One of the best parts of researching methylation is meeting people who ask very good questions.  One very good question came up the other day about MAO-A and whether or not it was sped up or slowed down.  This question is important considering how much impact the MAO system has on how we handle stress and neurotransmitter balance.  Taking this idea further, because MAO enzyme degrade catecholamines (and histamine BTW!) we NEED to know if MAO-A and -B are going FASTER or SLOWER.  This is the question that I was asked and I have found the research that answers this for us. 

MAO-A comes in two different flavors – low activity or high activity.  The gene that is tested for on Sterling’s App is the rs6323 variant.  As I poured through my research looking for the answer to whether or not MAO-A was sped up or down, I found this research nugget:

“We examined polymorphisms in genes encoding the catabolic enzymes catechol-O-methyltransferase and monoamine oxidase A. Subjects with monoamine oxidase A G/T polymorphisms (rs6323) coding for the highest activity form of the enzyme (G or G/G) had a significantly lower magnitude of placebo response than those with other genotypes.” – J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009 Aug;29(4):372-7. PMID: 19593178

This was a huge find!  It basically proves that anyone with MAO-A rs6323 +/- or +/+ for the T allele has slowed activity of the enzyme (if you don’t have a G allele, then your MAO-A is slowed down).  This means conversely that those with MAO-A rs6323 -/- on the variant report have the high activity enzyme – aka the normal enzyme and the G/G genotype.  MAO systems exists outside the brain in cells like RBCs and thrombocytes.  But in the brain the MAO system is inducible.  Anything that injure mitochondria such as oxidative stress, toxin exposure, and the aging process in general will cause an increase in MAO activity regardless of genetics.  That is what inducible means, it can increase due to environmental signals regardless of the genetics – a key point to remember!

Aging is equivalent to DNA damage and as mitochondria are destroyed int the brain from toxins/stress/malnutrition then we are effectively aging faster. These effects plus SNPs cause increases in enzyme speed of the MAO system, esp. MAO-B (less clarity when it comes to MAO-A but likely same pattern since molecularly almost identical). Repeat: aging, inflammation, toxins or anything else that hurts the mitochondria will INCREASE the speed of both MAO-A and MAO-B. MAO-B is found mostly in the brain and therefore is more important with neurological issues like Parkinson’s disease, where it has long been known that MAO-B is sped up!  The take away is that its all about MAO system going too fast and causing problems.

This doesn’t mean that people with MAO-A rs6323 -/- will never have the same issues as those with MAO rs6323 +/+.  It simply means for people with MAO-A ++ or +- one of the main enzymes responsible for breaking down catecholamines is going slower genetically.  If you don’t know which version of MAO-A you have, all you need to do is get your 23andme report and run it through’s variant report.  This will tell you whether MAO-A is sped up or slowed down.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Rostenberg

By studying the current peer-reviewed research, Dr. Rostenberg has discovered powerful, natural strategies to balance your methylation pathways and heal your body.  He can help you uncover the genetic or root causes of your health problem and find a natural solution!  If you would like help with your methylation genetics to improve your gut function and reduce/eliminate your symptoms, please contact Dr. Rostenberg at Red Mountain Natural Medicine today. Phone 208-322-7755. Email Website


  • June 12, 2014 Reply


    I have MAO-A rs6323 GT +/-. Is that the same as G or G/G? I’m still trying to get the hang of all this!
    Does this increase in enzyme speed of the MAO system mean faster breakdown of catecholamines OR that the enzyme’s ‘normal’ ability to breakdown catecholamines is ‘worn-out’/aging faster and therefore LESS effective at breaking them down? Not sure what you mean by ‘going faster genetically’. Please clarify.
    Symptom-wise I seem to have excess catecholamines / easily stressed. Thanks very much!

