A friend brought to my attention last week that the featured article in Newsweek magazine of January 17th is titled "Diet and Genes." I just finished reading this article today and I advise that you read the article. It supports scientifically the fact that "health is determined by the interplay of nutrients and genes" (p.42).
This is not new information. It has been around and I was aware of it a few years ago when I read a book called Genetic Nutritioneering, by Jeffrey S. Bland. It is very exciting for me to start seeing this information coming out in popular magazines.
Just like the article in Newsweek, Jeffrey Bland's book synthesizes the amazing scientific information that describes how diet, lifestyle and environment influence genetic expression and health as we age. Scientists involved with the Human Genome Project and affiliated research are learning that such age-related diseases as heart disease, adult-onset diabetes, arthritis, digestive disorders, loss of mental acuity and certain forms of cancer are not inevitable consequences of aging. They develop because of a poor match between the genetic needs of the individual and the choices he or she makes regarding overall diet, specific nutrient intake, lifestyle and environment.
It is true that genetic inheritance does play an important role in defining our risks to most age-related diseases, but healthy aging is more controlled by how we communicate with our genes through our diet and lifestyle. Through the Human Genome Project, we now know that if your uncles and your grandfather all died prematurely of heart disease or cancer, this does not mean that you will suffer the same fate. We know that our genes do not in and of themselves give rise to disease. Rather, in most cases, disease results when the individual elects a lifestyle or diet that alters the expression of the genes in such a way that the weakness or uniqueness of inheritance factors results in a disease.
In terms of your health or disease state as an adult, your health is determined by the way you have treated your genes throughout your life. What you have eaten or drank, inhaled, surrounded yourself with in your environment, endured as stresses, participated in as activities or suffered as injury, infection or inflammation-all of these factors alter the expression of your genes and contribute in a major way to your state of health or disease.
So, if you chose to read the Newsweek article or Jeffrey Bland's book, you will come up with the same conclusion as I did, we are our own best doctors. We simply need to eat quality foods (organic and raw whole foods), and get some additional help from wild and organic whole food supplements. A simple and logical advice for healthy aging is and will always be that "Food is our best medicine".
Adler, Jerry. (Jan. 17, 2005). "Diet and Genes." Newsweek. pp. 40-48.
Bland, Jerrey. (1999). Genetic Nutritioneering. Los Angeles, CA: Keats Publishing.
Donia Alawi, Nutritional Researcher