Until very recently, the prevailing theory in the scientific community held that the DNA in our genes themselves is solely responsible for gene expression as it applies to health and disease formation. In other words, good health is the result of healthy genes and bad health stems from damaged genes. And while the makeup of the DNA in our genes certainly plays a critical role, it is not the only mechanism at work.
There are more than 3 billion DNA sequences in the human genome, but there are only 20,887 protein-coding genes in each cell of the body, equivalent to 2% of the whole genome. The number of genes is similar to that of simple life forms such as a fruit fly or even a microscopic roundworm! So what about the other 98% of the genome, the so-called “junk DNA”? Clearly it has a major role to play in making us who we are.
Switch to Better Health
In September 2012, findings published from a large-scale federal project involving 440 scientists from 32 laboratories around the world provided an answer. It turns out that both junk DNA and the DNA packaging material act as genetic switches, informing the genome which genes to turn on and off. It is a complex system that acts like a dimmer for lights, controlling which genes are used in a cell, when they are used and how much they are used, and determining whether a cell becomes a skin cell, a liver cell, a neuron, etc.
So what does all of this mean? “It means you have more control over your health than you think you do,” says Dr. Alfredo Galvez, Lead Scientific Advisor at the Missouri Plant Science Center. “Most of the changes affecting your health don’t occur in the genes themselves; they happen in the epigenetic switches. And that’s great news! While you can’t reverse a gene mutation, you can influence epigenetic switches through lifestyle choices.”
Your diet is central to it all: quality nutrition provides the fuel for healthy cell function. Lunasin is the first nutritive compound clinically shown to promote optimal gene expression in cells through an epigenetic mechanism of action. And no other products optimize bioactive lunasin like Reliv’s LunaRich® line of products.