    • June 12, 2014 Reply


      rs6363 +/- means you are have a SLOWER MAO-A speed thus your body breaks down SEROTONIN and DOPAMINE/ADRENALIN slower. This causes increased levels of adrenalin and dopamine and serotonin in the brain. It leads to high stress mental states, insomnia, chronic pain, etc.. – Dr. Rostenberg

      • June 20, 2015 Reply


        this is me. what is the significance of allele TT?

        • June 23, 2015 Reply

          Dr. Rostenberg

          Hi Amy,

          Thanks for your comment. As Stephen has pointed out, the TT allele (polymorphism) slows down the MAO-A enzyme compared to those with G/T or G/G. Another way to say it is if you are +/+ on your rs6323 MAO-A then you have the SLOWEST form of the enzyme. People who are +/- are half slow and half normal. And people who are -/- are considered wild type, meaning no changes from what is found in the normal enzyme. Hope that helps!

          In Health,

          Dr. Rostenberg

      • April 14, 2017 Reply


        I have (TG) rs6363 +/-. I do not suffer from insomnia or chronic pain. I suffer from low energy/fatigue/ low motivation. Compound herto for MTHFR +/+ for all three CBS COMT H62H (TC) +/- COMT V158M (AG) +/-

  • June 17, 2014 Reply



    You are correct that the G allele encodes for the higher activity of MAOA rs6323, however an indication of a red colored + or ++ on Sterling’s MTHFR Support Variant Report is for the _slow_ activity of the enzyme.

    My report says the result for rs6323 is a red colored + with the risk allele being T, this result is confirmed when I check my 23andme raw data. Further, the embedded link in the MTHFR Support Variant Report for rs6323 takes us to the snpedia page ( which clearly indicates near the top of the page that the risk allele is G for the high activity enzyme.

    So a red colored + or ++ on the MTHFR Support Variant Report with risk allele of T, seems to indicates a slow activity enzyme.

    I guess I’m confused, what new information do you believe you have uncovered that changes the above?


    • June 17, 2014 Reply


      Dear Dr. Zaius…THANK YOU for your comment. I believe your understanding is the correct interpretation. Looking at the information you mention, it is clear that the +/+ or +/- on the Variant Report (red or yellow color) indicates the T allele. Thus those with a GREEN MAO-A -/- allele are the FASTEST enzyme genotypes. So I can’t say thank you enough…your comment has saved me time and pointed to a misunderstanding on my own part. The best way to work out this complex information is to have more than one set of eyes looking at it. I will be updating my post to reflect the correct interpretation you have pointed out. In Health, Dr. Rostenberg

  • September 18, 2014 Reply


    Why is there so much confusion about MAO-A activity? I know I’m confused. I just learned in a webinar with Dr Ben Lynch that a positive mutation in MAO-A leads to up regulation of this enzyme which equals faster breakdown of serotonin. On the MTHFR support variant report this is a ++ or T/T variant correct?

  • September 23, 2014 Reply


    Hello Jen.
    I think the following:

    + on the MTHFRSupport Report = T = RED = SLOW activity of the enzyme
    – on the MTHFRSupport Report = G = green = fast activity of the enzyme

    • September 23, 2014 Reply


      Yes! I could not have said it in a more simple manner. Thanks Marco

  • September 25, 2014 Reply


    Hi Dr. Rostenberg. I am trying so hard to understand this. I just finished watching your first video on COMT and MAO. My Uncle has Parkinson’s. He is the only one in our family that is homozygous for the MAO A rs6323. His COMT H62H and V158M are -/- but he has a few other COMTs that are homozygous. At first, I understood that maybe his MAO was sped up (from the video) and how that could damage his presynaptic neuron. But now it seems like it is slowed down by that SNP, so could it still be causing damage and be contributing to his parkinson’s? I am going to watch your next video soon about how to balance the COMT and MAO snps, but are the recommendations still the same? Anyway, thank you for all that you do! You are awesome!

