9/03/2015

Your DNA, Genes, and Nutrition

How does your DNA, your Genes, and Nutrition relate to each other? The Human Genome Project set out to map out DNA in 1990, to determine the sequences in the 3-billion chemical base pairs you find in DNA. It was declared complete in 2003. You've probably read that "DNA has been cracked" someplace or heard about it. Despite this incredible accomplishment, your genome couldn't tell you your eye color. So, what determines your eye color, your body composition, if not your DNA? The Epigenome.

"The epigenome is involved in regulating gene expression, development, tissue differentiation, and suppression of transposable elements." In simple terms, it tells the genes instructions for what to do, how to do it, and where to do it. Think about a software program. Software directs the hardware of a computer, tells it instructions in order to accomplish a task. The epigenome is the software. It directs your genes and tells it what, how, and where to do it! It determines how the genes are expressed and what the cell becomes (i.e. a lung, liver, hair, heart, skin, muscle, brain cell, etc).

As I discussed in my previous post, DNA is the blueprint for your body. Your cell membrane and its organelles read this blueprint. They implement certain parts based on what comes in contact with them. Your genes are a single chapter, one of many, in your DNA book, containing instructions on making proteins and cell production assistance.

Take a look at identical twins who have identical DNA. Why then does one twin have different diseases, or age differently, have different issues than the other? Shouldn't they be identical? Researchers keep coming back and concluding that the environment is the contributor (e.g. outside modifications). The environment is the cause of degenerative diseases, aging, even auto-immune diseases like lupus that you see between identical twins. 

Do you know what science is related to how food, what you inhale, what you drink, touch, breath, feel, even what you believe and perceive affects your body? What do scientists call this environmental factor? Epigenetics. It's how your gene activity is selected (switched on and off), modified, and regulated by environmental signals. Your unique environment and food choices all affect the activity of your genes. Your environment is constantly changing and therefore, so is your gene activity!

With nutrition and diet, good or bad, it switches those genes on and off. Diet can be studied far easier than stress or behavior, therefore if can be better understood. For example, BPA (used to make plastic) was in water bottles, tin cans, and even in your food-storage plastic containers. A study on mice showed that BPA given during pregnancy resulted in their pups to be yellow and obese, instead of the normal brown and standard weight. But when given the proper nutrients with BPA, the nutrients counteracted the effects of the BPA (see the Utah reference below for more).
  
What does this tell us? Proper nutrition can either help you, prevent diseases, manage weight loss, or it can harm you, cause obesity and diseases.
" Of the 2.4 million deaths that occur in the United States each year, 75% are the result of avoidable nutritional factor diseases."
– Dr. C Everett Koop, Former US General Surgeon General
So what should you do? What vitamins, essential amino acids, and foods, should you eat? In theory, you can get all of your nutrition from food. It's not easy, but it can be accomplished. In our busy lives, trying to research, find what foods have the most nutritional impact, what carbs, protein, fat is the best, is a very time consuming process.

What if there was an an online assessment that considers your allergies, dietary habits, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, prescriptions, and goals? What if you could run your profile through a database with over 7,000 published findings, 4,000 algorithms to provide you a detailed summary, that's been proven and backed with scientific research? Science that can be weighed and measured, that can be studied. Would you take it? Because it exists, and it's something I have not seen in the health and wellness industry before.



It's customized for you. Nothing is artificial or synthetic. New studies are looked at every week. They are all in class A facilities, it's all very high tech, and follows FDA regulations. It's about the science, ingredients, ingredient levels, the time of the day given, and dozens of other steps to determine the best nutrition for you. Take charge of your nutrition and your genes.

I'll be posting more articles on health and wellness as I learn more about nutrition and how our unique environmental factors affect our health. If you found this helpful please like our facebook page or sign-up to receive blog updates on the sidebar menu.

References:
  1. ETH Zurich. "Epigenetics: DNA Isn’t Everything." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090412081315.htm>.
  2. Chris Wood. "Forget the Genome: The Epigenome Is Where It’s At" Casey Research. 13 February 2013. <www.caseyresearch.com/articles/forget-the-genome-the-epigenome-is-where-its-at>
  3. "Difference Between DNA and Genes" DifferenceBetween.net <www.differencebetween.net/science/difference-between-dna-and-genes>
  4.  "Genomes of identical twins reveal epigenetic changes that may play role in lupus" Genome Research. 22 December 2009. <genome.cshlp.org/site/press/gr100289.xhtml>
  5.  "Nutrition and the Epigenome" University of Utah Health Sciences. Learn Genetics. 2015. <learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/nutrition>
  6. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/epigenetic-mice.html

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