Health not all about genetics: More focus on lifestyle needed

Health Wellness

Much of the current research on treating disease and staying healthy has focused on our genetic makeup – from the Human Genome project, completed in 2003, to the newer field of epigenetics, which puts our 23,000 genes into the context of the chemical reactions that influence their activities. Though these are crucial areas of study, scientists are continually forced to confront how much human health is not dependent on our genetics.

The original optimism about the potential of genetics has been dampened by the immense challenges of translating gene findings into drug discovery as well as a gross underestimation of the role of lifestyle on disease risk. Geneticists did not –and many still do not – fully appreciate the dynamic manner in which our genes interact with each other and our lifestyles, down to the level of our cells, eavesdropping on activities everywhere in the body and responding, often instantaneously, to a person’s experiences.

Whereas the genes you were born with will never change during your lifetime (except in a few cells here and there), the activity of those genes – generating hundreds of thousands of complex proteins inside the cell – is extremely fluid and responsive to what you are experiencing every day, from the food you eat to the daily concerns that are causing you emotional stress.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: To prevent illness, we need to focus on our lifestyles – not just our genes

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