Now you may be thinking that he was just lucky. Or he had good genes. Genes can effect our health, but new research has shown that they are not the whole story. It is well known that it is our DNA (what we inherit) that effects how our genes behave. But there is a new field of science called Epigenetics. Epigenetics has shown that there are non-genetic factors that cause an organism’s genes to behave (or “express themselves”) differently.
Those other factors, call epigenome, are what is in the environment. Now in the case of my Grandfather, he died in 1971. So he lived most of his life before 1940. Prior to about 1940 the world had very little air pollution. Water has clean to drink. Most people like my Grandfather ate fresh foods that were organic.
My Grandfather was always active and was never over weight. He was happily married for over 50 years and had five children. So his external environment was healthy and his internal enviroment was healthy. Or was it? Here is an interesting fact. My Grandfather smoked cigarettes and a pipe. So this probably shortened his life. But having good nutrition, being at a healthy weight and active, may have countered some of the harmful effects of smoking. So it is our epigenome, what is in our environment, that can turn genes on and off. Even our emotions can effect how our genes behave.
Now I don’t want to scare you. This is good news, because all of these factors that I mentioned are things that we could control. And I will be writing more about this in the future. So if your parents or grandparents had a serious disease it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get that disease.
So what does all this mean to you and your health? Lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle. It really comes down to how you live your life. In my next posting I will be telling you about the Four Keys to Life Long Health.
To learn more about Epigenetics visit : http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics
Watch a great video on Epigenetics and identical twins: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3411/02.html
Sending you the energy of health and happiness,
Paula Berg is a certified nutrition counselor and has been studying health and wellness her whole life. She is also a distributor of Shaklee products, and a Reconnective Healing practitioner. Paula can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org