Genes Vs Lifestyle
It is very confusing that when someone gets a disease sometimes we blame genes, and possibly sometimes we blame the lifestyle. But, what actually is the reason behind it?
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Maybe you know an alcoholic who never exercises and is living happily into old age. Or perhaps you read about a health-conscious person who had a heart attack in middle age.
All these stories can’t help but can only make you think. If your health is run by your genes, then no exercise and healthy eating will help. Why can’t we stay more alert?
But, these stories remain at the back of our minds because they are unusual. They are examples of what scientists call “outliers.”
What research reveals?
Lifestyle and routine are more responsible after 50 years. The risk of disease is not due to genes. The risk of this is 20 times more.
Research on the effects of genetics and age on the disease is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
It is a common belief that diseases that are passed on to your parents can be passed on to you genetically.
But this assumption can now be proved wrong.
The effect of genes on diseases is only up to a particular age.
As you age, more than your genes, your lifestyle, diet, and routine increase your risk of getting the disease.
The fact is that, for a large number of people, lifestyle habits like taking a rich diet and getting a regular workout have a big effect on health problems related to age like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
So it’s only about lifestyle then?
The choices we make affect our health.
Recently, research at UC Berkeley and Peter Sudmant, a member of the Center for Communication Biology, has revealed that diseases are not determined based on genes and genetics.
After the age of 50, which disease you will inherit, depends on your environment. What matters more is the air you are breathing, the type of water you are drinking, and the food you are having.
On the ground, genes do not have an effect after the prescribed aging. For this, the researchers assessed the effects of genetics and aging on 27 different parameters collected from 1,000 individuals.
They found that aging is 20 times more apparent
than genetics to cause the disease. As people get older, their genes are more vulnerable to cancer mutations.
Researchers at Berkeley say that the genes you inherit may matter less.
All people have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart attack, and diabetes as they age.
As we age, the expression of genes decreases. However, we should continue to recognize the causes of these diseases with increasing age.
Food affects your health directly through nutrition
Nutrition has a secondary connection through heart diseases risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure.
For example, according to research, there are more than 300 genetic variants that could raise your risk for high blood pressure.
With a healthy diet and exercise, one can reduce the risk of heart disease by one-third.
For optimal heart health, replace some processed foods with whole foods, including fruits and vegetables.
Eat whole grains, and lean protein (including nuts and seafood), and alert yourself to added salt and sugar.
The doctor can guide you.
Gene expression is affected by nutrition through epigenetics.
Specific micronutrients like folic acid and some B vitamins have been shown to hush or activate gene expression.
Many nutrients like green tea and spices have been shown to affect these processes.
Lifestyle is a big factor, not genes.
While other, not-yet-found genetic factors might play a role.
The descriptive analysis of several studies, published in the Lancet Neurology, reveals that one-third of cases are caused by factors that you can control like diet and regular exercise.
All humans are 99.9 percent identical genetically.
However, the difference is 0.1 percent among humans is 4 million bases.
Those differences report differences in skin color, hair color, eye color, the way we break down nutrients and drugs in the liver, and our predisposition to many common disorders.
While there are genetic disorders where a single gene is dominant and causes serious disease, the most common disorders include obesity, in combination with what you eat, breakdown, and physical activity.
Multiple genes may increase or decrease your risk of a common obesity-linked disorder.
In our cells genes are always in on-off mode, even during a single day, and there are many control systems that work.
The activation or inactivation of the coding process is controlled by DNA. The gene activation to make proteins is called gene expression.
Lifestyle affects DNA(genes)
A healthy lifestyle has many benefits. Very soon it changes your mood and makes you feel good. And, in the continued run, it aids you to stay well for longer.
In comparison, an unhealthy lifestyle has bad effects on your health, making it more vulnerable that you’ll develop a serious medical condition that may have been preventable.
New research suggests that the lifestyle choices of parents can affect the health of their offspring as it causes external modification to their DNA which alters the expression of their genes (termed ‘epigenetics’).
The field of gene-nutrient interaction is an emerging science, but the take-someone message is this
“You can’t choose your parents after you are born, but you can change your diet and lifestyle to improve your wellness.”
Genetic discoveries help identify those at increased risk of many diseases.
It is too easy to forget that the way we live and whom we live with is possibly more important than genes.