Genetics

What Is Epigenetics?

genetics

Everyone has heard the term genetics but what about epigenetics? Did you know epigenetics can be as important as your genetics? What is epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the study of chemical reactions and the factors that activate and deactivate parts of the genome at strategic times and in specific locations.

Your genes are unchanging and a blue print for recreating the bodies building blocks. Epigenetics are influenced by outside factors such as foods you eat and stress and can constantly change. The epigenome changes in response to signals. Signals come from inside the cell, from neighboring cells, or from the outside world (environment).

How do genes get switched on or off? A gene regulatory protein attaches to a specific sequence of DNA on one or more genes. Once there, it acts like a switch, activating genes or shutting them down.

Here is where this information hits home. Our genes have not changed in the last 1000 years. Our reasoning behind the decline of our health in the last 100 years has become excuses such as bad genes or bad luck. Neither of which are true or make sense. Again our genes haven’t changed in 100 years. So luck then. Not quite. That would have to mean that on average the amount of bad luck we are experiencing on earth has drastically increased. Does that make sense. Of course not.

Here is why all this matters. You know the phrase “you are what you eat”. Unfortunately its more likely you are what your grandmother ate. Check out this article for more on that.  Every decision you make affects your health and it looks like your children’s and grandchildren’s health.

For more information look over this great site – http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/