Nutrition turns our genes off and on

another great post by Dr. Doug Knueven

We are often told that our pets are victims of their genes. “Sorry, she was just born that way.” However, diet and lifestyle often play more of a role in their health than the experts realize. Nutrigenomics is the study of how the nutrients a body takes in determine which genes are activated.

According to one study into nutirigenomics1, certain nutrients can have a profound effect on health. One of the researchers, Randy L. Jirtle commented that, “Early nutritional changes can clearly affect adult phenotypes.” The other, Robert A. Waterland, said “Diet, nutritional supplements and other seemingly innocuous compounds can alter the development in utero to such an extent that it changes the offspring’s characteristics for life, and potentially that of future generations.”

They are speaking of research they conducted on mice with a genetic flaw called the Agouti mutation. Agouti mice tend to have a yellow hair coat, diabetes, obesity and cancer. These scientists found that if two Agouti mice were bred, the offspring expressed the Agouti gene – no surprise there.

However, if two Agouti mice were bred and the pregnant female’s diet was supplemented with extra Vitamin B12, Folic acid, Betaine, or Choline, the offspring appeared completely normal. They had the disease-causing gene but the nutrients “turned it off.” If fact, these normal appearing mutants could interbreed and produce normal looking progeny. So this epigenetic factor can be passed on outside the genetic code.

go to his blog post to read the rest of the article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

fifteen − 7 =