Genetics and Epigenetics
It was once thought that genetics served as a hard-coded blueprint that dictated everything about who we are, even our future health. It was also thought that this "pre-determination" was so hard-wired that it could not be changed. While a person's DNA sequence can't be changed, the study of epigenetics has shown us that very important changes can and do happen, and strongly affect our health. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that does not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. This affects how cells read the genes. Epigenetic change is a regular and natural occurrence that can be influenced by numerous factors including age, exposure to heavy metals, pesticides/herbicides, chemical pollutants, false hormones, allergies, environment, lifestyle, stress, etc. Epigenetic change is a two-way street; it can be beneficial, helping with cell differentiation, homeostatic balance, proper immune function or, it may initiate changes which can have damaging effects that can result in changes in detoxification ability, altered immune function and diseases like cancer. Almost daily new discoveries are made uncovering the role of epigenetics in a variety of human disorders and diseases.
Our health may be influenced by ANYTHING we are exposed to including chemicals, heavy metals, infectious disease, radiation, pollution, allergens, DIET, etc. My observations over many years match the consensus of many scientists in that epigenetic status influenced by environmental exposure, alters and overloads detoxification systems and is strongly predictive of disease state, or lack thereof.
The Bigger Picture
The symptoms and disease states that people may (or may not!) experience due to the combinations of epigenetics, environmental exposure and variations in detoxification ability vary widely, and it is well to remember that prevention of disease is better than trying to cure a disease already in progress. That said, daily practices of mindful living, healthy diet and exercise, and attention to detoxification are recommended. This practice may be enhanced by building your health knowledge, guidance by a knowledgeable practitioner, and considering testing of your levels of nutrients, toxins, genetics, etc.
Most autoimmune and inflammatory disorders (Hashimotos, leaky gut/celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, MS, mitochondrial dysfunction, chronic fatigue (etc.) are preventable and treatable if the underlying causes can be determined. Be curious!
The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Christopher Turf, R.Ph. unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Chris Turf and his community. Chris Turf encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.