Background epigenetics

  • How does the environment effect us?
  • How does our lifestyle effect us?
  • What turns genes on or off?
Each nucleus of the human body can form any cell type: a heart cell, a muscle or a skin cell. Due to the environment in which a cell grows, and due to the control by different mechanisms, specific genes are silent or active. Considering a caterpillar and a butterfly, we know that their genes are identical, and yet they look quite different. Certain genes are switched off in specific life stages, while others are active. But how can genes be silenced? Diet is a factor with which we can influence the activity of genes. The queen bee has completely identical genes to the worker bees, but is much larger and can lay eggs. If a larva is selected to be the queen, it will be fed with royal jelly by the workers. This changes the so-called methylation patterns and inactivates certain genes that are responsible for making a worker from the larva. Our genes stay identical all our lives, but whether they are turned on or not is significantly influenced by our lifestyle. Identical twins may not develop the same disease, even though their genes are identical. One twin may become overweight and develop diabetes, the other does not. The other smokes and is fravaged by toxins and breast cancer. Our genes are the basis, but our lifestyle is responsible for turning risks on or off. And what constitutes an optimal lifestyle is not the same for everyone. On the basis of our genetic test, we will give you a personal recommendation for your optimal lifestyle.
Background epigenetics