Epigenetics

In your body right now, there is an intricate ballet between inflammation, oxidative stress, and your immune system that dictates how well you live, feel and thrive. Acute inflammation from an injury or illness is normal and needed but when your immune system and antioxidant system are unable to put out the fire of inflammation that leads to chronic disease. 

That achiness, fatigue, weight gain, and decreased energy are flags for an underlying unchecked chronic inflammatory process. Medicines seldom fix these problems and in fact, more often worsen them. 

Epigenetics is the key to bringing these three processes in balance and the key to achieving optimal health and a sense of wellbeing.

What Is Epigenetics?

It’s kind of built into the word. Genetics means DNA and genes and EPI means above or the environment around the DNA. An analogy would be Genetics and DNA are like a circuit board. You have all the hardware there that allows electricity to move through the circuitry in a certain pattern. Epigenetics are like switches you turn on or off rerouting the electricity. 

Epigenetics is like a thermostat altering the environment around the DNA so that you can turn on the expression of a gene or turn down the thermostat to turn the expression of that gene down.

Epigenetics lets you control information coming from your DNA. From even before 16 days after conception it’s epigenetics that results in cells making decisions about who they are. Are they a skin cell, a liver cell, a cardiac cell, a brain cell? Epigenetics controls the expression of that information because all cells have the same DNA but they don’t have the same environment around them.

Your DNA contains thousands of genes that encode traits like eye color, height, and, risk of disease. Though your DNA remains the same throughout life, your lifestyle can determine which genes turn on and which genes turn off. This has major implications for your health. 

So how does it work? 

If your DNA is like the script to a play your epigenetics is like the director’s notes instructing some actors to shout and others to be quiet. The amazing thing about epigenetics is that we can make lifestyle decisions that influence gene expression in ways that improve our health.

For example, consuming whole food phytonutrients, taking supplements can influence gene expression to help prevent diabetes and support heart health. Our DNA is not our destiny. With epigenetics, we are more in control of our health than ever before.

Two processes that influence epigenetics are methylation and microRNA. Methylation occurs when a methyl group attaches to a gene adding tags that can either turn the gene on or off. 

Environmental toxins from your drinking water, non-organic food, household chemicals, medications, air pollution, or smoking for example can turn off tumor-suppressing genes leading to serious health issues and chronic diseases. In this case, epigenetics influence your genes in a way we wouldn’t normally want it. Epigenetics drives if genes turn on to make cells grow better or turn genes on that don’t allow them to die.

The good news is that with whole food nutrition and supplementation you can harness methylation to make beneficial changes to your gene expression. For example, Betaine and B vitamins introduce methylation tags that help promote heart health. 

MicroRNAs also have an epigenetic influence. Micro RNAs can alter the expression of genes that synthesize proteins. Proteins that carry out important tasks like maintaining healthy cells and supporting normal metabolic functions and responses. Consuming specialized extracts and maintaining a healthy gut and biome can alter gene expression and protein synthesis to help resolve inflammation.

With whole food nutrition and supplementation, you can harness methylation and micro RNAs to influence genetic expression and improve general wellbeing.

What all this means is that the team at Meraki Wellness has the knowledge and ability to help individuals reach optimal health by tapping into their body’s natural ability to heal and thrive with a personal health plan specific to their genetic composition. In our eyes, everyone is unique and should be approached that way.

So call Meraki Wellness to learn more about our programs.

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