Have you ever heard the phrase, “you are what you eat?” It’s not just a phrase dietitians use to scare you into eating healthy. It’s a true statement! Think about it this way: are there some foods that make you feel sluggish throughout the day if you eat them? For us, sugary foods tend to give one fleeting moment of satisfaction before taking us on a first-class trip to slump-town all afternoon.
You may know that foods can affect how you feel, but did you know that your nutrition may actually affect your DNA? That’s right! What types of foods you put in your body can change your genes and DNA! Science is learning more and more about this phenomena–but it’s been pretty widely known among holistic health gurus for years.
Today, we’re going to be talking a little about this field of study and the idea of being able to improve your own health with proper nutrition. Why? Well, because… drum roll please! We created a BRAND NEW line of Puriumproducts based on this fascinating science.
Ready to learn? Stick around (or just scroll to the bottom) for a super cool announcement!
What Is Epigenetics?
Okay, you see that scary-looking word and immediately want to run the other way, right? Don’t worry–you don’t need to have a Nobel Prize in Biology to learn about epigenetics! It’s a simple concept at its core.So, what the heck is the field of epigenetics? While it may sound like a chemical mutation that gave your favorite X-Men character their power, this branch of study explores genes and how we can alter their expression. Huh? In plain English: epigenetics studies what flips some genes on and off. Specifically, this field of study explores what genes you inherit from your parents. What’s interesting is not only do we have the power to turn genes on and off, but our parents have the power to do that for us before we’re even alive. Crazy, right?To demonstrate, we’re going to use a great example inspired by Vitality TV.
Hypothetical Case Study: The Anderson’s vs Smith’s
Let’s hypothetically assume we have two sets of parents: we’ll call one the Andersons and the others, the Smiths. Let’s focus on the Anderson’s first.
Both Anderson parents smoked all the time prior to having children. You probably already know that smoking is associated withnegative health concerns. Because of their choice to smoke, their children may face repercussions when they are born. Why? Because nicotine can affect what genes are actively passed on from parent to child, including a gene making it more likely for those children to become smokers themselves (1). For example, it is believed that smoking can turn off the genes that help the body block out cancerous cells. (2)
Now, let’s take a look at the Smiths. The Smith parents do not smoke. Instead, they are total health-nuts. They like to hit the gym and stock up on their favorite green veggies at the market. How do you think their children’s DNA will compare to the Andersons? Their children are more likely to have “good” genes turned on. (3)
Now, here’s where things get more interesting!
You see, the Andersons may have altered their children’s DNA by smoking; HOWEVER, that DNA can still change over time. Their child can grow up and live a healthy life, eating veggies and exercising. Guess what could happen!? They could change their genetic make-up with nutrition, healing some of the damage created by their parents.
What’s more, if the Anderson parents were to change their ways and adopt a healthier lifestyle, their future children’s DNA would be affected for the better, too! Pretty cool, right?
How Do You Change Your DNA with Nutrition?
So, just how do you change your DNA with nutrition? Well, that my friend, brings us to this ever-growing field. Depending on where you go for this answer, changing your genes can mean some pretty wild things — from implanting computer chips in your hands to intermittent fasting. Yes, we said implanting a chip in your hand….And NO, we will not be recommending that.Here at Purium, we are ONLY interested in the natural, non-radioactive solutions. We believe in the possibility of reprogramming your genetic health with nutrition. This is also known as nutrigenomics, which is the science that studies the relationship between human genome, nutrition and health (4). Non-science-y health enthusiasts have also dubbed this process with a different name: DIY biology. We like that name a little more.Let’s dive a little deeper.
The Science Behind Changing Your Genes with Nutrition
While this field of study may sound completely new to you, there’s a good chance that you already know more about it than you actually think. Especially if you are a long-time Purium Customer! Why? Well, guess what?! If you have ever completed a 10-Day Transformation, then congrats, you actually have dome this before!We’ll get to that in a second, but first let’s look into a few more studies exploring how nutrition can change the body.Research, although fairly new, continues to grow and support the argument that nutrition can improve health and even prevent certain wellness issues. Take for example this exploratory review published in Clinical Nutrition Experimental. It focuses on how nutrition affects the gut microbiota (stomach bacteria) and the gut-brain axis (5).According to the review:
Researchers hypothesize that diet may affect psychiatric symptoms associated with the “gut-brain dysfunction.” So, if certain foods can help improve the brain-gut connection, they would be able to address issues associated with the connection, including obesity, digestive disorders and mental health.
Another study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, explored how a personalized wellness program can help “switch off” genes and decrease the likelihood of suffering from metabolic syndrome (6). Metabolic Syndrome is a group of risk factors that may lead to heart disease, diabetes and/or stroke.
So, just how do you exactly change your body with nutrition?
How You Can Help Express the Good + Suppress the Bad
Earlier, we mentioned that completing a 10-Day Transformation could be seen as a way to transform your health.While there are extreme ways doing this, changing your diet is one the simplest, easiest and most safest. In fact, diet change is a tried-and-true method prescribed by doctors and nutritionists for a variety of ailments, including diabetes or hormone-imbalance.For example, those dealing with inflammatory bowel conditions, Chrone’s disease or other digestive disorders may be asked to follow an “elimination” diet. This diet would include eliminating a myriad of “trigger” foods while increasing consumption of whole foods that may help alleviate gastrointestinal distress.Our “10-Day Transformation” is very similar to an elimination diet, because you’re asked to stay away from sugars and other foods that may affect your health negatively. What’s more, you’re asked to flood the body with pure and premium greens and fruits.Following specialized diets, like keto or can be seen as a way to jumpstart weight loss and improve health issues caused by excessive weight. Really, there are so many options. But the main goal is the same for all: find something that works best for you.
Inspired by Purium’s belief in the power of superfoods, presenting the new line of products:
Epi-Genius Kids Provide optimal nutrition to your kids with a creamy chocolate taste. Click the link above to learn more!
Get $50 off your first Purium Epi-Genius order using gift code: withmamasnature
Epi-Genius Dogs Yes! Epigenetics applies to your dogs too! Our superfood gurus worked hard to formulate a product to support your dog’s health. Click the link above to learn more!Want to learn more about epigenetics? Try these great resources:
Vuolo, M., & Staff, J. (2013). Parent and child cigarette use: a longitudinal, multigenerational study. Pediatrics, 132(3), e568-e577.
Pang, D., McNally, R., & Birch, J. M. (2003). Parental smoking and childhood cancer: results from the United Kingdom Childhood Cancer Study. British journal of cancer, 88(3), 373.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). (2011, September 20). Feed your genes: How our genes respond to the foods we eat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 9, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919073845.htm
Mead, M. N. (2007). Nutrigenomics: the genome–food interface.
Oriach, C. S., Robertson, R. C., Stanton, C., Cryan, J. F., & Dinan, T. G. (2016). Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the microbiota-gut–brain axis. Clinical Nutrition Experimental, 6, 25-38.
Steinberg, G., Scott, A., Honcz, J., Spettell, C., & Pradhan, S. (2015). Reducing metabolic syndrome risk using a personalized wellness program. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 57(12), 1269-1274