Food Choices Change Our Gene Expression

Food Choices Change Our Gene Expression

Without a doubt one of the most important decisions we make on a daily basis is what we choose to eat. Nowadays, those decisions are made all the more complex by the vast panorama of recommendations in the form of books, social media, television, and even advertisements at the point-of-sale.

The broad strokes favoring one recommendation over another involve the various ratios of macronutrients, including fat, carbohydrate, and protein, while the notion of consuming foods rich in the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) seems to be a commonality shared amongst most popular diets.

But we now understand that focusing on macronutrient ratios and content of micronutrients represents significant myopia. The foods we choose to consume are far more then simply metabolic chemicals. Food is information. Continue reading

Changing Gene Expression – Powerful Anti-Aging Medicine

Changing Gene Expression – Powerful Anti-Aging Medicine

Exciting research from the University of Texas Health Science Center has identified what has now been termed the “master regulator of the aging process.” The process of aging seems to be quite directly correlated with the damaging affects upon our tissues of the actions of chemicals called free radicals. We are all familiar with the notion of taking antioxidants to quench free radicals and this has been a focus of scientific research for decades. And rightfully so. Free radicals are clearly involved in the damage that occurs to our fat, protein, and even our DNA. Ultimately, although our DNA, our code of life, has repair mechanisms, as we age, the ability of DNA to repair itself, finally fails.

Until quite recently, the main focus of antioxidant therapy has been to supply molecules that inactivate free radicals. That means, for example, that one molecule of vitamin C, could quench one free radical.  But now leading edge research, like that mentioned above, is focusing on the vast amplification of the body’s own antioxidant systems whereby stimulating DNA can cause the body to actually manufacture vast numbers of protective antioxidant molecules, far more than anything you could take in a standard antioxidant supplement.

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Dietary Epigenetics: New Frontiers

Dietary Epigenetics: New Frontiers

By: Austin Perlmutter, MD, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

While we may be familiar with the dangers of eating too much sugar, the actual effects of this indulgence may be far more frightening than previously imagined. Certainly, science supports the idea that excess sugar consumption leads to weight gain, increases our chances of diabetes and heart disease, and portends worse health outcomes. But now, new data shows that sugar can harm us in a place we didn’t expect, by actually attacking our DNA.

To properly explain this fascinating research, let’s quickly review some biology basics. The human body is made up of roughly 37 trillion cells, our structural building blocks. The “brain” of the cell is called the nucleus, and the nucleus contains our DNA. For years, we’ve assumed that DNA was a product of our heritage, handed down from mother and father, a rigid pre-determinant of everything from our height to our mathematical skills. However, the revolutionary new field of epigenetics has lead to the discovery that what we do actually changes the way our DNA is used, that the choices we make can forever transform our genetic code