DIRTY GENES I Epigenetics is a topic that gets the “sciencey” part of my brain super excited, and Dirty Genes (2nd photo) is a great read for anyone wanting to understand more on epigenetics and some of the key genes that can be born or act dirty and be quite problematic for our health.
Epigenetics - the study of genetic expression (active versus inactive genes), is such a fascinating area of human health. Those who know me well have probably heard me bang on about one of the key genes discussed in the book called MTHFR, which just quietly sounds a bit like a swear word and can behave in pretty much the same manner. This gene stands for methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase, and has been given a lot of attention in recent years because (a) it’s quite common to carry a variant of this gene as a SNP or mutation (a permanent alternation in the DNA sequence that makes up a particular gene) and can give us a bit of grief when we’re expressing it, and (b) its effects are more well researched than many of the others at this point in time.
In a nutshell, this gene is super important because it initiates the methylation cycle – a biochemical pathway that manages and supports more than 200 of the most vital and complex undertakings throughout our body, such as maintaining DNA, immune function, cellular protection, detoxification, energy production, mood/emotional balancing, controlling inflammation and the list goes on…. so it’s important to ensure that this cycle is supported correctly to avoid negative health outcomes.
There are some other big players here too and this book delves into the "Super 7" that can really affect our health through their expression. The take away message however, is that they’re not the end game, we’re not stuck with our genetic lot in life, as we have the ability to control and change our genetic destiny and health outcomes by cleaning up our dirty genes through our diet, lifestyle and ensuring nutritional sufficiency by focussing on specific nutrients (minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes) that are required for that gene to function well.