    • September 25, 2014 Reply


      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for your positive feedback. When this video was made there was some confusion regarding MAO genes. It is 100% accurate to say that MAO-B is SPED UP in Parkinsons. The research supports that clearly. However, it is less clear when it comes to MAO-A. MAO-A in the general population has a tendency to SLOW DOWN and cause increased adrenalin levels. As we age the MAO-A and MAO-B tend to go faster, but the SNP rs6323 shows that MAO-A is going SLOWER. I will be clarifying this in a future video. As for Parkinson’s, I suggest you watch as it explains the issue of dopamine, parkinson’s disease, and methylation. Individuals with Parkinsons benefit from balancing their neurotransmitters, esp. their dopamine levels. I have had success helping patients with parkinsons take control of their lives, increasing strength, energy and stamina. If you would like me to assist in the help with you Uncle please let me know. You may contact my office at 208-322-7755 and In Health – Dr. Rostenberg

      • September 25, 2014 Reply


        Thank you so much Dr. Rostenberg. I am going to pass your information on to my Uncle (and watch your video right now!) I truly appreciate all you do!

  • November 28, 2014 Reply


    I am MOA-A ++ …. I also have adrenal issues. Cortisol is slightly elevated at the 10pm check, higher by the 8am check, then dips below normal at the 4pm check.
    Since the MOA-A ++ slows down the excretion of excess adrenalin, is this affecting the bouncing around cortisol levels?

    • November 29, 2014 Reply


      The short answer is that excess adrenalin impacts the HPA axis and can stimulate the release of cortisol. What you describe is consistent with an imbalance in your diurnal cortisol rhythm. People with MAO-A ++ are susceptible to adrenal stress just like everyone else. The difference is that those with MAO-A and COMT SNPs will experience more stress side effects b/c they won’t clear the catecholamines as quickly. Remember that cortisol is a fatty steroid hormone and it will be in your system for hours while adrenalin will only be there for 15-20 minutes. The bouncing around cortisol levels you describe happen when the body isn’t able to adapt to the demands of the environment. This has less to do with your genes but more to do with lifestyle factors. We look at sleep, exercise, emotional stress, physical stress, chronic infections, detoxification issues, etc. as each of these are capable of lowering afternoon cortisol levels. The issue of adrenal fatigue is complex and the short answer is that MAO-A may make the adrenal imbalance worse by amplifying the effects of stress. If you would like more help please contact my office – Yours in Health, Dr. Rostenberg

  • January 9, 2015 Reply


    Just learned our 5-year-old son has MAO-A ++. As you can imagine he reacts VERY strongly to stress and frustrations in daily life. He has a fantastic diet and we avoid toxins as best we can. So how do you get it to speed up? Do you recommend any specific supplements/treatments?

  • February 13, 2015 Reply


    Hi Dr. Rostenberg, my 7 year old is MAO-A ++ 6323 and TT. Will 5htp help her or will that add more serotonin and then raise anxiety? I tried some 5htp at the recommendation of my dr because he says people w MAO-A have degraded serotonin and she needs more. But after two days on 5htp she seemed VERY anxious.
    What supplements can help this mutation. She is also Hetero MTHFR 677 I’m not sure if that matters at all. Thank you so much!!

    • February 15, 2015 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for reaching out and asking your question. MAO SNPs are a fascinating part of our physiology, and genes like these can influence how we feel and act on a profound level. People with MAO-A actually have a SLOWED breakdown of serotonin/dopamine. The feeling of anxiety is often a result of high dopamine (catecholamines) and/or serotonin. If your daughter takes a supplement, any supplement, and you see a flaring in her anxiety symptoms, then it means she is taking the wrong supplement. You need to find out why she has elevated neurotransmitters in the first place. In other words, what is the source of stress that is activating her fight or flight system? Trying to support ONE gene with ONE supplement gets complicated very quickly. A better idea is to look at the totality of the person, in this case your daughter, and find the areas where her system is weakest. By looking at things holistically we can find areas of her body that aren’t working well which are contributing to her symptoms. Remember, the environment controls the genes. We can’t change our genes, but we can change the environment. If you would like my personal help in figuring out how to support your daughter’s genetics, then I invite you to contact my office for a new patient consultation. We can be reached at 208-322-7755 and Treating genes is really about treating the whole person. When you do that, you optimize lives and optimize genes!

