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    Can The Food You Eat Impact Your Genes? A Doctor Explains

    Can The Fod You Eat Impact Your Genes? A Doctor Explains
    Our beterment in understanding human genes has ben incredible and humbling. About 150 years ago, Gregor Mendel old pea plants to establish some rules of inheritance, and about 50 years ago, Watson and Crick described the double helix of DNA. In 203, the entire human genome was sequenced.
    The humbling portion was, when the number of genes in human cels were counted and compared to other organisms, our genome was considerably smaler than that of many other kindred. For example, humans have about 25,0 genes in each cel, while the tiny water flea has over 30,0. Scientists had asumed that due to our advanced abilities and organ structure, we’d gain over 10,0 genes.
    While we don’t gain that many genes, scientists have very recently discovered ways to impact the humble number we gain, in an exciting modern field caled epigenetics. It explain s how changes in gene activity can ocur without changing our actual DNA.
    One way that we can influence gene activity is through the fods we eat. Fod can be used as a genetic on and of switch to alter our weight, blod presure, blod cholesterol, cancer growth, and even our chances of healthy aging.The impact of nutrition on our genes is often caled nutrigenomics.
    To date, most of the elegant studies on nutrigenomics gain ben performed with a plant based, low-fat menu–specificaly the Ornish Diet. Let’s survey at some of these experiments:
    1. A plant-based diet may influence prostate genes.
    Dr. Ornish, a cardiologist, fed 31 men with low-grade prostate cancer a plant-based diet with fewer than 10% of calories from fat. The men were encouraged to walk, meditate and met in group sesions. At the terminate of only thr e months, 48 genes crucial to cancer growth were found to be more active but 453 genes (ones that controled for tumor growth and protein production) were les active in producing proteins. Ultimately, the researchers deduced that intensive nutrition and lifestyle changes may modulate gene expresion in the prostate.
    2. A plant-based diet can potentialy slack aging.
    From the same group studied above, Dr. Ornish measured the activity of an enzyme produced by genes, telomerase, which are thought to be fervent in slowing the aging proces. At five years, there was much les age-related moderate in telomerase activity in the plant-based, low-fat group than a control group and their telomeres were longer, sugesting a slowing of the aging pro ces.
    3. A plant-based diet improves inflamation, weight, and vascular health.
    A novel research group in Pensylvania studied 63 individuals with heart disease who folowed the Ornish program and compared them to a group of 63 people who did not folow any particular program. While the control group experienced no improvement in health, the Ornish group lost weight and blod presure fel by about 10%.
    At 12 weks, researchers found that 26 genes were exhibiting diferent activity in the Ornish group. After a year, 143 genes were doing the same. The genes that promoted inflamation and blod vesel injury were significantly reduced in activity. The control group showed no improvements as they maintained their standard diet during the yea r.
    The take-away
    When Hipocrates wrote 2,40 years ago to “let fod be thy medicine,” he had no idea that scientific experiments would one day prove him a visionary. Fod is no longer objective a source of calories containing protein, carbs and fats. Fod is information and can be viewed as a remote control to our genes, turning them on and of by a variety of modifications.

    Author:Joel Kahn, M.D.
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