This whole topic is my BIGGEST passion. The reason why I started this blog. Hope for all of us 🙂
Keep reading to find out why?
Did you know….
The foods you are eating could be affecting your genes? Your environment, stress levels, and behavior could also be affecting your genes?
I recently attended an epigenetics conference in Chapel Hill and thought I would share a few things.
Some quotes from Nessa Carey (author of “The Epigenetic Revolution: How modern biology is rewriting our understanding of genetics, disease, and inheritance.”)
“Now, it appears that our diets and lifestyles can change the expression of our genes. The epigenetics revolution is underway.”
“We have finally started to unravel the missing link between nature and nurture, how our environment talks to us…”
“In biology, Darwin and Mendel came to define the nineteenth century as the era of evolution and genetics. Watson and Crick defined the twentieth century as the era of DNA, and the functional understanding of how genetics and evolution interact. But in the twenty-first century, it is the new scientific discipline of epigenetics that is deconstructing so much of what we took as dogma and rebuilding it in an infinitely more varied, more complex, and even more beautiful fashion.”
“Wow.” – Me
“It is as if scientists have suddenly been handed the keys to a sports car they never knew existed, with no idea where the road trip will take them. “Ten years from now,I think things will be extraordinarily different than they are today.” -Jean Pierre Issa
Some other noted scientists working on epigenetics… Andrew Feinberg, Tim Huang, Chris Plass, Michael Skinner, Rebecca Fry…the list goes on.
I will try to break it all down here…
What is epigenetics?
Epi= Above; Genetics= Your hereditary information (DNA)—-> “above the genome”
Epigenetics: “The development and maintenance of an organism orchestrated by a set of chemical reactions that switch parts of the genome (genetic information) off and on at strategic times and locations….
…Epigenetics is the study of these reactions and the factors that influence them.“
What does that mean?
New research supports the idea that your genome can adjust genes (turn them on or off) in response to your rapidly changing environment.
What if you could turn your “tumor growing” gene off?
We used to think our genome was fixed. Static. Unchanging.
New research proves that is incorrect.
Your DNA remains fixed.
But it is this “newly” discovered epigenome that is flexible.
Diet, stress, toxins, and behavior all have been suggested environmental factors that could affect your genes.
These can all activate chemical switches that turns genes on or off.
It also has been shown that an embryo’s epigenome can be affected across generations. Your Great-Grandmother’s decisions, during her pregnancy, could be affecting you.
“Epigenetic inheritance is an unconventional finding. It goes against the idea that inheritance happens only through the DNA code that passes from parent to offspring. It means that a parent’s experiences, in the form of epigenetic tags, can be passed down to future generations. As unconventional as it may be, there is little doubt that epigenetic inheritance is real. In fact, it explains some strange patterns of inheritance geneticists have been puzzling over for decades.”
So what should I do?
As always, I list suggestions…please pick and choose whichever works best for you.
1. Pay attention to the source of your food items (local is best).
2. Drink filtered water.
3. Avoid processed foods as much as possible (oils, sugars, etc.)
4. Avoid environmental toxins as much as possible (aluminum, BPA, cadmium, etc.)
5. Get outside…to be in nature….as it is proven to improve health. (click on “nature” to read more).
6. Exercise 5 days a week.
More suggestions to come with more blog posts.
The study of epigenetics and the research consists of enough information to warrant public caution.
It doesn’t just give us things to worry…it gives us responsibility and hope.
“I am biased, but the top of the iceberg is genomics and single-nucleotide polymorphism- the bottom of the iceberg is epigenetics.” -Bob Weinhold
More to come later. 🙂
Cheers to science.
happy epigenetic evolving 🙂
Once last supporting statement…