Podcast 033: Epigenetics
Dr. Meaghan and Wendy welcome Kati Loder back to the studio to talk about epigenetics. Epigenetics means “above genetics” and relates how environment and lifestyle play a role in how our genes are expressed. We talk about nature vs nurture and how it all plays a role in living longer and healthier. It all has to do with how our genes are translated through our life into different characteristics or phenotypes.
Genetics is a relatively new study stemming from 1953 and the race for the double helix with Dr. Watson and Crick. The Human Genome Project only came to fruition in the early 2000s. Therefore, we have only really explored genetics in the past few decades.
Harlow Monkey Study showed that different characteristics are expressed throughout life depending on the environment that monkeys are raised in. This shows the importance of lifestyle choices that we make throughout life.
Dr. Randy Jirtle did research on genomic imprinting with the Agouti mouse and the certain gene that certain mice carry that make them more susceptible to diabetes and obesity. He found that exposing these mice to certain methyl donors (folic acid and B12) helped to make sure that these genes were not expressed. Therefore, lifestyle choices turn genes on or off.
We have also come to realize that we are passing down information from one generation to the other. And that your grandmother and grandfather’s decisions and lifestyle affects you and your genes today.
One way to check your genes is to utilize 23 and me. You can have this done at www.23andme.com.
The main 5 GMO foods: Soybeans, Sugarbeets, BT Corn, Canola, Rustic Burdock Potatoes.
Be kind to others, take care of yourself, and make good choices.