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Epigenetics: Switching On and Off of Genes

By HERWriter
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Epigenetics may not be a familiar term yet. But it will be. New and exciting findings have been cropping up in this field. Findings that could change our lives.

We have the same genes for a lifetime. Can't change that. But research is indicating that genes can be turned on and turned off by environmental factors. What this means is, your life is not dictated by your genes.

"According to Rod Dashwood, a professor of environmental and molecular toxicology and head of LPI's Cancer Chemoprotection Program, epigenetics is a unifying theory in which many health problems, ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders, can all be caused at least in part by altered histone modifications,' and their effects on the reading of DNA in cells."

It seems that certain enzymes know as histone deacetylases (HDACs) play a part in the switching on and off of genes. Some have been found in foods like the HDAC suforaphane in broccoli and the organosulfur compounds in onions and garlic.

Nutrition just got more interesting. Dashwood hopes that the new research will lead to new ways of preventing disease through diet, and to new drug therapies.


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.