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Ever heard that a “change in diet and exercise may change your genes”? Here’s the study!

Ian CrosslandMay 13, 2020, 4:00:04 PM

Last century, it was commonly accepted that genetics didn't change.  You were born with whatever you were born with and it was because of the genetics of your parents.  In the early part of the 21st century scientists completed mapping the human genome (entire genetic structure) and realized that genes, though initially inherited, change due to external stimuli.  Your environment, your feelings and thoughs, and the food you eat can cause your genes to change to accomodate the situation.

One, such, small study was conducted on a trial of thirty men who were diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer and opted not to get surgery, radiation or hormone therapy.  The men underwent a three month change in habit, including "eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products, moderate exercise such as walking for half an hour a day, and an hour of daily stress management methods such as meditation."  The results were astounding.

Though they had some changes that were anticipated, (including weight loss and lowered blood pressure) what really surprised the researchers is that about 500 genes within the men had changed.  48 turned on and 453 turned off.  The activity of disease-preventing genes increased while a number of disease-promoting genes, including those involved in prostate cancer and breast cancer, shut down.  This is referred to as epigentics.

The research was led by Dr. Dean Ornish, head of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California.





Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/teakwood/9054979354/