Do Your Genes Predict Your Future Health?

By Dr. Roger Saias

If your parents or grandparents had heart disease, you may believe your fate is sealed because of your genes. That may not be so.

Lifestyle choices may reduce the chance of repeating your family’s history of poor health, according to EPIGENTICS: the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

Changes in diet, exercise, and personal attitude can actually influence the genetic code and reduce the chances for declining health. While this advice may not seem different from what your doctor says during a routine checkup, the concept of epigenetics espouses that lifestyle choices can influence genetic expression.

According to Dr. Roizen, MD, for far too long, the medical community had assumed that how a person will age is “written in the genes.” But the more we know about genetics, our biologic inheritance, the more we know that this is not true. Studies continue to show that for most of us, our lifestyle choices and behaviors have far more impact on longevity and health than our genetic inheritance. Twin studies from Denmark, Finland, the United States and Asia all show the same thing — about 25 percent of how you age is in your genes and 75 percent is your choices. Genes (the elements that carry inherited information) define your basic biology, but how you interact with the world around you — whether through food choices, exercise, or social connections — is how you control the way your genes will affect your body.

 Lifestyle is key to your health, not your genes

In the simplest translation, we can agree that lifestyle is the key to taking care of ourselves. Think well, eat well, and move well, and your body won’t break down and need new parts.

 Move Well: This is a broad category but this can include chiropractic care, improving posture, stretching and mobility and functional fitness and exercise. A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism in 2012 showed that while the underlying genetic code in the muscle remains unchanged, vigorous exercise—even if brief—causes structural and chemical changes in the DNA molecules within the muscles! The more we move, even if brief, the better!

 Eat Well: The genes in virtually all your cells may be influenced by the nutrients available to them, which are supplied via your food choices. The foods you eat shape the health of your microbiome, which in turn shapes your health, including influencing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and even bone diseases like osteoporosis. You are what you eat may be some of the best advice we were given as children. What we put in our bodies has a profound impact on our overall function

 Think Well: You can also turn your genes off and on with your emotions too. Many, if not most people carry emotional scars; traumas that can adversely affect health. Using techniques like meditation, Brain Tap, breathing exercises Emotional Freedom Technique etc. you can go in and correct the trauma and help regulate your genetic expression. Choose whichever one appeals to you, and if you don’t sense any benefits, try another, until you find what works best for you.

Remember, you have more control over your health than you think. Just because diabetes, heart disease and cancer run in your family doesn’t mean that you too will have these illnesses. Don’t sit back and do nothing. Take control of your health. If you don’t do it who will?

Need help? Call King Street Chiropractic Wellness Center at 703-578-1900 or go to our website for more info.

Setting your Health in Motion,

Dr.Steven Trauben, D.C. &
Dr. Jeff Borenstein, D.C.

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