see the MMP1 gene and this number here is actually the kind of catalogue number for the genetic variation that we're analyzing.

This gene has three different potential genetic results. In a simplified way you can see DEL/DEL would mean you have two copies of this gene, one from your father, one from your mother and it means that both of them are working normally. Then we have G/DEL, that would mean one of them is supercharged, not working correctly and the other one is okay.
G/G would mean both of them are supercharged, so both of them are producing too much of this breakdown mechanism.

In this column you see POP, that means how common it is in the population. 20% how normal collagen breakdown, 47% have somewhat faster collagen breakdown and 33% have two overactive genes which means that they're breaking down collagen way too fast.

Down here you can actually see a list of various of peer reviewed sciences. In the the field of medical genetics usually you require at least three scientific studies that confirm the effect of a gene on the body. Here you can see seven peer reviewed scientific publications that have all confirmed that these genetic results have an influence on the way that collagen is broken down. The scientific basis for this one gene is already very strong and now we can use this information to then use a targetted strategy. That was aspect number one. Some people loose collagen in their tissues too fast.

Collagen production

Then we got the concept of collagen production. There is an enzyme called prolidase and this enzyme essentially produces proline and proline is the raw material for new collagen. We need prolidase to produce the raw materials that are then converted into collagen that we do want in our skin.

This process is important to maintain enough collagen. Now there is a substance in coffee called caffeine which is a stimulant and we also know that caffeine itself would interfere with the production of collagen. However, we have a gene called CYP1A2 that can recognize caffeine. It grabs onto it and neutralizes it. If this gene works correctly caffeine is removed from the body very quickly. You might know some people who are able to go to sleep right after drinking a cup of coffee, while others cannot. They react too strongly to caffeine and they can't sleep all night.

This is actually very strongly linked with this one gene. If this gene is working it breaks down caffeine very quickly, which leads to you being very tolerant to coffee. In this case it would not interfere very much with your collagen production. If this gene works fine, everything is okay.
However, some people have genetic variations in this gene and what happens there is, caffeine is actually not recognized quickly and not broken down very quickly. This are people typically very sensitive to caffeine that cannot sleep after a cup of coffee.

What happens if caffeine is not broken down is, it actually interferes with the prolidase. So, we cannot produce enough proline to produce more collagen. Essentially caffeine that is not broken down down by the body through a certain gene, can interfere with the production of new collagen.

What can we do if we know that this is the case? For one, we can actually reduce the intake of caffeine. By drinking less coffee or being aware that if you're continuously take in caffeine, that it will influence the structure of your skin over the long term, this is one thing to consider. Then there are certain substances that can actually increase the production of collagen. Among those are vitamin C and folic acid. Both the substances as you can see here, can either be applied to the skin where they can then migrate inwards and increase collagen production. Or they can be taken in the form of supplements and nutrient where they can also have the same effect on the skin. Then you increase the production of proline again and you can produce more collagen.

There is one other trick that we can use. The body actually has a mechanism to recognize if there is collagen broken down. If your skin would break down collagen, small little fragments of collagen would circulate in your bloodstream and the body would recognize this and say, "I'm seeing fragments of collagen. That means, I must have broken down collagen, so let me produce some more".
There is a mechanism recognizing broken down collagen. We can use this trick, we can actually take already broken down pieces of collagen. We can apply them to the skin or take them in form of nutrient supplements. They will then get into the tissues, the body will recognize there are fragments of collagen, means I must have broken down collagen, let me produce more.

We can initiate this trick without the body actually breaking down collagen, this is called hydrolyzed collagen. It's not actually collagen, but it's lots of little pieces of the collagen molecule. We can apply this in the form of cream and we can take it in the form of supplements.

What you can see here, this specific recommendation would say, please reduce caffeine in the form of nutrient. We should increase hydrolyzed collagen alot, this is why the arrow is quite large and we should increase vitamin C a little bit and folic acid a little bit more. And externally again, we can add the hydrolyzed collagen, vitamin C and folic acid.

Again looking at the science very quickly, 41% have normal caffeine breakdown. Those are the people that can drink coffee and go to sleep. 43% and this is actually where my genetic result is, have slow removal of caffeine and 16% have very slow removal and those are typically people who cannot tolerate caffeine at all. Again, you can see the scientific publications that have confirmed this.

You will find science like this for every gene and every genetic variation in this program in the back of the report. If it is planned to be there, otherwise it is available in other forms. This kind of science is there. I will not dive into too much science, otherwise this video will take much longer, but just be assured that this is the kind of level of science we have for every gene and if you're interested this information is available for you.

