Since the completion of the human genome mapping work, genetics has become a hot topic – specifically what it means for living a healthy life.
Genetics has begun to play a major role in healthcare decision-making for both providers and patients. Providers are now taking genetics into account when prescribing viable treatments for their patients. And who could forget Angelina Jolie’s decision to undergo radical bilateral mastectomy after finding out her genetic predisposition to hormone-mediated cancers?
While our genetics influence our response to food, the opposite also holds true: our environment and the food we eat influence our genetics. Bryan Henry, the founder of Ascend, and I recently discussed how our lifestyle choices impact our genome and how our approach helps to mitigate those harmful effects.
Our Genes are Our Potential, Not Our Destiny
One of the areas that drives my practice is nutrigenomics, which is the science of how food interacts with genes in our bodies. Our genetics affect our health, and our health behaviors affect our genetics – but it’s important to recognize that our genes are our potential, not our destiny.
Let me unpack this a bit.
Epigenetics, or how lifestyle influences gene expression, has proven that a multitude of lifestyle factors can change the way our genes are expressed and, most importantly, influence the state of our health. These factors are as follows:
• Environmental toxins
• Pathogens (viruses, bacteria and parasites)
• Stress (both emotional and physical)
The easiest one to understand and control is food. I call food the alpha and omega of our lives; at the end of the day, it all begins and ends with food.
One Diet Does Not Fit All
A common misconception in the field of health and wellness that has permeated grocery carts and homes everywhere is the fallacy that there’s one healthy way to eat. However, one diet does not fit all, and no one health food suits everyone.
In my practice, we look at everything about our clients, starting with their symptoms and stressors, their complete health history and everything they put in their body, all the way down to their genetic influencers. We must consider all of these factors when developing diet and supplementation regimens to help our clients take their health to the next level.
Our Wildatarian eating style focuses on what I’ve coined “The Big Three”: protein, sulfur and fat. Our food supply and lifestyles place a toxic burden on our body that disrupts absorption and assimilation of these three substances. This malabsorption then tampers with how our genes are expressed. This revolutionary concept is backed by research and clinical outcomes.
Photo from here, with thanks.