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:
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.