Many DCs advise patients on lifestyle choices such as exercise and nutrition. An article from PLOS Genetics (June 2013) has recently been getting more attention in the popular press. NY Times author Gretchen Reynolds recently commented on this interesting article regarding the impact of exercise on gene expression. Until fairly recently, it was thought that our genetic code was basically set in stone and that nothing could alter our genetic destiny. Turns out, that isn’t quite the whole story.
Enter “Epigenetics” As it turns out, individual genes can be influenced to turn on or off by attachment of methyl groups to the outside of the gene. The attachment of these methyl hydrocarbons can make it either easier or more difficult for various genes ” to receive and respond to messages from the body.” So, even though the underlying genetic code isn’t actually changed, the functional expression of the genes is altered. Even more interesting, the pattern of methylation of various genes can actually be passed on to your children!
New research is showing that epigenetic patterns may occur in response to environmental, behavioral, psychological and pathological stimuli.
This new study from Lund University in Sweden indicates we can now add exercise to that list.. Researchers were able to document changes in methylation patterns throughout the genome following institution of strenuous exercise programs. They particularly noted altered methylation patterns of the genetic material contained in muscle and fat cells. Genes which seemed to be particularly affected were those thought to be involved in the development of diabetes and obesity.
It is not yet known whether or not these specific methylation patterns can be passed on to offspring, but it would appear that the potential may well be there. According to lead author Charlotte Ling, these new findings “are additional proof of the robust effect exercise can have on the human body, even at the level of our DNA.”
via Blogger http://chiropractic-lane.blogspot.com/2013/08/your-genes-can-be-changed-by-you.html
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