What is epigenetics and how can we use it’s power of to our advantage?
Scientists define epigenetics as the study of heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in DNA sequence. In plain English this means that the environment affects gene expression without changing the original DNA gene inside the cell.
Epigenetics is probably the most important biological discovery since DNA, and it is turning the biological sciences upside down.
Think of DNA as our hardware and epigenetics as software.
Genetic Testing and it’s value
It is very popular at the moment to have ancestry and genetic tests done. Tests such as 23 and me can help you to learn more about your ancestry, what nationally were your grandparents and if any of them had any genetic glitches that you should be know about. They are also useful in that they can help you learn if you have a deficiency that might require support. The genetic variant MTHFR is one example. People with a glitch in this gene lack the enzyme needed convert various nutrients into it’s useable form. There is still much to learn about MTHFR.
These tests are great, however we know now that genetics loads the gun and lifestyle plus the trigger. What you do with the knowledge you obtain and how you think about it is the key to a healthy balanced life. That being said. If you discover a serious genetic glitch please obtain the services of a genetic counsellor.
Questions that we should ask ourselves.
If we know, will we make changes to our behavior, or if we know can we shift the focus to and say “My genes will not define me” and make conscious loving choices around how we eat, think and drink or will we remain a victim and throw up our hands in defeat??? Before testing it is important to think through how you would react to the information.
Here are some of the things we know have an impact on genetic expression:
Diet, nutritional deficiencies, hydration, toxic exposures, stress, relationships, sleep, exercise, community, and most importantly our thoughts.
I have learned through my practice that everyone is unquie and there is not a one size fits all solution that works for everyone. We suggest that you begin by listening… really paying attention to what you do, how you think and how you feel each day. Generally speaking, most people have very little self awareness as we spend a lot of time being busy or distracted by technology. What if we all slowed down a little and began to take time to tap in a little more consciously to lives.
From there we can begin by making small actionable steps towards a more balanced life.
I often tell my patients let’s just choose one thing and start there… then we add as we go so that together we can build a healthier lifestyle that is balanced and obtainable.
I am a bit fascinated by this subject and it was the driving threat behind my best selling book “Building Healthy Humans” I will keep you all posted as I continue to learn more on the subject.
Have a healthy week