  • March 18, 2015 Reply


    Have you seen any studies for RS6323 that would quantify how much diminishment of function there is in converting catecholamines to metanephrines when you have the T allele, either heterozygous or homozygous (T/T)?

    • March 19, 2015 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      The MAO-A RS6323 SNP is one of several MAO SNPs that exist. The reason there is no standard decrease in functional activity of MAO-A is that the enzyme is highly INDUCIBLE and under the influence of many epigenetic factors. For instance, Estrogen decreases MAO-A RNA, while Testosterone increases it. Th-2 cytokines also increase MAO-A expression, with studies showing up to a 2000 fold increase in RNA transcription for MAO-A. What this means is that its less important to try and nail down the speed of the enzyme. The environment rules the roost and people who are estrogen dominant, with poor methylation and gallbladder health, are going to have higher anxiety/stress b/c their MAO-A will be slowed down. For example, the individuals who don’t have too much estrogen and have a healthy gut/digestion, will see more peace of mind since their MAO-A is moving faster. This will cause less excess catecholamine-induced anxiety and symptoms.

      In helping people manage their MAO-A pathways, it becomes a matter of managing their gut, hormones, sleep, digestion, detox, etc. Those factors are going to influence the expression of MAO-A greatly. They can make a SNP like rs6323 act WORSE or BETTER by changing the environment. That is why working on these pathways can give people so much relief.

      Yours in Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • April 24, 2015 Reply


    Hi Dr.,
    Another confused being……….RN by trade so guilty of self dx………..MAO-A/COMT/677/1298 (hetero)……just rec’d above info from friend and am hopeful I can get some verification I am on the right page. Health hx includes chronic lyme/positive bartonella culture. Prior to Jan 2011 never had anxiety/panic issues, IV rocephin started it and current dx is panic syndrome. Many trips to ER (latest, the worst, last month).

    if my research is correct MAO-A has factor of intolerance of methylfolate…………2 ER visits within last yr 1/2……… !st after 10mg QD 5-MTHF (2 doses only led to panic+++, 3 days of zero sleep), 2nd after folate decreased to 1mg QD (3 doses……not as intense but same reaction)

    last month was 5 days 8,000i.u vit D (d/t low 25 hydroxy)………….severe bodywide tremors and fasciculations+++, myalgia, confusion, unable to walk, elevated BP, afebrile

    another ER trip 2 yrs ago after 2 -25mg doses zoloft with same s/s

    cannot tolerate 5HTP, theanine, magnesium, sunflower lecithin, flaxseed

    I realize you cannot dx but question would be………… is it feasible that serotinin toxicity is a possibility in some cases?

    thank you!

  • May 1, 2015 Reply



    Despite a lot of discussion online now about MAO-A +/+ and the understanding that it is low activity leading to too much dopamine/serotonin/adrenaline I have found no suggestions on how to address this and try to achieve balance. I am a classic case of exhibiting the warrior gene personality and I would love not to be such a potential psycho every day.

    I also have a combo of 2 mTHFR SNPs which lead to elevated homocysteine.

    I am on TMG, mB12, P5P, B2, MetFol, Zinc, Omega oils and SAM-e which help me a great deal and keep me calmer and happier but am not sure how much those affect the MAO-O issue.

    Aside from regular exercise, good diet, clean water and low stress, etc is there anything more I can do to normalize my neurotransmitter levels?


    Simon Newton.

    • May 2, 2015 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      Hi Simon,

      Thank you for your comment! The best way to understand the COMT/MAO issue is this: you cannot make those systems run faster, so therefore you must take the pressure off of them. If you cannot widen the road to accommodate more traffic, then you must reduce the traffic. What we do in our office is we look at the 30,000 foot view of patients taking in all the information available. We have found that while the COMT and MAO systems are genetically inclined to be slowed down in many, there still exists ways to functionally speed them up. Its all about taking pressure off the system. In this case that means making sure people are sleeping well, balancing blood sugar, digesting well, optimizing detoxification, etc. We have used metabolic detoxification with hundreds of patients and many of them report feeling less angry and being “a nicer person” after the detox. Did we change their genetic code? Of course not. But we did change how the genes are expressing by optimizing the environment inside the cell.

