Epigenetics have taught us that we have the power to change our genes. Read further to learn how this can be and which genes we can change through lifestyle.
Are Your Genes Your Destiny?
Modern biology is rewriting our understanding of genetics, inheritance, and disease. Unfortunately, most people still believe their fate is sealed by their genetic makeup. It’s very sad to me when someone literally gives up on improving their health because they believe their future is the same as their parents’. They give up on fighting for health because their dad died of a heart attack at 50 or their mom got cancer. They immediately determine their future is grim and they have no chance. I’m here to tell you that you are not destined to get the same diseases your parents and grandparents got. You are not destined to be overweight or diabetic, and the science of epigenetic proves it.
If you want to change your genes through epigenetic, it is important to understand that:
Less than 5% of chronic illness is attributed to genes.
In many cases, the gene for a specific individual’s illness isn’t even present. Thousands of women have lived full long lives with the breast cancer gene, and never gotten breast cancer. Many without the gene have gotten breast cancer. The same goes for the “thrifty gene”. This gene is responsible for fat storage. Millions with this gene stay skinny, and tens of millions without it get fat. Time Magazine did a great piece on epigenetics years ago in the article “Why Your DNA Isn’t Your Destiny”.
What is Epigenetics?
Epigenetics is the study, in the field of genetics, of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells read genes instead of being caused by changes in the DNA sequence. Simply put, genes, which cause cancer and many other diseases, can be turned on or off based on your environment.
Chronic illness has been rising rapidly since 1980. It is estimated that 46% of the population in industrialized nations suffer from a chronic illness. Americans consume 25 million pills per hour. 76% of Americans take prescription drugs on a regular basis. The number of prescriptions per person is doubling every decade. All of this accounts for 80% of healthcare spending.
Despite all this effort, millions of people continue to die from chronic illnesses. Genes are being blamed, and they have virtually not changed at all since the 1980s. I think it’s logical to not blame genes and blame the deterioration of individuals’ lifestyles. It is also highly likely that if you suffer from the same illnesses your parents did, it is because you picked up the poor lifestyle habits that destroyed their health.
Epigenetics: The Real Solution for Chronic Illness
Epigenetics, to put it simply, is the study of how the environment interacts with our genes. What researchers have found is that both the environment and individual lifestyle directly change our genetic structure far beyond what we inherited from our parents.
In essence, what you do and what you’re exposed to changes how your genes express health (or illness for that matter). These epigenetic marks tell your genes to switch on or off, to speak loudly or whisper, to express health or manifest disease. At this time, we do not have the ability to change our genetic code (DNA), but we do have the power to turn off “bad genes” and turn on “good genes”.
Epigenetic change can be influenced by environment, lifestyle, prenatal nutrition, toxic exposure, and stress, making an imprint on the genes that we pass to our offspring.
Jirtle conducted a study on mice, and how nutrition affected their epigenome. Jirtle found that when the mother mice were fed food with fewer vitamins, the offspring were more susceptible to obesity and other diseases. This strongly suggests that prenatal nutrition may have a generational impact.
Another study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism looked at the connection of stress during pregnancy and epigenetics. The study found that pregnant women who saw the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th passed on higher levels of stress hormone cortisol to their babies. There are other studies that have investigated how abuse, famine, and other trauma could “scar” the DNA in the form of epigenetic markers.
How to Change Gene Expression
To change your genes through epigenetics, one has to be cognizant of lifestyle and environment. Your lifestyle should include:
- Healthy, nutritious meals
- At least 20-30 minutes of exercise a day
- The removal of toxins from your daily life
- Stress management practices such as mindful meditation
- Supplements such as methylation formulas and resveratrol are proven to be effective
Then, and only then, will you change your genes through epigenetics and be able to live the life you always dreamed of. Live in fear no longer and take control your genes, your future, and your children’s future.
Give me some insights on how you plan to change your genes through epigenetics.