Marshall Nirenberg first deciphered the genetic code in 1966. This major discovery gave us insight into how traits are passed down from one generation to the next. The knowledge was then applied in the healthcare field. While it has been mostly a beneficial development for mankind, it has spawned a few common misconceptions for both doctors and patients.
Your genes are not your destiny.
How many times have you been told that this was the case? For example, how often have you heard someone say “my parents had x,y,z and that’s why I have it.” Or, have a doctor say “it’s genetic and that’s why we can’t help you with x,y,z.”
Here is a better way to understand your genetics. Your genes are all the available Lego pieces that you have to build something with. Some of us will not have the pieces to be six feet tall or to have a specific eye or hair color. BUT, we all have the pieces to be healthy. When you are in a healthy environment, you will express healthier genes. In unhealthy environments, you will express unhealthier genes.
This is called epigenetics.
So the question is what does a healthy environment look like?
Externally, a healthy environment consists of eating good food, drinking lots of water, controlling stress factors, and avoiding toxins (smoking, pollution.)
Internally, a healthy environment consists of low/controlled levels of inflammation, homeostasis, and an optimally functioning nervous system, just to name a few characteristics.
There are undoubtedly certain diseases tied to specific genes that the environment has no bearing on. These conditions are irreversible and very unfortunate.
However, for the rest of us, we can use epigenetics to benefit us and possibly even future generations (click here to read more.)