What is Epigenetics Theory?

Pohala Client Julie A. Fast answers the question: What is Epigenetics Theory? in her article for Health Central.com.

Article excerpt:

Genetics is the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics. Epigenetics is the study of how the environment around us and the choices we make can change the expression of inherited genes and whether these changes in gene regulation can then passed to a child. Richard C. Francis, the author of Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes notes, “Social interactions are a particularly important source of gene regulation.” Think of the possibilities!

An Example of Epigenetic Theory from Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar is considered a genetic illness. Two children, raised in the same environment have a grandfather with bipolar. One child has naturally expressed bipolar mania at age 17 with no substance use. The other child who lives with depression, but no mania takes an SSRI antidepressant at age 28. She has her fist mania three weeks later and now has a bipolar diagnosis. Her substance-induced mania is considered an epigenetic change causing a latent gene to switch on. Epigenetic theory asks, “Can the switched-on quality of this gene then be passed to a child?”

What is the Epigenome?

Epigenetic changes do not affect our DNA (genome), but instead influence the expression of genes through changes in the epigenome, a set of chemical compounds that tells our genes what to do including switching genes on or off and controlling the production of proteins in particular cells. R. Francis calls this epigenome the director of a play while our genes are the actors. The epigenome represents the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate. If we learn to control our epigenome, can we direct the expression of genes for better health?

Click here to read the rest of the What is Epigenetics Theory? article from Julie A. Fast.

 

Healthy Books for 2019 from Vera Vos, Nurse Practitioner

by Vera Vos

I love to start the New Year with a list of books I want to read. There are so many genres to choose from not to mention fiction or non-fiction. For the most part,  I’m not particular whether a book was written recently or if it’s an old classic. But, when it comes to health related topics, I like to see what’s new in non-fiction. My favorite health sub topics are those that offer insights that can change health for the better and slow aging especially using cutting edge nutrition research. I also like those that describe the latest breakthroughs for healing chronic disease like heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders and mental health. 

I find new books I want to read by relying on others whom I trust to make recommendations. The Food Revolution Network is one website that I keep track of. It was started by John Robbins of Baskin Robbins fame, who left the ice cream business to focus on health and sustainability for ourselves and our environment. He is the author of numerous old classics like Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution. 

Luckily,  the Food Revolution Network has a list of 8 “must read” books about health for 2019.

Check them out and see if you find one or two that sparks your interest. 

Some of the books include:

Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases by Dean Ornish, MD and Anne Ornish

The Truth About Food: Why Pandas Eat Bamboo and People Get Bamboozled by David Katz, MD

Happy reading! 

Vera