Effect of Q10

The substance coenzyme Q10 is widely used as supplement and in cosmetics and the reason why it is being used is, because it has the ability to become a very strong antioxidant protecting us from free radicals which would speed up aging. Because it is so effective our body actually produces a lot of coenzyme Q10 ourselves. It does really make sense if everything works correctly to supplement this in the form of cosmetics or supplements with increasing age.

The problem with coenzyme Q10 is shown in this example. Coenzyme Q10 by itself is not active in the body. It first needs to be recognized by the NQO1 gene which then converts it into the active form called ubiquinol and this substance can then recognize free radicals and protect our cells. Q10 itself is not active, it needs a certain gene that then makes it active, which then protects our cells.

Some people have a genetic problem, they have none-functioning versions of this gene. What happens in these people is, they take Q10 and if they now did a blood test, the blood test would say Q10 levels are high, everything is fine. The reality is, the gene is not working, it's not converting Q10 into the active form and it is not protecting our cells from free radicals. For some people coenzyme Q10 is working and for others it's not.

What can you do if your genes are not actually converting it into the active form? Thankfully there are other substances, so called antioxidants which can do the same function. So, either you take Q10 if your body can activate it or you leave Q10 away because it doesn't actually work and you use other antioxidants in a higher dose. Some of these antioxidants are vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin C. As you can see here, they can be applied to the skin because they can penetrate through the skin and get into the tissues and do their work.

From the inside in form of nutrient you can also add alpha-lipoic acid, zinc, vitamin C and E also from the inside and manganese. Zinc and manganese would not go through the skin. There is no point in actually putting it into a skin cream, you need to supply it through nutrient from the inside. If we increase all of these substances from the outside and inside enough, they can then recognize free radicals and neutralize them before they can do any damage. Either Q10 is the option for you, then you get Q10 or this doesn't work and then we need to use other antioxidants in a higher dose to protect.

The recommendations here would look something like this. Coenzyme Q10 is actually great, because it has no function, there is no arrow. All of the other antioxidants is increased. From the inside you also have manganese and zinc and from the outside no Q10, because it doesn't work and only the ones that can actually penetrate the skin.

Selenium requirement

Next aspect is selenium requirement. Selenium is a trace element that is present in a lot of different types of food. Selenium deficiency is not actually that rare and that's a problem because there is a gene called GPX1. This gene requires selenium to build a mechanism that can recognize free radicals and neutralize them. You need enough selenium and this gene to produce this stuff here, which can then neutralize free radicals.

Selenium deficiency is bad, is has a lot of reasons why it's bad but one of the reasons is, because you cannot have this protective effect and your tissues would start aging faster. In some people there is a genetic variation in this gene. What happens is, they can still use the gene, take selenium and integrate it into what the gene produces but this mechanism is less effective. Even though it is being produced, it can only badly recognize free radicals and neutralize them.

What can we do if we know that genes like this and they don't protect? Science has shown that if we increase the amount of selenium, you start producing more and more of this less effective protective mechanism. If you increase selenium enough, you get enough of the less effective version to actually have the same protective effect as if your genes worked normally.

Again, a blood test would tell you selenium is normal. In some cases that's enough, in some cases that's still not enough and you would have to increase it above normal to have the same protective effect. Here you can see, more selenium would produce a lot of this less effective protective effect. It would recognize free radicals and neutralize them.

Selenium would not go through the skin, there is no point in putting it into skin cream as it would not be able to penetrate inwards. The only way of supplying enough of it is through nutrient. Either in the form of supplement or eating a lot of selenium containing food.


When you go out into the sun and UV rays penetrate your skin and damage your cells. In many cases the cells are damaged so much that they die and then the inflammatory response, your immune system starts to say, we need to do something. We clean this up.
It starts to cause an inflammation. This is typically what you feel when you have a sunburn, you get red. This is an inflammation where the immune system goes there and starts cleaning up all of the broken cells.

This is an important aspect to repair the damage that has been done. What you can see here, UV rays come in, damage cells. Certain genes would regulate how aggressive the immune system kicks in and they say, okay, let's start doing something. The immune system comes along and eats up all of the broken cells. This is an important aspect of how to keep our skin functioning.

In some people genetic variations of this genes actually make the immune system too aggressive. The same thing happens, the UV rays damage cells but the genes are too active and the immune system comes in too strong. It starts inflammation and actually this inflammation is doing more damage than good. This damage then causes one of the causes of aging.
As you can see here, the genes are too aggressive. To the same amount of damage too much of the immune system comes along and it starts to also damage healthy cells. Some people have genes that pre-expose them to a too aggressive immune system.

What can we do in this case? There are actually certain substances which have an immune suppressive effect, something that makes your immune system weaker and two of those substances are omega-3 fatty acids, that's fish oil. The other one is MSM, this is organic sulfur. In a form of nutrient supplements you can use fish oil, omega-3 and MSM, which will then reduce the aggression of the immune system and reduce it to the normal aggressiveness that should be there and omega-3 in the form of skin cream doesn't make sense. However, putting MSM in cream can actually penetrate the skin and have the protective effect.

