Genetics is so 1990’s. You really shouldn’t be as worried about your genetics as you should be about your epigenetics. Genetics are not our destiny but rather out tendency or predisposition. Epigentics, on the other hand, determines which genes are expressed and which aren’t.
“Think of our genes as a code that translates into a finished human being, much like a coded manuscript would translate into a readable text. Now imagine what that text might look like if you went in and covered up various words and phrases so they couldn’t be translated. The finished text might be better because of this editing, but it could also be worse or even unreadable. It all depends on what words were kept out of the final copy.”
“This is where epigenetics comes into play. The word literally means “above the genome” and relates to the changes that occur between the genome and the phenotype. Epigenetic changes don’t alter the genes, but they do affect the way they’re expressed.”
“There are several different kinds of epigenetic changes, but the one we understand the best is methylation. This process involves carbon and hydrogen bundles (CH3) called methyl groups, which bind to the DNA and essentially cover up genes so they can’t activate, much like the covered-up phrases in our coded manuscript. Some of those inactive genes could cause disease. In fact, an estimated 50 percent of the reasons for a given disease can be attributed to genetic factors [source: Bhattacharya]. Others parts of the genome, such as tumor-suppressing genes, help to prevent cancer. Epigenetic changes can alter the balance, though. These changes can occur due to several different environmental causes, from the contents of our diet to how stressful our childhood was.”
“After sequencing his own genome, pioneer genomic researcher Craig Venter remarked at a leadership for the twenty-first century conference, ‘Human biology is actually far more complicated than we imagine. Everybody talks about the genes that they received from their mother and father, for this trait or the other. But in reality, those genes have very little impact on life outcomes. Our biology is way too complicated for that and deals with hundreds of thousands of independent factors. Genes are absolutely not our fate. They can give us useful information about the increased risk of a disease, but in most cases they will not determine the actual cause of the disease, or the actual incidence of somebody getting it. Most biology will come from the complex interaction of all the proteins and cells working with environmental factors, not driven directly by the genetic code.'”
“This statement is very important because looking to the human genome for solutions to most chronic illnesses, including the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, is overemphasized in today’s world. Observational studies, however, have indicated that as we migrate from one country to another, our chances of being diagnosed with most chronic illnesses are determined not by the country we come from but by the country we migrate to (1–4). In addition, studies with identical twins have suggested that genes are not the source of most chronic illnesses. For instance, the concordance between identical twins for breast cancer was found to be only 20% (5). Instead of our genes, our lifestyle and environment account for 90–95% of our most chronic illnesses.”
Wow – so this means even though you may have inherited the tendency for very high cholesterol and hypertension from Dad and Mom, you can control the switches of those genes by your lifestyle choices. Wish I ‘d know this 30 years ago. I would have started taking care of myself earlier. But it’s never too late, right?
So what kinds of things turn our genes on and off? Well, every second of every day of our lives activate and deactivate our genes. They are controlled by our lifestyle choices – our food choices, exercise, toxins in our environment (chemicals, metals and drugs), thoughts, attitudes, upbringing and the people we associate with. (Preventative medication, by the way, doesn’t turn off genes. If anything, it turns them on because it’s a toxin)
This means we can’t blame Mommy and Daddy for everything any more and we have to take responsibility for ourselves.
What I do as a Nutritional Consultant is help you get rid of the toxins in your body and environment, teach you how to eat correctly, put you on the right supplements for your body and point you in the right direction for exericise so that you turn on the right genes and turn off the wrong ones.
These recommendations are for the reduction of stress only. They are not intended as treatment or prescription for any disease, or as a substitute for regular medical care.