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How does diet affect your genes?...
(Articles, plus sources listed at the end..never done this before...don't want to get in any trouble! ;))


Nutritional genomics, or "nutrigenomics," is the study of how different foods can interact with particular genes to increase the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and some cancers.
Diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases, Rodriguez said. But in an individual, the exact effect of different components of food may depend on that person's genetic makeup.

"It's not a question of your genes being good or bad, but rather how they interact with your environment," Rodriguez said.


It is NOT the genes that control this effect -- it is the environment. The genes don’t have any intrinsic intelligence, and we lose a great deal of our power when we conclude that since all our relatives are overweight or died of cancer “it is all in my genes.”

This is a radical distortion of reality. Even though the genes are there they need to be activated, and this is usually done through environmental exposures. Typically our foods and emotions are the two most significant influences on the expression of our genetic potential.


Researchers in the United States have altered the coat colour and disease susceptibility of newborn mice - simply by feeding their mothers extra vitamins during pregnancy1.

The study is the first to find a clear mechanism for the effect of maternal nutrition on disease development in mammals without mutating the offspring's genes.

The implications for cloning, nutrition and disease research are huge, says Rob Waterland of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, who took part in the study. "For decades, there has been research linking prenatal diet to diseases like diabetes, obesity and cancer but the explanation was missing," he says.

Waterland and his colleague Randy Jirtle worked with Agouti Yellow mice. Members of this strain have an extra piece of DNA in the Agouti gene, making them obese and yellow. When fed the vitamin B12, folic acid, choline and betaine before, during and after pregnancy, the animals gave birth to thin, brown pups. Control animals' offspring were fat and yellow.

The nutrients had silenced the Agouti gene, but had not altered its sequence, Waterland and Jirtle found. Molecules containing carbon and hydrogen had been attached to the gene. Cells often use this process, called DNA methylation, to switch genes on or off during development.

This study presents a valuable model system and underlines the influence of outside factors on gene expression, says geneticist Wolf Reik of the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK. "It highlights the fact that external events are important," he says.


Genes do play a role in diseases in a small percentage of cases. The good news is that nutrition has such a powerful effect on the body's ability to defend itself against disease, good nutrition can actually overcome "bad genes" and force genetic weaknesses to remain hidden.


Most people believe that genes are immutable and unchangeable. Your genes are like a computer program that runs your body. If your mother had breast cancer, then you are more likely to get breast cancer too, because you have the same computer program that she had. ?It?s in your genes?. While this is partly true, there is good news.

You can alter the computer code in your body to produce a different result.

Some of the instructions needed by your body?s computer come from your diet, environment and lifestyle. For example, vitamin D has a direct effect on the genes which tends to suppress breast and prostate cancer. Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to the sun. So outdoor exercise would be a healthy habit to develop.

There are many components of your diet that can influence genes. Avoidance or removal of chemicals from the body is profoundly important method of altering the instructions to your genes.


Raymond Rodriguez, University of California: UC Davis Section of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Jan. 22, 2003, Article Title: "New center will probe links between diet, genes and disease"

Dr. Joseph Mercola, 2004, Response to article: "Genes May Explain Why a Low-Cal Diet Extends Life", Science, November 29, 2002

Glenn Murphy, Natural News Service/Macmillan Magazines Ltd 2003, August 4, 2003

Waterland, R. A. & Jirtle, J. L. Transposable elements: targets for early nutritional effects on epigenetic gene regulation. Molecular and Cell Biology, 23, 5293 - 5300, (2003).

Beacon DV digital video "Eating": Dr. Joseph Crowe, Dr. Neil Pinckney, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Ruth Heidrich


The Connecticut Center for Health: Middletown, CT. Article: "Seven Key Factors Creating Health or Illness: Diet, Lifestyle, Stress, Habits, Pollution".

Something to think about for those who don't believe diet plays a role ;)

Take care. :)

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