Epigenetics is the study of sections of our DNA (called “marks”) that tell our genes when and how strongly to express themselves. Like conductors of an orchestra, these epigenetic “marks” control not only our health and longevity, but also how we pass our genes on to future generations.
The forces acting on the expression of our DNA today can be passed on to our future biological children, affecting how their genes behave in their lives and whether or not their children will face a higher risk of certain health conditions.
The importance of epigenetics is that our day-to-day lifestyle choices have a big effect on our biology and the activity of our genes. What is empowering about this is that we can impact our health’s destiny as well as the destiny of our children’s health, if we make the right choices. We have evidence that lifestyle factors such as food, stress, exercise and sleep – and the state of our microbiome – affect which of our genes are activated and which remain suppressed.
Many more years of research are needed to further understand exactly how lifestyle factors affect gene expression. Best of all, lifestyle interventions have no side effects. The therapeutic recommendations to maximize epigenetic potential will come from LIFESTYLE factors including dietary recommendations, stress management, digestive health and many more lifestyle interventions. They will be lifestyle interventions that are highly accessible and economical for everyone!