What does this gene do?
The CAT gene provides instruction for making subunits of an enzyme, catalase.
Catalase is active in cell and tissues throughout the body. It is a powerful enzyme that protects the body from cell damage. The enzyme protects our bodies, like cars from “rusting”, it protects our bodies from harmful oxygen particles that lead to premature aging or even increased risk of cancer.
The enzyme catalsae breaks down harmful particles into ones that are water soluble so essentially making them inactive. CAT is mainly found in the liver, kidneys and red blood cells. If there’s not enough CAT in the red blood cells it results in increased harmful particles in our bodies.
The risk allele is the T allele, it’s linked to lower CAT enzyme activity, meaning that the enzyme has lower ability to breakdown the harmful hydrogen particles.
The TT genotype present in 55% of Europeans and in 94% of Asians.
The C allele is beneficial as it’s linked with higher levels of CAT, meaning more protection from damaging hydrogen peroxide.
HOWEVER!, The CC genotype Is relatively rare, found in 4% of Europeans.
Other genes that work together: MnSOD, and GPX genotypes