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August 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 6)

You can reprogram your 'bad' DNA with a healthy diet
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

You can reprogram your 'bad' DNA with a healthy diet image

You're not destined to get any disease—such as diabetes or even breast cancer—just because of your DNA. You can reprogram your genetic inheritance at any time by eating healthier food and adopting a better lifestyle, a new study has discovered.

Although you can't change your DNA sequence, you can influence its expression. This means that you can alter your genetic code—possibly created when you were in the womb, or the diet you were fed when you were an infant—and avoid a disease you were programmed to develop.

A change of diet, exercising and even moving home to a healthier environment can change your DNA expression, researchers from the University of Illinois have discovered.

It's all to do with epigenetics, which influences the expression of your genes in your epigenome. The epigenome is inherited, but, like keys on a piano, it doesn't necessarily have to be played.

It's easily altered, and can happen at any time, the researchers discovered after they carried out whole-genome sequencing on a group of laboratory rats that had been fed a high-fat diet. Some of the group was later given a low-fat diet, and this one difference changed the way that DNA was expressed in the rats' liver.

In practical terms, it changed fat metabolism and inflammation in the liver, which changed the risk for diseases such as diabetes.


References

(Source: Epigenomics, 2017; doi: 10.2217/epi-2017-0066)

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