Recently in the office, there’s been conversation pertaining to links between various issues and genetics. The typical statement? “X” condition runs in my family. While there is little debate that genetics certainly increase your risk of certain conditions like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, etc., that does NOT mean that you’re doomed. Why? Let’s discuss.
Believe it or not, it’s now understood that the human genome can be altered for the better. We do this through epigenetics and nutrigenomics. Wait, what the heck are those? Epigenetics literally translates to “beyond genetics.” Nutrigenomics is the the impact of nutritional compounds, or lack thereof, on human genetics and physiology. Putting those two together shows us that your LIFESTYLE essentially can and will have an impact on your gene expression.
Most of you know I love using myself as a guinea pig for the betterment of my own and, ideally, others’ health. Let me give you 3 relatively basic examples as proof of concept with regards to how epigenetics and nutrigenomics can work:
I have a heterozygous mutation of the MTHFR gene. I could go into more detail here, but not necessary. This basically means I have a bit of trouble converting vitamin B9, also known as folate (good) or folic acid (bad), to its more active form. This means I may have trouble with detoxification mechanisms, but there is good news! Because of what we know with epigenetics and nutrigenomics, I can work my way around that with supplementation and eating foods with active forms of folate and/or other nutrients that help that gene along. If you’re into optimization, you’d do both.
I have a pretty gnarly mutation of the GC gene. This means I have trouble delivering vitamin D to my cells. Answer? I need to supplement with the sunshine vitamin in addition to getting plenty of sunlight when I can.
I have a certain mutation in the TNF-alpha gene that leaves me more susceptible to inflammation. We all know my love of all types of fasting. As my luck would have it, one way to modulate TNF-alpha is, you guessed it...fasting. Among other things that help would include eating an anti-inflammatory diet like the Mediterranean diet.
Those are just three examples pertaining to nutrition and lifestyle. There are several others I could discuss, but for the sake of sanity, I won’t. However, I would suggest to get a 23andme analysis to really gain an understanding of your genetics and ancestry. With our Pure Genomics platform, you can really optimize everything with regards to what your genes tell you. That can range from information for your nutrition and supplement needs, sleep hygiene, optimal form of exercise, stress management, etc. All we need is your 23andme raw data report!
Hope you enjoyed! As always, we are here for you and your family’s chiropractic and functional medicine needs.