      We work with patients all over the world, including the United Kingdom. Please reach out and let us know if we can be of service 208-322-7755 and

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • June 1, 2015 Reply


    Hi Dr Andrew,

    I know how much you appreciate intelligent questions. But this is not one of them. I’ve no background in anything. I’ve just run mine and my son’s 23andMe raw data through Sterling’s App and noticed that his came back as…
    rs5906883 MAOA A16535C A A +
    rs2235186 MAOA A85020G A G –
    rs909525 MAOA C42794T C C +
    rs5953210 MAOA G3638A G G +
    rs6323 MAOA R297R/G492T/T941G T T +
    rs1137070 MAOA T1011C/1460C C C +
    rs2072743 MAOA T89113C C C +
    rs1799836 MAOB A118723G C C +

    Admittedly I don’t really even know what an allele is, but how come out of all my son’s many results MAO is the only little group of SNPs that had single +’s or -‘s with no green, yellow or red highlighted. Only white.

    Is my son destined to be a special kind of serial killer or something?



    • June 5, 2015 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      Hi Charlene,

      No such thing as a stupid question. Remember that Males have an X and a Y chromosome, while Females have two X chromosomes. This is why in men the MAO gene is shown with only a single + or -. The MAO gene lives on the X chromosome. Since men only have a single copy of the X chromosome (opposed to females with two copies), you will always just see a single + or – for all the genes that live on the X chromosome.

      I hope that clears up the mystery for you! If you would like more personalized help in making sense of all this information and in helping optimize your son’s genes and health, then please reach out and contact my office. 208-322-7755 and

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • June 22, 2015 Reply


    It appears Sterling’s doesn’t use red, yellow or green colors on the MAO snps because there is so much controversy around whether the slow or fast versions are worst case. If you want to be scared look up “Brunner’s syndrome” which involves the slow version along with other MAO snps that 23andme don’t include. Snpedia shows the T allele in red for RS6323 (slow version). But you’re in good company as 60% of Europeans are TT.


  • July 17, 2015 Reply


    What would be the expression(s) for someone who is TT homozygous for MAO-A R297R? In other words, what symptoms might one experience? I am also homozygous for VDR Taq, and hetero for MTHFR C677T, among a few others (23 and me raw data merged with genetic genie). Recurrent eye infections and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis had a MD suggest I get tested via hematologist.
    Thank you,

    • July 19, 2015 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your comment! MAO-A performs a similar function as COMT – they both break down catecholamines and stress neurotransmitters. What this means is that when these pathways are stressed by the environment in which we live, they will tend to slow down and cause a flaring of certain symptoms. Common MAO (and COMT) symptoms include: anxiety, panic, worry, insomnia, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, aggressive behavior, and manias. This is list of symptoms that many people with MTHFR and MAO/COMT genes experience. Our goal with treatment is to reduce inflammation and improve digestion/detoxification so that they body’s internal environment optimizes. When this occurs, once the environment becomes optimized, then your genetic pathways become optimized.

      If you would like more help then please contact my office directly. 208-322-7755 and

      Yours in Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • October 4, 2015 Reply


    Can having, both, a slow maoa enzyme and a fast maoa enzyme create too much anxiety? I read that having a fast enzyme would break down the serotonin faster. I took 5 htp and it basically cured me for a few days and then I got worse so I am confused as to how to heal myself.

