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Discipline your DNA: Nutrition and Epigenetics, David Nash, Personal Trainer, Decatur GA

Over the years, I have seen videos and read articles which discussed how humans are made of 100 trillion cells. Each of these cells has a specific task for the preservation of our body’s efficiency.  Many cells are used to make up our body’s tissues. Our tissues provide the framework to our organs, and our organs run our body’s systems. So we must consider the foundation of the body’s system to be the cell.

Our cells have a genetic code in them called deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA. The DNA code tells our cells how to function and keep the body in balance or in a state of homeostasis. From the beginning of our life the strands of DNA act like conductors telling our cells what to do. Our body relies on DNA and other biochemical activity to function properly. However, adequate functionality can only happen when you provide the cells with the right fuel mixture and environment. This is why eating the right foods are so important, because our food can give us the proper nutrient (fuel) mixture and even create a promising environment for cell survival.

How to find the proper fuel mixture

Since the creation of man God has given us the right to eat plants and animals as we please. Despite what many believe we are meant to be omnivores. The human body needs a percentage of both plant life and animal life to operate as intended.  This may not be popular, but it is true. Meat gives us the proper nutrients needed for tissue growth, cell strength, hormone functionality and immune strength.  On the other hand, plant life gives us nutrients for quick energy, cell transportation, fiber, and organ balance.  The nutrients found in plant and animal life are essential for every human being; however the ratio quantities can differ quite dramatically from individual to individual.

As humans dispersed throughout the world they took on different characteristics.  Those closest to the equator typically ate more meat because animals were more abundant, and those who migrated further away from the equator ate more plant life because meat was scarce.  These cultures body chemistries changed as they adapted to their environments. Major disease was not an issue because the nutrients (new fuel mixture) that their bodies needed for a healthy immune system were obtained through developing an adaptation to their native diets.  We would consider this adaptation an example of evolution or the changing of a genetic culture to suit the environment.

Genetics has often been viewed as something you’ve been given in which you have no control over. So you may have traits that you like and traits that you do not like.  To give an example of this belief you may have well manageable hair; however you see that diabetes, obesity, and depression run in your family.  Most people would think, “That’s my genetic heritage and I can’t do anything about it.”  The fact is you can do something about it!  You can change how your genes respond by training them to answer to you.  How is this possible you ask?

Recent findings show that through lifestyle changes you can control your phenotype or gene expression. This phenomenon is called the study of epigenetics.  It is understood by the study of epigenetics that by disciplining your body towards certain nutrients and or routines you can cause adaptations in your functional response.  If you research epigenetics you will find numerous case studies showing people who have dramatically changed the outcome of their health.  You will even find research noting changes in gene expression in newborn children.

The most precise definition that I found was from author John Cloud.  In his article, “Why your DNA isn’t your destiny” he writes, “At its most basic, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that do not involve alterations to the genetic code but still get passed down to at least one successive generation.”  When scientists study epigenetics they look at characteristics of the different markers above the genome called epigenome.  These epigenome markers can change within a single generation and cause the gene to express itself differently for many generations to come.  John Cloud notes, “Epigenetics is not evolution, because it does not change the DNA but rather changes the way the gene expresses its response to external stressors.”

Imagine the impact on your health if you knew exactly what nutrients you should eat when planning meals. You would be able to use this information to heal your body of many allergies, reduce diseases, and create a strong digestive system.  This is not a farfetched concept; it’s reality!  You can now find out how your body is functioning through a program called Metabolic Typing®.

The Advanced Metabolic Typing Program uses the epigenetic concept to help determine what your body needs for your individual fuel mixture. Through the MT Program you will take a computerized evaluation which assesses you physical, psychological and diet related traits.   When you register for the program you will receive a functional nutrition advisor which will walk you through the necessary steps to help balance your body according to your Metabolic Type®. Pinnacle Fitness Bootcamp is 1 of 5 Metabolic Typing Centers in the state of Georgia.  To find out more about epigenetics and information concerning your Metabolic Type visit: www.PinnacleFitnessBootcamp.com

author: davidnash


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