EPI is the Greek word for over or upon and GENETICS is our genes. So Epigenetic means whatever is over or upon our genes.
This must be the most exciting breakthrough in scientific research as it guides us to finding out what the missing pieces of the puzzle are at the cellular level !
How our DNA changes
To examine how Epigenetics has already been working in our lives, we need to turn the focus inward on ourselves. First we must understand how our environment (and everything in it), actually effects every cell in our body. Because everything around us affects us, and has an effect on the structure of our DNA. In fact the single biggest cause of change to our DNA is STRESS. Not just mental, emotional or financial, it's environmental as well.
Not surprising considering there is so much a happening in our environment today compared with a 100 years ago. Today we have toxins and pollutants everywhere and in everything. There are chemicals in our water supply, pesticides and preservatives in our food, pollutants in the air and radiation being beamed into every corner of the globe. Everything we eat, everything we drink and every breath of air we take will affect us either positively or negatively.
When we know what actually happens to our bodies every time we eat or drink something, we can then make better choices that will result in a longer, disease free life. It’s just understanding what we are made of and how we are affected by everything we come into contact with.
So what are we made of? Cells. Trillions and trillions of cells. If each cell is healthy and functioning as it was designed to – then we will also be healthy and functioning as we were designed to.
Our wish is that you quickly gain a valuable understanding of the hidden forces at work that affect every cell in your body. As you do you will begin to see your health and ageing in a whole new light regardless of what your family medical history is. Epigenetics comes to the rescue by helping us understand the real causes of disease and ageing.
Here is a straight forward view of Genetics to explain the above. There are genes, chromosomes and DNA, believe it or not, it’s actually quite simple and easy to understand. Our bodies are made up of cells, hundreds of trillions of cells.
To give you an idea of how many cells there are, if you made a tiny hole with a small pin on a piece of paper you could fit around 200 cells just in that one little hole. Amazingly each one of those tiny cells has over 6 million moving parts. In fact just one cell has more intricate moving parts than a Boeing 737. Just one single cell is actually made up of many different components including one specific region called chromosomes. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes with one pair being an “X” or “Y” chromosome which determines your gender. Chromosomes make up Gene Regions. Birth defects are caused by damaged or missing chromosomes. Chromosomes are made up of strands of DNA and are very important.
Cells are the building blocks of our bodies and DNA is the building blocks of our cells. When something goes wrong with our health it’s because something's not right with our cells. If something is not right with our cells? It simply means that something's wrong with our DNA! The general view of mainstream medical science is that if we can understand the structure of our DNA, then it might be possible to discover the root causes of all diseases. That is; If we could understand how our DNA is coded then we might somehow discover a way to rewrite that code and eliminate the risk of harmful or potentially fatal diseases such as cancer.
So there you have a simple explanation of genetics 101. If we could just figure out how to change gears on the DNA we could alter the chromosomes. By changing the chromosomes we get a different gene region, and a different gene region will result in a different genetic make up. While this all seems logical on the surface, could it be that mainstream science has been looking for the answers in the wrong place?
Epigenetics looks a lot deeper at the way our DNA is actually affected and can be altered by the effects of our environment. In fact, Epigenetics has proven that it is only a very small percentage of our genetic make up that is cast in stone. The majority of what determines the condition of our DNA is actually how our DNA is affected by our environment on a daily basis. In other words, our DNA can change and adapt from moment to moment – for better or for worse. This is good news! So if you thought that because your family had been prone to a certain disease and therefore you would be too, think again!
While Epigenetics seems to be the new discovery it's not as new as some might think. In fact research in this ground breaking science started way back in the 1970’s. And, like many of our best scientific breakthroughs it was discovered by accident when a certain doctor was searching for something else.
So why are we at I AM Health so interested in Epigenetics?
Simple: Because if Epigenetics is what the experts say it is, then what we have in our hands is more than the answers to unsolved medical mysteries. What we hold here is the power to prevent disease. Imagine what that could lead to. We all get to live longer, healthier, more active lives without the need for medical assistance.
While the idea that some diseases are genetic and therefore inevitable, Epigenetics has left this theory wanting and has proven that what a person’s genes do or don’t do is actually determined by the individual’s day to day environment. In other words, it’s not genetics that is the cause of disease, it’s the stresses effecting our genes that cause disease. Welcome to the Science of Epigenetics.