by Tina Van Horn, Director of Research & Business Development at SL Technology Inc., a Reliv Company
Nature and Nurture
Everyone has genetic predispositions, those things that “run in the family.” For many this is a list of conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Sound familiar? Epigenetics brings a positive perspective to the fear and uncertainty that comes from checking all those boxes on a health history form. We now know that healthy lifestyle choices have the power to influence and even override our faulty genetic codes.
Families pass on both DNA and lifestyle habits that serve as epigenetic signals to that DNA. Nutritional choices, exercise, stress management and environmental exposures all influence whether genes get turned on or remain silent. While epigenetic marks are reversible (e.g. activated genes can be deactivated), healthy habits that start early in life can prevent negative genes from ever being activated in the first place.