Epigenetics: Faulty Genetics Loads the Gun, Lifestyle Pulls the Trigger
What is Epigenetics?
Dr. Lamont Murdoch from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine once said these words. One word can summarize this sentence: epigenetics.
Epigenetics is the science that studies the various elements that can alter our genes expression. In other words, it looks at all the different aspects of our lifestyle and evaluates how these affect our genes.
Many of us have inherited genes from various conditions like diabetes, cancer and even mental illnesses. We feel like there’s somewhat an injustice in that. For someone like me who has a diabetic father and a diabetic grandfather on my mother’s side, it’s easy to think that I’m predestined to have diabetes, sooner or later. It’s quite distressing when you think about it. You feel hopeless as if you don’t have a say in the matter.
But the way my genes act doesn’t only depend on my genetic inheritance. The lifestyle I choose to live has a much more significant impact on my genes, thanks to epigenetics. In other words, what I eat, how much I move, the environment I live in: all of these can switch on or switch off the expression of particular genes.
give you an example:
As I just mentioned, I’m predisposed to have diabetes type 2 since it’s on both sides of my family. Now, if I eat a high fat and refined sugar diet; if I live a sedentary and stressful life, without knowing it, I’m turning the diabetes genes on. Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecies? It’s the same principle. What I do is what I become. And I do get diabetes; I’ll say something like: “Well, I knew it was going to happen sooner or later since diabetes runs on both sides of my family.”
It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way…
Now, there’s a second option:
-I refuse to become a diabetic and decide to change my eating habits for fresh fruits and vegetables
-I limit my consumption of animal products or completely stop eating them
-I reduce the amount of fat and refined sugar food I ea
-I choose to exercise 3 times a week and somehow manage to keep my stress level low…
I’m in fact significantly reducing my risk of having diabetes.
In other words, my LIFESTYLE CHOICES will alter the expression of my genes. Isn’t epigenetics awesome?
And even better: even if I do get diabetes, by adopting these healthy practices, I could potentially revert it!
Can We Even Cure Diabetes?
Some doctors may say it can’t be done, but many recent studies show that diabetes type 2 can be reversed in as little as two months (ask me for references ;).
Some will say in remission, just like with cancer. Call it whatever you like but if
someone is off oral hypoglycemics meds for more than five years, and all the symptoms of diabetes are gone, and their blood sugar levels are within normal range, then I call it cured. I know lots of people will disagree with me. If so, let’s agree to disagree.
Aside from what you eat, there are a variety of other things that surround us and make us more prone to turn on “bad genes.” Epigenetics can affect us in a good or a wrong way. Our physical environment is also one of the many ways our gene expression can be altered. If you live in a polluted area, for example, near hog farms, you’re more prone to respiratory illnesses, infections and certain types of cancers.
I don’t know about you, but I find that there is a lot of hope in the fact that we still have some control over what happens to our body. The way I see it, each of us has a choice to make: keep on finding excuses and see what’s going on, or start doing everything possible to live the healthiest to the fullest while on Earth. The message of epigenetics is simple: there is always hope!
I like to think that, if we were all going back to the 1st diet of Eden; if we were active just like our ancestors were, and if we didn’t have as much stress in this fast-paced society, then many chronic illnesses would altogether disappear from the face of the Earth. Science is only catching up, as always, centuries later. The Bible is a clear guide as to how to treat your body: as a holy temple.
Peace, Love, and Health,