    • October 13, 2015 Reply


      Hi Lee,

      Thanks for your comment! In many cases it is inflammation that is destroying serotonin more than anything else. I have studies which show that inflammation increases the expression of MAO-A by 2000 times (19,000%). This means that any untreated, unresolved inflammation will be devouring our serotonin. It sounds like this is might be an issue with you. Taking 5HTP would make you feel better for a short time, but then since the underlying issue isn’t addressed, the serotonin will drop off again. Not only that but tryptophan gets turned into quinolinic acid which is itself neurotoxic and can make us feel bad. I can help you figure this out by working over the phone or Skype. 208-322-7755 and Yours in Health, Dr. Rostenberg

    • November 3, 2015 Reply


      Oh my – this is the exact same experience that I just had. 4 days of feeling like a normal healthy person (no CFS, good mood) and then a big crash today. I know Yasko says that 5HTP can end up inhibiting serotonin via feedback mechanisms so it might be the single dose that’s an issue. I’m MAO+- and have very high 5HIAA so very confused.

      Dr Rostenberg – I’ve been watching your videos for a while, they are great. Do you work with Australians? How can I contact you? Email?

  • November 2, 2015 Reply


    My body is in “attack mode” and “over-reacts” to many foods, supplements, herbs, etc. So I cannot simply start taking supplements to help me with genetic mutations. Just a sprinkle at a time and must wait to see if I have a reaction before I increase. Very frustrating.

    Which genetic mutations or combinations might be responsible for these hyper-reacting to foods, supplements, herbs ?

  • November 3, 2015 Reply


    I was a preteen with no problems. I started dieting/starving myself and/or developed ocd. I had an ample amount of sense of well being. I could not keep the weight off at that point so was given thyroxin. I started having anxiety symptoms like rumination and making lists in my head and was a bit physically uncomfortable but still had the sense of well being and felt pretty good. I did not like the extra energy cause it felt unreal. I stopped taking the thyroxin on the advice of my doctor which I find odd since, I found out later, you are supposed to take it for the rest of your life. A year or so later I had surgery with sodium pentathol, which is a known serotonin enhancer, I think. After I was given the sp I felt high as if taking a trip or something. It scared me but they put me under so don’t remember anything else except feeling ecstatic and happy in a dream while in surgery. After waking up from surgery I felt so strange and scared. My head felt closed up and a few days later I had my first panic attack. Fast forward a few years and I tried benzos. They worked fairly well. Fast forward again and I tried 5htp. It made me sleepy for the first couple days and a few nights later I felt just like I did before the panic and anxiety started and I regained my sense of well being. It was truly a short term cure. It was wonderful, but didn’t last long. A few hours later I felt like I was tripping. Very very scary. What happened and why can’t I find a supplement or drug that works? Similar experiences occurred with l tryptophan and niacin.

  • April 14, 2016 Reply


    if I’ve got the slowed version (MAOA rs6323 TT (+/+)). If it tends to speed up as we age, am I not in a better position as I age than those who have the faster +/- or -/-?? I’m confused!

  • April 24, 2016 Reply


    I was wondering the same thing, Patricia! Wouldn’t that leave us better-modulated with regards to breaking down the anxiety-producing enzymes – wouldn’t we finally be breaking them down at a more ‘normal’ rate? Dr Rostenberg, love to hear your opinion of this – thanks. Hoping there’s a perk to aging 😉 !

  • June 21, 2016 Reply


    My wife is MAOA G TT -/- from my understanding that her MAOA is the fast activity of the enzyme, would that mean with stress she is more prone to having lower levels serotonin under stress?

    She also has the MAOB C CC +/+ showing a slower activity of the enzyme.

    My question is am i on the right track trying to slow down MAOA and increase MAOB to bring some balance?

  • June 27, 2016 Reply

    Seth Bauer

    This makes a lot of sense. Could explain why many people use alcohol, in that they use it to increase MAO-A activity and therefore ease any mental problems they’ve incurred by having the MAO-A rs6323 mutation.

