Your Genes Your Food Your Health
Since the time of Darwin, the idea of genetic disease has been a principal theme in the world of healthcare. For over 100 years, it was believed that our genes were responsible for the fate of our health as we aged. If a man’s father had heart problems, he also would have heart problems. Similarly, a woman whose mother developed breast cancer would assume it was only a matter of time before the onset of her own cancer. This is called genetic predisposition.
Then, with the completion of the Human Genome Project, new theories emerged. Since genes assist in the generation of the 100,000 known proteins in the body, it was expected that researchers would find one gene for each of those 100,000 proteins. Yet, when the counting was completed, there were less than 25,000 genes. 100+ years of genetic thinking was suddenly and radically altered.
Further investigation found that each gene has the potential to generate as many as 2,000 proteins. It was also discovered that the expression of genetic traits is determined more by the environment than by the genes themselves. As it turns out, your genes are not your fate, but they are a factor in your health; a factor that can be controlled by the environment that exists in your body. This new science is called epigenetics.
The environmental factors in genetic expression are primarily influenced by lifestyle: How do you eat? Where do you live? What is the quality of the air and water? Do you have a lot of stress? Are you exposed to large amounts of chemicals or heavy metals? It is now abundantly clear that the most important aspect of our health that we can control is what we decide to put into our mouths, beginning with the diet.
Unfortunately, most of us learn this lesson the hard way. It usually begins with a health crisis; maybe one, maybe more. I know that in my case, I had to feel really bad most of the time before I started looking for solutions to my personal health problems. I first tried denial, but my body reminded me constantly that something was not right. Then came the synthetic food supplements, the strenuous exercise programs and the positive thinking classes before I finally came to grips with the real problem: I really liked junk food and beer and I did not want to give them up.
But in the end, I did give them up. I changed my eating habits and began taking only the whole food nutritional supplements that my body asked for using muscle response testing. Today, I feel better at 60 than I felt at 20. Changing my life was a process—it took several years to accomplish, but the better I ate, the better I felt.
To all those reading who see themselves in this story, please know that the answers do exist. It will require commitment, but the end result is worth it. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and with each step you will feel a little better, a little stronger, and a little more in control of your body’s genetic expression.