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Epigenetics is a word that you might have heard of lately.
Epi means on or above and genetics means the study of heredity and variations of inherited characteristics, so you add those together to get the study of modified changes that occur in gene expression but not the code itself. These changes in gene expression happen from different environmental triggers such as diet, sleep, supplementation, exercise, thoughts, and even how grandma lived (that is known as trans-generational epigenetics). Once the genes were sequenced years ago that was the thought to be the missing link to know how to reverse diseases for good. Epigenetics proved that thinking wrong.
When we have environmental triggers that will turn on (up-regulate) certain genes or turn off (down-regulate) certain genes. For example, exercise and meditation will up-regulate hundreds of genes for better health, longer lifespan, more vitality, and will down-regulate genes known to cause disease. That to me is like finding the fountain of youth. You combine the two, exercise and meditation, to get a great yoga practice, as well as better health.
On the opposite side, a poor diet filled with lots of refined sugar and processed foods (eg. Breads, Pastas, Sodas, Cereals, Little Debbie cake types, Pastries, Chips, Candies, Deli meats. Basically anything with more than 2-3 ingredients. I consider processed anything changed from its original form. Not saying you can’t add foods together.) will down-regulate the genes mentioned above and up-regulate ones related to high inflammation, poor detoxification, slow metabolism, and can start diseases processes in the body.
Keeping your body clean of processed foods and your mind clean from negative self-talk are two huge ways to keep your body and mind healthy from an epigenetic standpoint.
It is very important to work with an epigenetic coach because none of the genes we will discuss over the next few blogs should be looked at in isolation, but how they work with other genes.
Over the next few blog posts, I will take a deeper dive into some of the more popular genes that have been talked about to help you have a better understanding of these genes and what you can do from an epigenetic standpoint to help you become a healthier human.