What science has discovered is that each of us has the ability to influence our genetic expression; we have the ability to turn on or turn off specific genes. The study of epigenetics has allowed us to change how we think about interventions at our basic, cellular level. We can change how our cells are acting by modifying the expression of our genes rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. The goal is to turn on protective gene function and turn off unhealthy genes. How do we do this? By changing what signals we send to our body. This science is known as nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics. ‘Nutrigenomics’ is defined as “the study of the genome-wide influences of nutrition or dietary components on the transcriptome, proteome and metabolome of cells, tissues or organisms, at a given time”. Nutrigenetics is defined as "how the genetic makeup of an individual coordinates their response to diet".
Foods, specifically nutrients found within the foods, are a key part of the signals we send to our bodies. Research trials clearly indicate that nutrition modulates epigenetic events associated with various diseases (e.g., cancer, obesity, and diabetes). Epigenetic dysregulation is frequently seen with aging, and science is beginning to understand the connection between these epigenetic changes and the manifestation of disease. There is evidence that the early life environment (in general, and nutrition in particular) can induce long-term changes in DNA methylation (DNAm) resulting in altered susceptibility to a range of aging-associated diseases.
Though many of these initial changes may have to do with changes in your parent's genome and changes that occurred during your early childhood, MANY of these changes can be reversed with the correct signaling. We start with easily modifiable factors in your life: your sleep, nutrition, hydration, exercise habits, stress levels, and environmental exposures and work to optimize your health. For many people, this is enough to reverse symptoms and aging. If you continue to have symptoms, we will delve into your personal DNA and look for SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) which are changes in gene function based on alterations to your genetic code and the function of genes that help your detoxification pathways.