  • August 5, 2016 Reply


    Seth – Bingo. I wondered if my alcoholic father had this gene and if there were studies tying it to alcoholism. There are. And his results are back and he is. I hope, someday, there are things that can help people like him who are simply trying to unwittingly self medicate. 🙁

  • September 1, 2016 Reply


    Would this be similar mechanism to MAO-B mutations then?
    +/+ genotype would equal slowed enzymatic activity, slower breakdown of dopamine = higher circulating dopamine/adrenalin?

    If this increases speed as we age, would that be helpful for symptoms?

    Am I grasping this correctly?
    Thank you.

    • September 11, 2016 Reply


      Hi CK,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, as we age our DNA is damaged and we make a “less perfect” copy of each protein the more we age and undergo replication. So the MAO-B enzyme +/+ which is SLOWED compared to wild type, will slowly but surely speed up over time. Now if we have a neurological problem like Parkinson’s this will hurt us since dopamine levels will drop faster as we age, provoking symptoms, etc. This is on the of the reasons Parkinson’s shows up in the later part of life, the faster MAO-B goes the faster dopamine is metabolized. Hope this helps!

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • September 8, 2016 Reply

    Rachel R.

    Am I crazy to think the “slowed” version of MAO-A (possibly in tandem with other similar gene variants) could mimic a pheochromocytoma? I have a family member whose doctors have been chasing down a symptom set that looks exactly like a pheochromocytoma for several years now, but they have checked and say there is not one present. According to my (admittedly amateur) research, a pheochromocytoma pumps out catecholomines, so it seems that a decrease in the ability to eliminate catecholomines could do the same thing. I have the +/+ version of MAO-A (and unfortunate COMT variants, as well), so it’s very probable this person does to. Does this seem like a reasonable direction to look into?

    • November 5, 2016 Reply


      Oh my gosh Rachel! Did you get an answer to your question? I am searching for the same thing. I was just reading about that kind of tumor this week trying to figure it out. Family member here also homozygous for MAO-A slow allele. Cortisol level?

  • October 1, 2016 Reply

    Carlos Solorzano

    Regarding the RNA SNP drops would you start with one at the time? can I use several at the same time?
    of different gene mutations?

    • October 7, 2016 Reply


      Hi Carlos,

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t use the RNA drops and I cannot vouch for their effectiveness or bioavailability. Not sure if studies have proven they do what they claim. If you would like advice on what products I use, see our Protocols page or contact my office and we can get you on a program to heal your gut and optimize your methylation cycle!

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • October 14, 2016 Reply

    Alethea Black

    Would taking L-Tyrosine or Dopa Mucuna (w green tea extract) HELP with MAO-A or make it WORSE?

    Thank you!

    Homozygous: MTRR A66G ++, MAO A R297R ++
    Heterozygous: MTHFR C677T +/-, MTHFR A1298C +/-, BHMT 1 +/-, BHMT 8 +/-, CBS C699T +/-, CBS A360A +/-, COMT V158M +/-, COMT H62H +/-, VDR Taq1 +/-, VDR Fok1 +/-, SHMT C1420T +/-

  • December 7, 2016 Reply


    Im a little confused.. I have MAO a */-. Mao B, when running my raw data in 23andme, I get a C genotype, but when its flipped as they do ( confusing) it becomes a G genotype.

    My question is, you wrote rs6363 +/- means you are have a SLOWER MAO-A speed thus your body breaks down SEROTONIN and DOPAMINE/ADRENALIN slower. This causes increased levels of adrenalin and dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Then how come on say an Organic ACID Test I just got done, it states my serotonin was slightly low. I guess for some reason I thought I would naturally have low serotonin levels because of depression I have had etc. Not high ones/ I’m also Comt V158M +/-

  • March 10, 2017 Reply

    Matt Wilson

    I’m have mao-a r297 ++ TT. (low enzyme function) If I understand correctly, as I age, this enzyme activity will increase. I’m 31 now and my angry childhood urges have gone away for the most part. Could that be why? I’m also a biohacker and yogi, so maybe these genes just aren’t expressing themselves anymore because I treat my environment with care 🙂

    My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and than re-diagnosed with PSP, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (

    Because I see a link with Dopamine and Serotonin and this gene, I’m wondering if there is any link to Parkinson’s. Depression and being anti-social are big parts of these diseases and have a lot to do with this enzyme. More on this here:

    Does anyone have more information about the two questions above? Thanks

    • March 10, 2017 Reply

      Matt Wilson

      “MAO-B is found mostly in the brain and therefore is more important with neurological issues like Parkinson’s disease, where it has long been known that MAO-B is sped up! The take away is that its all about MAO system going too fast and causing problems.”

