Everyone who’s ever met my mother says to me, “You’ve got good genes,” to explain my “youthful look.”
Yes, my Mom has always had beautiful skin, but believing that “I got good genes” from her, which guarantees me having beautiful skin is based on out-dated science, with wildly exciting implications far beyond “good skin.”
I’ve done my best to lighten up dense science, but stay with me here even if it feels a little heavy. It’s a really cool, empowering and important conversation that must first move through the theories of “good and bad genes,” to get to the gold.
As you may remember from grade school lessons of Darwinian theory, old science says that everything in life is genetically predetermined. That from inside our cell’s nucleus, our chromosomes and DNA govern and predetermine our destiny. That is the reason, for example, why many believe that because “my mother has good skin,” I have good skin, or that because someone in your family had cancer, you’ll get cancer.
Good News. In a process called enucleation (removing the nucleus from the cell), researchers found that cells continue to function as if they still have a brain, even after their genetic code was removed.
This finding challenges Darwin’s science that DNA houses the cell’s intelligence that we’ve grown up believing to be true. Even Darwin himself doubted his work at the end of his life. He questioned if he considered enough the impact of environment on his theories of “genetics as destiny,” genetic determinism.
New science, the field of epigenetics, found that the nucleus is responsible for cell-reproduction, and that the cell’s outer membrane is the actual brain of the cell — That the genetic code inside the nucleus is only a blueprint of who we are and that environmental factors directly influence how genes express themselves.
Let’s return to the example I opened with, “my mother has good skin.” Epigenetics says that this does not mean I will automatically get good skin, like so many of us believe about my mother’s skin, my skin, or a common chronic disease we believe is our genetic destiny.
There are two proteins inside our cell’s membrane that interact with the environment inside our body, and they respond to things like the foods we eat, the stress we experience, the thoughts we think, the things we do, and other lifestyle factors (including external influences).
That no matter how beautiful my mother’s skin is, or… no matter how sick my father got from Parkinson’s (as another example), or any other variable, I have some control over how my genes express themselves, and so do you…
Research shows that except for trauma, only 5% of us die from genetic diseases not influenced by lifestyle choices, and 95 percent of us die of preventable diseases.
What Does This Mean for You and Me?
Great news. New science says that we have profound control over the ways our genes express themselves with the foods we eat, the thoughts we think, the actions we take and the lifestyle choices we choose. New science no longer supports the idea of “genes as destiny,” that I am guaranteed good skin because my mother has good skin, or that I’ll get Parkinson’s disease because my father had Parkinson’s disease.
New science puts me and you in the driver’s seat of our health and life. The theory of “genetics as destiny” is no longer a blessing or a curse, because new science has overturned it.
What You Can Do
Yes, research shows that there are factors we can’t avoid, that genetic disease could be our destiny (5%). Yes, I could, as could you, be one of the 5% who die from a disease that is not influenced by lifestyle choices. But new science AND statistics show that you and I’ve got some pretty significant control over this game called quality-of-life to counter the near epidemic rates of chronic disease today!
That with the lifestyle choices we make, new science and statistics show that you and I’ve got significant control over the ways our genes express themselves.
To begin to build a healthy environment for your cells to thrive in, and to limit the ways a genetic predisposition expresses itself, start with: 1) Eating a clean and healthy diet, 2) Reducing stress 3) Choosing empowering thoughts, and 4) Exercising.
But also consider how this new science could impact you and your life, beyond all the immediate benefits you gain from making healthy lifestyle choices, like weight loss, increased energy, mental clarity and greater happiness.
Oh this world of new science and epigenetics! While it doesn’t guarantee me good skin anymore, this wildly exciting and game-changing research with wildly exciting and game-changing implications suggests we’ve got more power over the state of our health than we ever thought… and the glow of our skin! But of course every benefit happens inside the choices we make…
Before I close, I offer you one more important recommendation — Read my highest viewed and responded to post about why you want to eat high-vibe foods and grab your FREE step-by-step guide.