If your immune system is too aggressive we would increase your immune suppressive supplements and substances to make sure that it is reduced again to a normal level.

What you see here is actually another one. Omega-3 and MSM is increased, but our arachidonic acid is decreased and that's internally. Our arachidonic acid is the opposite, it's essentially something that increases the inflammation. This substance, if you eat a lot of it, would make your immune system more aggressive and this is very counterproductive. So, we would also recommend to reduce this. If you have this arrow, you should avoid foods that contain this and those are mainly different types of meat. Any meat products have this, so you should reduce your meat consumption to make sure your immune system is not too aggressive. From the outside it only makes sense to put MSM, organic sulfur in the substance, this is what we would recommend here.

Biological Age

The final aspect is biological age. Our whole genome, our whole genetic code, all of our 25,000 genes are split up into smaller boxes, smaller chapters as you could say. Those chapters are called chromosomes. You might have seen them in television, those are the X shapes. Each one of those X shapes and here is actually a diagram of one of them, has these ends and those are protective ends. Whenever a cell starts to divide, split into two cells, these ends start to break off a little bit.

This is called biological age, because if you're young you have very long ends and the older you get, the shorter these ends become. Eventually all of the ends have broken off and then real genes are being lost and then the cells go into panic mode, shut down and they don't do their work anymore.
The older you get, the more of these cells are actually accumulating in your skin. They are not dead, they are what it's called {Unknown word - 23:33}, it is a kind of a sleep mode. They don't do their role, they are bad for other cells around them and they accumulate and really cause problems in the tissue and cause aging.

Because this is a problem the body has a certain gene called telomerase and this gene has a function to make sure that these ends don't break up too quickly. This gene makes sure your biological age is maintained as you get older. In some people however, this gene is not working correctly through genetic variations. What happens in them, they loose their chromosome ends very quickly, so they have a higher biological age. Biologically they are up to 20 years older than others based on the genetics.

What can you do if you know you are pre-exposed to loose this chromosome ends, which would then cause problems. There are certain substances such as omega-3, vitamin D and vitamin E as well as a mediterranean diet that have shown to activate this gene and to make sure that chromosome ends are maintained better. If you have the genetic to loose your ends very quickly, we would increase these substances in the form of supplements from the inside and also externally add vitamin E in the cream to make sure that we do the best that we can to make sure that your chromosome ends remain as long as possible for as long as possible. This way we make sure that your biological age doesn't decrease too quickly.

Those are the 10 different aspects of aging where genes play an important role and where people differ, where some people have strengths and other weaknesses. Now it's time to look at the whole picture of all of this.
What does this now mean for all of the different substances? In the reports you will actually see something like this. Coenzyme Q10 here is neutral. It's grey, it doesn't have any arrows because we've already seen in this example, coenzyme Q10 is actually not functional at all. So, coenzyme Q10 is not recommended.

Sun cream is only recommended for the UV protection aspect. It is moderately high up, because this genetic profile would require a moderately increase in sun protection because the genes do confirm sun protection. Vitamin C is actually important for a lot of aspects, very important for collagen, maintenance, not so important for sun protection and so on.

In the end we would say you need a lot of vitamin C. We look at all of these substances at the whole picture, find out in the end, is the substance important for you, yes or no. How much do we require. That then gives us the basis to create a specific strategy. We've seen that certain substances can be applied from the outside, some from the inside. It's important to have the right substance in the right mechanism, because some don't go through the skin.

The whole thing starts with a genetic test where we find out what your requirements are and then we have the possibilities of applying substances from the outside and others from from the inside in the form of a personalized supplement.

This is what a typically recipe would look like. These are all of the substances that I've been talking about and in the day cream, it's actually a day serum, we have a lot of substances in there that should be protective, protecting you from the stresses of the day. Certain substances here including sun cream for example are shown in this list.
In the night we want regenerative substances that rebuild your collagen and regenerate your skin from the previous day. The body lotion has a certain mix of nutrients that are adapted to the skin of your body. Then we have a certain recipe that we would recommend for the supplements.

Taking all of this into account, you will get a description of how much hyaluronic acid we would recommend. How much hydrolyzed collagen, how much Q10 and so on. All of these arrows will be specific for every person and different for every person.
Same goes for the night serum, the body lotion and the nutrient supplements.

I hope I could give you a good overview over the role of genes in our skin, how we differ, how some people have strengths and weaknesses and that there are specific strategies that we can use to personalize the right approach to maintain healthy skin for as long as possible.