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Yessss!! Nutrition Can Switch Our Good Genes On!

Health has always been a matter of concern for all. Changes in behaviours related to health and climate variability have been evident in the past few years. Alterations in ambient air, water, food, and shelter due to changing climate are weakening health infrastructure. Though people in all age groups are more focussed on dietary patterns and lifestyle in general and with the increasing attention towards health-related aspects, preservation of health has become the most important concern globally. Various dimensions of health such as physical, social, psychological, and spiritual are now separately considered contributing factors to the overall maintenance of well-being.

Personal, social, and environmental factors significantly impact the state of health and wellness in individuals. Additionally, biological factors such as genetics, gut microbiota, and neurotransmitters affect mental health. Dietary patterns, nutrition, physical exercises, emotional factors, personality traits, socioenvironmental, and demographic conditions also play a significant role in promoting health-related behaviours and building the immune system.

One of my client’s sister recently visited me, because she just could not believe that her sisters Transformation from depressed, sad and always harrowed woman to looking “AWESOME!” (her word not mine). My client told her that there was no secret, and it was just the Diet and Nutrition plan which has changed her entire life around because over the year of following our protocol strictly, had changed her mental, physical and to a large extent spiritual presence. The sceptical sister told me that she too wanted the same for herself and it was truly difficult to believe that only Diet and Nutrition and some lifestyle changes could be so Transformative!

Given the pandemic situation we had a few years ago, where every individual was concerned about their health, immunity and life, COVID was an eye-opener for everyone. Of Course the pandemic situation also brought on many superstitious and completely rogue treatments and quack-protocols for health, still the change in Focus from Wealth to Health was palpable! 

Since Ancient times, Indian Ayurveda has always known and preached that food affects the expression of genetic information in an individual and how an individual’s genetic makeup metabolises and responds to nutrients and bioactives is important for the overall wellbeing of the Individual. 

Your Health, Wellbeing and Mental status is not just down to your genes you get when you are born! Actually it depends on how these genes are interpreted by different mechanisms in our body. Thus food, sleep, stress, Toxins, environment, everything can affect the level of accuracy of these interpretations and affect our long and short term health. And while gene interpretation sounds like something from a course in French philosophy it couldn't be more mechanistic. It all comes down to whether or not tiny molecules are jammed in or around your DNA, switching some genes on and others off, but leaving the DNA unchanged.

The world of epigenetics is out to explain everything from how generic stem cells become lung, liver or lip tissue to how things like what we smoke or swallow actually affect us. It's no wonder that epigenetics is the big new thing in medical research — diseases like asthma and cancer and even possibly disorders like AUTISM, can result from particular genes being switched on or off. 

The bodies of humans and other animals contain many types of cells that perform different roles in the body. Most cells in the body carry the same DNA, which is arranged into sections known as genes. The marked differences between cell types arise because different sets of genes are switched on or ‘expressed’.

Proteins called transcription factors control which genes are expressed by binding to DNA and recruiting groups of accessory proteins. However, it is not clear how they interact with each other and with the accessory proteins to decide whether to express a gene

Understanding gene expression and nutrition is crucial for optimising our health and well-being. The impact of specific nutrients on gene expression is significant, as certain nutrients can either upregulate or downregulate the expression of our genes. For example, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health by regulating gene expression.

Our nutrition and environment can influence how our DNA expresses itself into our characteristic traits through a process called epigenetics. Here's a simplified explanation:

  • Epigenetic Modifications: Epigenetics refers to changes in gene expression that occur without altering the underlying DNA sequence. These changes can be influenced by factors such as diet, lifestyle, exposure to pollutants, stress, and other environmental factors.

  • Methylation and Acetylation: Two common epigenetic mechanisms are DNA methylation and histone acetylation. DNA methylation involves the addition of methyl groups to specific regions of DNA, which can affect gene activity. Histone acetylation involves adding acetyl groups to histone proteins, which can loosen or tighten the chromatin structure and influence gene expression. Certain nutrients and dietary components impact epigenetic processes. For example, folate, vitamin B12, and other methyl donors are involved in DNA methylation. Adequate intake of these nutrients can support proper epigenetic regulation.

  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors such as exposure to pollutants, toxins, radiation, and stress can also induce epigenetic changes. These factors can alter gene expression patterns and contribute to the development of certain traits or predisposition to certain diseases.

  • Long-Term Effects: Over time, epigenetic changes can have long-lasting effects on gene expression patterns, influencing traits like metabolism, immune function, response to stress, and susceptibility to diseases.

Nutrigenomics is a rapidly growing field that explores the intricate relationship between nutrition and our genes. It focuses on how specific nutrients can impact gene expression, ultimately influencing our overall health and well-being. One key aspect of nutrigenomics is the impact of specific nutrients on gene expression. Certain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals have the ability to turn genes on or off, leading to changes in our metabolism, immune response, and more. By consuming a diet rich in these beneficial nutrients, we can optimize our genetic expression for improved health outcomes.

Environmental factors also play a significant role in shaping our genetic expression through a process called DNA methylation. Factors such as exposure to toxins and pollutants can lead to epigenetic changes that alter how our genes are expressed. By understanding these environmental influences, we can make informed choices to mitigate their impact on our genetic health.

In summary, our nutrition and environment can influence how our DNA expresses itself by affecting epigenetic processes such as DNA methylation and histone modification. These epigenetic changes can impact gene expression patterns and contribute to the development of our characteristic traits and health outcomes. Click here to Watch NASA Astronaut Twins Experiment ON Gene Expression.

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