Do I Look Healthy in These “Genes”?

Do I Look Healthy in These “Genes”?

The fancy term is epigenetics. The take home message is, we are not at the mercy of our family history. We have control over our health and whether our genetic code is going to express health and vitality or dis-ease. For many of us, this is exciting news, especially when our family lineage is riddled with heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Since this month, October, is breast cancer awareness month and the topic of my talk this week to Santee Cooper employees,  I would like to share some highlights with you.

Continuing with our theme,“Nutrition Made Simple”. Here are the Bullet Point Facts:

About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, resulting directly from gene defects (called mutations) inherited from a parent. (American Cancer Society)

1. Nutrients (diet) change the expression of our genes that are associated with various pathological processes, like diabetes, aging and cancer.

2. The term “epigenetic diet” was coined by researches at the University of Alabama. after pulling together global studies and reviewing the literature, these researchers concluded, there are specific foods which will help people live healthier lives and prevent debilitating illnesses like, Alzheimer’s Disease and Breast cancer. 

3. It is becoming clear- we have an inherited genetic code, but how that code expresses itself, is based on our Environment: The Food we eat, the air we breathe, the thoughts we think, the toxins we are exposed to!

*This sounds a lot like my Toxic 10 list, which you can access here

4.Food is information. Think about this…really think about it. Food is not calories or grams. It is a signal to our cells, to our genes– create health or create dis-ease.

What signals are you sending?

5. Here is a list of researched, epigentic foods we need in our diets. Why are these foods important? They are integral player in one of our detoxification pathways- The methylation pathway. These foods are all methyl donors and this pathway is why detoxification and eating clean foods are crucial. 

  • brassicaceae family of plants help us remove harmful estrogens from the body. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts
  • green tea
  • garlic
  • onions
  • Salmon (wild)
  • Grass-fed meats
  • Pastured eggs
  • Strawberries
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts

6. Important Tip: *check your B vitamins and your multi vitamin for methylated forms of B12 and folic acid* I cannot stress the importance of methyl donors from food, supplements and healthy functioning detoxification pathways in your body.

Your vitamin should say: methylcobalamin (b12) and methyl folate or natural folate (folic acid)

7. How well are you methylating? 

Simple tests can screen your methylation pathways. Ask your Doctor or healthcare professional.

CBC, homocysteine, methylmalonic acid and urinary organic acids.

Have a Health- E Day,

Dr. Sherri

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