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Holistic approach to treating disease through genetics

That day has come when I could consider a continuing education course, for my biennial NJ PT license renewal, on a subject that interests me the most. Jennifer Darby, PT, DPT, GCS, CCN, CPAHA, CEEAA, had presented this subject in the most welcoming manner for a new world to come.

100% in agreement with her, our body is designed to heal itself...if given the right conditions.

We are living longer with more chronic disease. 75% of healthcare dollars are spent on treating chronic disease. 60 billion healthcare dollars are spent annually treating heart disease... the number 1 killer in the US. DNA is not a destiny ...

A new copy of your genes is made in every new cell that body creates throughout your life. If those copies have mistakes, this can cause problems. For example, some gene changes can make you more likely to get cancer.

A genetic predisposition (sometimes also called genetic susceptibility) is an increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on a person's genetic makeup. A genetic predisposition results from specific genetic variations that are often inherited from a parent. These genetic changes contribute to the development of a disease but do not directly cause it. Some people with a predisposing genetic variation will never get the disease while others will, even within the same family.

Although a person's genetic makeup cannot be altered, lifestyle and environmental modifications may be able to reduce disease risk in people with a genetic predisposition.

To function correctly, each cell in your body depends on thousands of proteins to do their jobs in the right places at the right times. Sometimes, gene mutations prevent one or more of these proteins for working properly. By changing a gene's instructions for making a protein, a mutation can cause the protein to malfunction or to be missing entirely. When a mutation alters a protein that plays a critical role in the body, it can disrupt normal development or cause a medical condition. A condition caused by mutations in one or more genes is called a genetic disorder.

The important thing here is that the protein is created based on message from the gene. Gene sends the message to encode the protein, and we can influence this message.

Genes themselves do not cause disease!

The food you eat can affect gene expression - that is called EPIGENETICS, the study of how DNA interacts with a multitude of smaller molecules found with cells that can activate and de-activate genes...

Research in the new field of epigenetics is finding that our lifestyle choices - the food we put in our bodies, the chemicals we are exposed to, how active we opt to be, even our social environments - can actually alter our health at the level of the gene. These choices can have big effects on our risk for disease, even if our genes seem to be working against us.

Environmental factor such as food, drugs, or exposure to toxins can cause epigenetic changes by altering the way molecules bind to DNA or changing the structure of proteins that DNA wraps around. These structural changes can result in slight changes in gene activity; they also can produce more dramatic changes by switching genes On when they should be Off or vice versa. (1)

Health is a product of Genome ( organism's complete set of genetic instructions ) & Exposome ( the measure of all exposures of an individual in a lifetime and how those exposures relate to health ).

You can't change your genes, but you can cause genes that should be suppressed to be activated aka -cancer ... and vice versa

If someone is born with the most toxic form of the FTO-obesity gene, they can dampen its effects by over 40% simply taking a walk everyday ... add some kale and you can be over 50%. (2)

One example of the molecular changes that may occur in response to environmental factors is the DNA methylation - another extremely important factor in our health. DNA methylation is essential for silencing retroviral elements, regulating tissue-specific gene expression genomic imprinting and X chromosome inactivation. It is affected by nutrition, lifestyle factors, aging and environment.

The methylation cycle helps us to operate both physically and mentally, so it may not be surprising that many different functions in the body use this process. Such functions include nervous, cardiovascular and immune system activity as well as energy production, heavy-metal detoxification and hormone balance. An adequate supply of certain B vitamins are necessary for a healthy methylation cycle to occur. B vitamins can be converted into other chemicals that affect methylation pathways and actually turn genes On/Off.

MTHFR ( methylene tetra hydra folate reductase) is very crucial gene - really important to be able to take methyl donors from folate like kale and to be able to do DNA repair. Daily DNA damage needs constant repair. (3)

Do you Methylate?

MTHFR gene mutation may increase the risk of learning disorders, mood disorders, heart disease, digestive problems, Down syndrome, to mention a few.

If MTHFR Gene Mutation is present, consider:

◦ Lots of Leafy Greens: dark leafy greens contain the methylated forms of folate that those with a gene defect need. As if we needed more reasons that it is important to consume green veggies...

◦ Avoid Processed Foods: Again, as if anyone needed another reason to avoid processed foods... Many processed foods have synthetic folic acid added.

◦ Avoiding things that can block or deplete folate levels: Certain medications, including hormonal contraceptives can interfere with folate levels, and medicines like antacids can interfere with B‐12


◦ Avoiding Heavy Metals: Heavy metals in diet or environment are harder to remove from the body for those with a gene defect.

Gene SNP DNA Analysis - see how genetics play a role in your health.

Your genes impact your weight management, heart health, insulin sensitivity, nutrients impact, detoxification and immunity. While no amount of food or exercise will physically alter our genes, with proper nutritional supplementation and lifestyle changes, you can maintain the functioning of your gene variations to maintain optimal health. (4)

Thomas Edison once said:

" The doctor of the future will no longer treat human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition."

Laughing, positive thought, every mouthful you eat and step you take affects gene expression, can even effect DNA signals to our body.

We need to take control of our bodies. Genetics may load the gun but epigenetics pull the trigger ...

Help your body and protect your genetic code.

Your body's ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.

Be kind to your genes!

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