• Lana

Do genetics matter? Part 1: HEALTH 人類遺伝学 vs 健康


Do genetics= your health?

No. Well, yes. But probably not as much as you may think.

Ok, let me explain.

First let’s back up for a second. So there are genetic traits that are found in your family, right? DNA or genes that have been passed down from our parents make up who we are.

But did you know that parts of your gene expression can be turned on/off? So the genes that are present in your body, sure, they make you, YOU, but you have more control over them than you may think.

Speaking from a health perspective, you may be aware of some of the diseases/ conditions that are already prevalent in your family. Arthritis? Alzheimers? Diabetes? Cancer? Sure, if it’s part of your genetic makeup then the chances of you getting said diseases may be higher than that of your neighbour.. but did you know that 80% of chronic diseases can be eliminated through diet and lifestyle? Think of how much money that could save the healthcare system!

There are a variety of environmental stimuli (including stress) that trigger changes in our gene expression, and nutrition and diet constitute a major source. “Nutrigenomics” looks at how the foods we eat can impact gene expression and stability, for the purpose of reducing disease, aiding recovery from disease and promote continued good health for those who are disease-free (yes, there are actually people who study this for a living!).

“Although genes are critical for determining function, nutrition modifies the extent to which different genes are expressed and thereby modulates whether individuals attain the potential established by their genetic background” -M. Nathaniel Mead, MsC.

So basically, YOUR GENETICS ARE NOT THE END-GAME. Ultimately, it is YOU who has the responsibility and power over your own life (through what you eat and how you live)! How great is that?

Now, please don’t read this, panic, and go out and buy a bunch of vitamins and supplements. It can be tempting to focus on single-nutrient effects but the impact should really be on multiple nutrient imbalances on the genome. If you’re low in x vitamin, for example, you’re probably imbalanced in other areas too.

Further, the vitamin and supplement industry is a billion dollar industry that’s seldom controlled. Consumers trust that these companies did the research on quality/ proper dosage (because there is such thing as too many vitamins, too!) but the reality is, everyone’s nutritional needs are different to some extent (especially when it comes to diverse genetic backgrounds.. this is where your genetics do play a part!)

Vitamins are in no way personalized to fit you, your lifestyle and your genetic make-up. So while some may benefit, most are probably focusing more money on synthetic vitamins, when the focus should really be more on whole-foods (fruits/vegetables/high quality grains).

With that being said, there is definitely a time and place for supplementation. I personally take a whole-food supplement (literally just a variety of fruits/ vegetables from high-quality farms that have been cold-pressed into capsules) because again, we do not want to be focusing on single-nutrient effects but rather the synergy of vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants that nature provides.

Being healthy isn’t even about just living longer but also how your quality of life is while you are alive (death isn’t instantaneous for most people either! I don’t know about you but I rather limit the amount of time I’m in the hospital bed/ nursery home before I die #FoodForThought). PLUS-think of all the time, energy and money you’ll save just by staying healthy! Win, win!

So to sum up.. consuming fruits and vegetables (whole-foods) can prevent you from chronic diseases and have the power to alter your gene expression. How. Cool???

Thanks for reading till the end :))









私たちの遺伝子発現の変化を引き起こすさまざまな環境刺激(ストレスを含む)があり、栄養と食事が主な原因です。 「ニュートリゲノミクス」は、私たちが食べる食品が遺伝子発現と安定性にどのように影響を及ぼし、病気を減らし、病気からの回復を助け、病気のない人たちの健康を持続させるかを検討します。(そうです、こう言うのを研究してる人が本当にいますよ!笑)

「遺伝子は機能を決定するために重要ですが、栄養は異なる遺伝子が発現する程度を変更し、それによって個人がその遺伝的背景によって確立された可能性を達成するかどうかを調整します」-M. Nathaniel Mead, MsC.











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