Epigenetics studies how actions and diet can influence genetic traits

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A new branch of health study looks at how the way you act and think affects whether your genetic traits are activated or stay dormant. (KABC)

You may have your mom's eyes and your dad's metabolism, but that doesn't mean you have no control over your "health destiny."

A new look at your genes and how they interact with how you live is helping professionals see how actions, versus genetics, may improve your life.

It's called epigenetics and that means control above and beyond genetics. Scientists have discovered that genes themselves do not turn on or off, but rather actions or inactivity determine whether your genes act or remain dormant.

"There are three layers to who you are: body, mind and soul. And your food nourishes all aspects of who you are," said holistic nutritionist Teri Mosey.

Mosey says this is the very reason why a "one size" diet or exercise plan does not fit all.

"It's looking at the physiology, neurology, someone's diet, someone's lifestyle, and how those factors influence their genes," said chiropractor and functional medicine specialist Alexis Daniels of Vitality Lab for Sports Academy.

Daniels has been working with epigenetics for over a decade. She recently helped Olympic volleyball player Casey Patterson.

"We do a comprehensive blood chemistry and we look for things like insulin resistance, inflammation, nutrient deficiencies. But we also look for early patterns and trends," said Daniels.

Blood tests and other labs indicated he had Hashimoto's disease, which affects the thyroid, along with dairy and gluten intolerance.

Daniels adjusted his program with impressive results.

"My energy levels were better and more consistent, and for an athlete that's number one, right?" Patterson said.

And when we hear the word "inflammation" we don't often realize the impact.

For example inflammation around the heart can cause stiff arteries and high blood pressure, while joint inflammation can result in arthritis, and skin inflammation may result in psoriasis and eczema.

"What makes it different is we're not trying to take a symptom and give you a supplement or something for that symptom. We're actually trying to say what's going on in your body and let's target that," Daniels said.
Related Topics:
healthfitnessexercisedietnutritionfamilyscienceWestlake VillageVentura County
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