      Okay, I get it… now what? Keep biohacking, reducing inflammation, stress etc.? Any more info out there on this Parkinson’s MAOA link?

  • March 13, 2017 Reply


    To whomever can answer:

    We have tried to test for low MAO activity with 23andme. Unfortunately 23andme was unable to extract enough DNA from two samples and refuses to try again. I don’t know why they were unable to extract enough DNA, but the point is, 23andme is a closed door. My doctor is willing to order the genetic testing, but doesn’t know what medical billing code would cover it. If no one knows the billing code, It would help if I know what the name of the genetic test is that needs done.

    Any takers?


    • March 15, 2017 Reply


      Hi Corin,

      Try they offer a comparable test that can also be used for in-depth genetic testing.

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

  • April 2, 2017 Reply


    Hello. I have a very hard time understanding this, and I hope you can help me. I just read this:
    The Minor “C” allele is associated with:
    More Aggressive behavior.
    The Major “T” allele is associated with:
    Less Aggressive behavior.
    But then it says: Males (but not females) with the T allele had higher rates of suicide compared to controls (70.5% vs 54%) (R).
    To me it sounds like it says that the major T allel equals higher risk of depression, but at the same time that the major T allel is assosiated with MAOLH. While every other study I read says that MAOAL equals depression. I want to understand exactly what the SNP does to the nukleotide in MAOAL and MAOAH.
    I hope you can make a little sense out of my very confusing message, and that somebody is able to help me.

  • April 9, 2017 Reply


    I’m very confused…my 23 and me report was run through Livewello in 2013 and again in 2016. In both reports it says that G is the minor allele and I am GG and shows the red +/+. My raw data also shows me as GG. But this is in direct opposition of what is being stated in this article. So am I to assume that my MAO runs high despite the +/+ indication?

  • May 30, 2017 Reply

    Beth Harville

    Rs2072743 maoa.. Am I a fast or slow? I’m so foggy brained today I can barely type this. I need desperate help to figure all of this out. Is there any way I can pay you to look at my 23&me test please help me. I cannot do this anymore alone

  • September 5, 2017 Reply


    ok – i have MAO A R297R rs6323 TT +/+
    Sooo, this means slooooowwww. female. early 60’s

    No real aggression or compulsive issues – that I can think of. I did want attention as a very young child – but I was a middle kid of alcoholic parents that could NEVER remember my name. Also my parochial school learning would NOT allow.

    Ima try some gingko. Not sure why.

    I also have a vdr taq and a cbs a360a
    one of those mthfr a1298c

    couple others and not sure if they require MORE research? this is gonna take forever.

  • December 10, 2017 Reply


    I have a fast MAO-A. My serotonin is deficient, GABA precursor was undetectible, my sleep is terrible. I wake up at 3am daily. What can I do to address this? I want to get a good night sleep for once in my life. Thank you.

    • December 18, 2017 Reply

      Dr. Rostenberg

      Hello Eddie,

      Thanks for your comment. Brain problems and sleep problems like you describe are commonly related to imbalances with the methylation cycle. If you don’t produce neurotransmitters in the correct amount because of metabolic, digestive or genetic issues then you can suffer with insomnia and many other common problems. Without performing an in-depth consultation and history/work-up it would be very hard to guess what is the best treatment for you. If you are interested in getting a personalized approach to optimize your health and well being, then please contact my office and 208-322-7755.

      In Health,

      Dr. Rostenberg

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