01 09 10 Tweet Dietitians Eat Chocolate Too: the DNA Post

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the DNA Post

I'm continuing my birthday month celebrating into the second week as we creep towards to the 27th.  Today made me grumpy and was quite long which finished with being yelled at by an oncologist because apparently I can control cancer...

I was glad the phone was handed over to the perky nurse on the other end.

So then I got to thinking...well we can change our DNA.

Why Your DNA Isn't Your Destiny

"At its most basic, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that do not involve alterations to the genetic code but still get passed down to at least one successive generation. These patterns of gene expression are governed by the cellular material — the epigenome — that sits on top of the genome, just outside it (hence the prefix epi-, which means above). It is these epigenetic "marks" that tell your genes to switch on or off, to speak loudly or whisper. It is through epigenetic marks that environmental factors like diet, stress and prenatal nutrition can make an imprint on genes that is passed from one generation to the next.

Epigenetics brings both good news and bad. Bad news first: there's evidence that lifestyle choices like smoking and eating too much can change the epigenetic marks atop your DNA in ways that cause the genes for obesity to express themselves too strongly and the genes for longevity to express themselves too weakly. We all know that you can truncate your own life if you smoke or overeat, but it's becoming clear that those same bad behaviors can also predispose your kids — before they are even conceived — to disease and early death.
The good news: scientists are learning to manipulate epigenetic marks in the lab, which means they are developing drugs that treat illness simply by silencing bad genes and jump-starting good ones."

Feel free to post complaints about le bad day below and put the fun size Snickers bar down...now.