What Is Epigenetics?

Karen Fitzpatrick-Dame, ChhC, AADP

Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment, which includes food choices, can cause changes that affect the way your genes work.  Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.  Epigenetics impacts cell differentiation and shapes how cells function in your body.

Foods shape you and is one of the most important ways epigenetic modifications occur. Food effects gene expression and your diet or can change your epigenome, good or bad. You are what you eat, quite literally. Our diet influences the tiny changes in our genome that underlie diseases, including cancer, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes and others. It changes how our immune system works, our susceptibility to illness and the expression of things like MTHFR .

Epigenetics is the cellular processes that determine whether a certain gene will be transcribed and translated into its corresponding protein, that is, whether a gene is turned on or off. These Epigenetic modifications occur in response to environmental stimuli, one of the most important of which is your diet and food choices. The mechanisms by which diet affects epigenetics are very clear.

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Tags: epigenetics