Epigenetics: Shaping Our Lives Beyond Genes
Have you ever wondered how some traits or diseases seem to run in families even when they’re not part of the genetic code? Epigenetics might hold the key to this puzzle. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype that are not caused by alterations in the DNA sequence itself. In other words, epigenetics refer to modifications in the way that genes are turned on or off, rather than changes to the genes themselves. These changes can be heritable and passed on to future generations.
Epigenetic modifications occur through a variety of mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA molecules. They can be influenced by a range of environmental factors, such as:
- Exposure to toxins
and can result in changes to gene expression that persist over time.
One of the most fascinating aspects of epigenetics is its potential to explain why some traits or diseases seem to run in families, even when there is no obvious genetic explanation. For example, studies have shown that the children of Holocaust survivors have increased rates of anxiety and depression, even though these conditions are not coded for in their DNA. Instead, it is thought that the experiences of their parents, and the epigenetic changes that these experiences caused, have been passed on to them.
Similarly, research has shown that the children of mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have asthma, even if they have never been exposed to cigarette smoke themselves. This is believed to be due to epigenetic changes that occur because of the mother’s smoking.DNA
Epigenetics also has implications for disease prevention and treatment. By understanding how environmental factors can affect gene expression, researchers may be able to develop targeted interventions to prevent or treat diseases. For example, epigenetic modifications have been implicated in the development of cancer, and drugs that target these modifications are currently being developed as potential cancer treatments.
Click here to see the full scientific article from Assoc. Prof. Michal Wszola MD, PhD, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Foundation.
As our understanding of epigenetics continues to expand, we are likely to gain new insights into how we can prevent and treat various health conditions, and how we can optimize our lifestyles for better health outcomes. And Asher Longevity Institute offers lots of supplements here to promote healthy life.