As proven through the massive genetic study called The Genome Project, each one of your genes can create up to 30,000 proteins, any and all of which can create a different outcome; you get sick, or you stay healthy. The aspects that activate or suppress your genes are almost always lifestyle-related. Your genome is like a giant never-ending piece of clay that you can shape into whatever you want it to be.
‘The effects of a person’s genes — and, therefore, their risk of disease — are greatly influenced by their environment. Having a particular genetic variant may not have much of an effect but combined with a person’s environment, it may have a huge effect. Science alone can’t cure or help people.’
Geneticist Barak Cohen, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, USA
What do the experts say?
Cardiologist Dr John Day said in October 2014 ‘Most people think it’s their genes, but the research on 3000 identical twins showed 25% of their longevity was due to genes. The other 75% was lifestyle.’ Dan Beuttner in The Blue Zones said ‘Contrary to popular opinion, genes dictate as little as 2% of our life expectancy.’ ‘Good diets can alleviate the effects of bad genes’ says Professor Daniel Michaelson of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Neurobiology. Even the 100-year genetic study by the University of Gothenburg found that ‘Hereditary factors don’t play a major role. Lifestyle has the biggest impact. We do not inherit mortality to any great extent, but instead it is the sum of our own habits that has the biggest impact.’
You are not a time bomb waiting to get the same sickness as your parent
Yes, your genes have an influence on your health and longevity but the trick is that they are triggered by you and your diet and lifestyle. Your health is the cumulative experience of your lifetime. You have the power to change it; with every mouthful. A healthy, plant-based wholefood diet gives you healthy genetic expression in the gut. Scientists have demonstrated that plant microRNAs (miRNA acts as a regulator of gene expression) that enter the body in foods (they exist only in fresh plants) are then present in our body and may influence gene function and, ultimately, affect our health.
Longevity and health via lifestyle choices – not genes
The groundbreaking 2014 research by Cardiff University School of Medicine from ‘The Caerphilly Cohort Study’ is ‘the longest running study of its kind to probe the influence of environmental factors on chronic disease.’ The research took in 35 years of tracking the diet and lifestyle choices made by a group of men, from 1979 to 2014. In 1979, around 2500 men were advised to make healthy choices, but only 25 of them succeeded in actually doing it. These men lived significantly longer than men who did not follow the recommended diet and lifestyle steps, with disease hitting them at much older ages. The researchers found the men who followed the advice had:
- 70% lower rates of diabetes
- 60% lower rates of heart attack
- 60% lower rates of stroke
- 60% lower rates of dementia
- 40% lower rates of cancer.
These incredible results, in real time, on real people, regardless of their genetics, genetic history or hereditary health issues, are far more powerful than any drug or medication ever invented. Those who did none of the five strategies ‘experienced no health benefit at all.’
What were the five recommended steps the men took?
- A healthy, balanced, wholefood diet
- Regular daily exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Low or no alcohol consumption
- Not smoking
You OWN your genetics so make them work for you!
Everyone is different and each person’s genes have a particular influence. However, here is the real kicker: you have the genes you have and the only thing you can control is the environment they live in and how they are expressed. This is mainly done through diet, lifestyle and environmental choices. I.e.; what you do and what you eat. Even the near-40-year Okinawa Centenarian Study has confirmed diet and lifestyle is what creates the healthiest and longest lived centenarians — not genetics, good luck or good genes.
Written by Jason Shon Bennett from ExceptionalHealth.com ® & ©.