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Are you looking after your DNA?

Are you looking after your DNA? | Mr Vitamins
Everyday your body is exposed to internal and external environmental influences. These include diet and lifestyle, stress, toxins such as chemicals, genetically modified foods, heavy metals, radiation and mobile phones, cosmetics, effects of ageing, weakened immune system, inflammation and oxidative stress. Did you know these influences can change the expression of your genetic blueprint?  Your cellular DNA function can be disrupted contributing to the development of disease.

What is Epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the study of various mechanisms that switch genes on or off.  It can be defined as heritable changes in gene expression and does not involve changes to underlying DNA sequence. This includes DNA methylation, histone modification and chromatin remodelling. Methylation is the addition of a methyl group to another molecule.  Methyl groups are made up of one carbon and 3 hydrogen atoms.  They are required for many functions in your body. From a nutritional perspective, Epigenetics is important as nutrients and bioactive food components or total diet can change DNA methylation modify altering gene expression.  If you don’t have enough methyl groups your body cannot respond to the nutrients, vitamins, minerals or herbs that you consume.

How does Epigenetics effect your health?

Epigenetics not only effects your health but can be passed onto your children and your grandchildren. Changes include and are not limited to an increased risk of:
  • Diabetes
  • Mood disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Asthma
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Obesity and weight issues
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Increase risk of cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic disease syndrome
  • Periodontal disease
  • Age-related cognitive decline
  • Muscular disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Skin changes –vitiligo, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema
  • Blood sugar irregularities
  • History of miscarriage
  • Digestive diseases
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Kidney disease
  • Endometriosis

What can you do to support your DNA?

  • Eat a healthy diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and cold water fish and low in saturated fats, trans fats, processed foods and food additives.
  • Support immune function.
  • Aim for and maintain a healthy weight range.
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, radiation and pesticides.
  • Limit consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, recreational drugs and pharmaceuticals.
  • Support liver function and detoxification.
  • Drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily.
  • Ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • Support antioxidant pathways.
  • Support methylation pathways.

Are you supporting your DNA?

The nutrients we eat can change or reverse epigenetic phenomena such as DNA methylation and histone modifications. Identifying the nutrients  and lifestyle factors that support healthy DNA methylation and support the effects of environmental stessors, immunological issues, inheritable conditions can empower us to regain control of our own health.

Naturopath Janne Ramsay