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Epigenetics And Effects On Health

Written by | 23rd, September, 2023

In case you didn’t know, epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms that is caused by modification or gene expression rather than altering the genetic code itself. In short, epigenetics is a massive industry that changed the way we think about genomes and brought us a lot of insight in this field.

Although the first human genome made people think that by knowing the genes, they knew the person – today, we are on the verge to a new breakthrough in science. A breakthrough that actually studies the influence of our environment on our genes, as well as our past experiences, habits and type of living.

Epigenetics And Environmental Factors

In case you don’t know, epigenetics have helped us realize that we as humans, actually have two biological codes. One is the genetic code which we all know as the DNA sequence which is 99.99% identical among us, and the 0.1% variation that is known as the epigenetic code – one that is responsible for all of our health traits, characteristics and physical differences.

As you may not know, the environment has a lot to do with our genes, according to latest research. Under the influence of external factors, our genes are turned on and off and help our fixed genetic material to be more flexible. In other words, this means that basically all chemical, physical and emotional stress may be transferred to our next generations.

In the same time, this also means that our genes ‘record’ the environment that surrounds us as well as our daily habits. That way, a person whose focus is working out, being active and eating healthy is more likely to have heirs that will share the same habits coming from their epigenetical code.

Genes Are NOT Immutable In The Creation Of A Living Being And We Now Have Proof For That

The dogma behind the statement that genes are immutable in the creation of living beings is starting to disappear. Despite the claims and research of historical scientists in the past centuries, technology has now shown us that organisms acquire traits to pass on to future generations – something that was even claimed by a French biologist named Lamarck in the 19th century.

Precisely, all the mechanisms that epigeneticists are on the trail of today can mimic our habits and transfer them to our future generations. A lot of laboratory tests with mice have confirmed these statements and put an end to the traditional theories about epigenetic changes.

Therefore, it is true that the human condition can be strongly manipulated by environmental influences – even when it comes to our genes. Aside from the daily habits, the environmental changes, violence or hardship may definitely trigger the genes to work similarly and pass traces to our next generations – or even several generations afterwards.

A Final Word

So, can we use epigenetic information to understand and prevent human diseases – and focus on better health in the future?

One thing is certain – genes have always played a vital role in understanding our nature. As of recently, this type of science has become even more important – and has shown us that our lifestyle, habits, environment and stress levels can all impact the life of our next generations.