For years, the study of genetics has dominated the majority of research in medicine. Every disease, from heart disease, to cancer, to diabetes, and so many more have been studied for their genetic component. Even the use of certain medicines has been tied to genetic research.
And to that end, much of what the public hears is that if you are genetically predisposed to disease, it is simply bad luck for you––and there is not much you can do about it.
But even this idea does not fully stack up to reality; many people with genetic predispositions to disease never get cancer, or diabetes, or any other diseases which they are predisposed towards. And conversely, people who do not have a genetic predisposition to disease sometimes wind up getting sick any way.
Something is missing in our understanding of how and why people get sick.
An exciting new area of research has emerged in the last few years which aims to close this gap in our knowledge; epigenetics is the study of how our genes respond to their environment––the intracellular environment in which they are perpetually bathed––on as frequent as an hourly basis.
Interestingly, what we are finding is that our genes, and the expression of those genes, are highly influenced by their surrounding environment. That environment is largely one which we as individuals create through our lifestyle.
What this means is that our lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress levels, environmental exposures––all of these factors we already know to play an important role in health––can influence our health on the genetic level.
This knowledge really shifts the paradigm away from the idea that individuals have no responsibility or control. Conversely, individuals possess a great deal control over the health we do or do not experience.
This knowledge re-emphasizes the importance of eating a healthy diet. One of the biggest factors controlling our the environment inside our body is the food we eat. In particular, The Kaufmann Diet is vindicated, as the diet seeks to remove dangerous environmental exposures in the form of mycotoxins, which may be responsible for causing more disease many people think, and eliminate parasitic fungi in the body which may be wrecking our health.
In general, the study of epigenetics underscores the importance of cultivating a healthy lifestyle––something which research has been affirming for years. And while we will always need doctors, and people will still always get sick, it is important to remember that you are very much in control of your health.
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