Does DNA define your destiny?
We have historically thought that the power of heredity is a binding law. For example, my mother and grandmother both had breast cancer, therefore I will also probably have breast cancer. While there is evidence that heredity does in fact play a role in our health outcomes, it is far from set-in-stone.
There has been a revolutionary breakthrough in the study of genetics in recent history named “epi-genetics”. Historically speaking, we have dissected the nucleus of a cell and analyzed the 23 pairs of alleles in a “double-helix” structure and we threw the rest of it away. As it turns out, an estimated 80% of our genetic material was actually in the proteins not actually attached to the helix! These proteins are now believed to be “environmentally responsive”. What this means is that our DNA is actually flexible! What we eat, our environment, background radiation/toxins, traumas, etc. all play a role in shaping your DNA! Put simply, heredity may load the gun, but our choices and environment pull the trigger.
At our office, we have the ability to do DNA testing for genetic variants. One of the things I’ve personally witnessed is that a patient may have six or seven variants increasing the individual’s risk of obesity and heart disease, and yet they are in perfect health. Upon further questioning their parents and siblings were all overweight. The difference is she made the appropriate choices in life that defined their health. She ate the right food, did the exercise, lived the lifestyle and shaped her health destiny.
What does this mean? Are we overweight because our parents were overweight? Or are we overweight because we ate and did the same thing our parents did? Do we have high blood pressure because our parents did? Do we have cancer because our parents did? Not necessarily! Our body can modify our outcomes using the abundance of aforementioned genetic proteins. This means our DNA is a living, breathing representation of where we are and where we are going, NOT a straight line to disease.
This doesn’t mean that you develop your Dad’s colon cancer, but it does mean you can minimize the possibility. Nothing is written in stone.
Be kind to your body, it will be kind to you.
Carolina West Clinic of Chiropractic