What is Epigenetics
Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression. “Epi” means above- epigenetics means above the genes.
In his book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Lipton explains the foundation of epigenetics, and how the true secret to health does not lie within your DNA.
What Changes Your Genes
Dr. Lipton explains that you have cell membranes and the DNA are inside them. The cell membranes ‘read’ all external signals coming from your environment and changes the genes inside accordingly. The external signals it reads are:
- Air, noise, etc.
So this means that what we eat, what we think, and how we feel CONTROLS how our genes are expressed- for better or for worse.
Epigenetics proves that our body has the incredible ability to adapt and stay in health no matter what genes you have. This is the gift of God- that we are not victims of our biology but we are in control of it!
This also means that our health is in our hands and we have a choice. . . we have a choice to eat healthy or not. We have a choice to control our thoughts and reactions in a good or bad way. We have the choice to hold on to toxic emotions like unforgiveness, envy, and bitterness. Our body and health cannot hide the choices we have made.
Thoughts and Emotions Change Gene Expression
Thinking affects gene expression in cells of the Brain and the rest of the Body. This in turn affects the structure, function, and the health of the Body. Toxic thinking harms the normal functioning of the Body.
One experiment was done by the Institute of Heartmath, and it involved human placental DNA, which is the most pristine form of DNA. It was placed into a container from which they could measure its changes.
Twenty-eight vials of DNA were given to 28 researchers, who were specially trained in how to generate and feel strong emotions on demand. The results were astounding.
Each DNA sample changed shape according to its researcher’s feelings:
- When the researchers felt love, joy, and gratitude, the DNA responded by relaxing: the strands unwound and actually lengthened.
- When the researchers felt anger, fear, frustration, or stress, the DNA tightened up, became shorter, and even switched off many of its codes!
- When the researchers felt love, joy, and gratitude again, the codes switched back on.
The thoughts that we think and the emotions that we feel are constantly reshaping our DNA.
The human body responds physically to what it THINKS reality is
Our mind and thoughts are the signal to our genes. Your beliefs can indeed determine your biology. If you think your body can heal, that you are healthy and strong, your DNA responds to those beliefs. If you think you have bad genes, that your disease needs healing outside yourself- your DNA also responds to that.
Just because cancer, heart problems, or any other issue run in your family, it does not mean you have to struggle with it. However if you believe that you will, your body will respond to that beliefs and express the genes to meet that belief.
Our thoughts and our beliefs have a larger impact on our DNA and health than we ever imagined- and the evidence continues to grow.
Food and Environment Changes Gene Expression
The foods we eat, how well we sleep, how well we move, all are incredibly important in changing your genes to create the optimal YOU. Certain foods and supplements can also alter the way our genes are expressed.
Nutrigenomics: the scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially with regard to the prevention or treatment of disease.
Based on your specific genes, you can eat and supplement in a way that allows optimal expression of your own genes and it can turn off any ‘bad’ genes you may have.
Example: Many people have a gene called MTHFR. This gene make is hard for the body to detoxify as well as convert folate in the body which is important for methylation in the body. Methylation controls numerous roles in the body that keep you healthy(too much to explain in this post). If you have this gene, you can eat in a certain way and take activated forms of folate to counteract that gene and stay healthy!
We need to understand that:
- Every food you eat and the quality of water you drink affects every cell in your body and your DNA
- The foods you eat are the building blocks for every organ in your body- you are what you eat.
- Food affects how you feel, how you think, and every biochemical reaction in your body.
- The food you eat changes your genes and affects the next 3 generations after you!
Sleep is just as important as food:
- Sleep is when the body heals, repairs, and creates new cells.
- Sleep affects how you think, your metabolism, your mood, your looks, and prevents disease.
Doing the following on a regular basis will signal positive gene expression- and even reverse disease.
- Following an anti-inflammatory diet
- Get quality sleep
- Detoxify on a regular basis
- Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day
- Do strength or HIIT 3x a week, and move as much as you can throughout the day.
Conclusion: We are Not Victims of our Biology
Now that we realize our fate is not sealed in our genes, we open ourselves to a whole new world of possibilities. There are things we can do to change our genetics, and therefore our health.
HOWEVER– these changes can be good or bad. It works both ways. You can improve your genetics or you can damage it.
In fact, you ARE changing your genetics daily and perhaps even hourly from the foods you eat, the air you breathe, and even by the thoughts you think.
You are the “driver” of your genetic roadmap. And not only your roadmap, but the thoughts and emotions you feel, the foods you eat, and how well you detoxify also pass down 3 generations! This is why a preconception diet and detox protocol is critical.
Have you ever been told that you have a gene for cancer, a gene for this, a gene for that- but have been perfectly healthy? Let me know your thoughts below!