Can A Healthy Lifestyle Alter Your Genes?

You must have heard the people saying- “What can I do? It's all due to my genes”. Why is it so? Well, it is due to the fact that our genes control how we look, how we behave, how we grow and how our health will be affected.

Genetics play a major role in our risk of getting prone to certain diseases, both physical and mental. The genetic tests help the people to determine if they carry the copies of the particular genes that can put them at risk for various diseases. And the test reports can change the people's decision for moving the next step.

However, there is also a brighter side to this. The recent studies show that the genetics is just half of the discussion.

Our lifestyle also plays a major role in reducing or increasing our risk to various diseases. The foods we eat, the extent up to which we utilize those foods, the chemicals we are exposed to, even the surroundings and social environments can alter the level of our genes they are active up to.

What leads to this change?

In simple, the food we eat leaves a positive or negative effect on the molecules in our body, which further decides that whether our risk to the particular disease will increase or decrease. For an instance, the carcinogens in the cigarette smoke stimulate the growth of cancer by transforming the anti-cancer genes.

Similarly, the positive choices leave a powerful positive impact on our genes. Having a right diet plan and getting involved in the exercise can “turn off” the genomes which put us at the risk for a particular health problem.

How is the gene activity affected?

Actually, it is not the genes that are affected by the lifestyle changes or environmental factors; it is the molecules around those genes which decide how active our genes will be.

One of such changes that occur due to environmental factors is Methylation. The addition or subtraction of the methyl group decides whether the genes will be active or not.

Therefore, in the people who share similar genomes, the molecules present around those genomes decide if the person will be at risk for the particular disease or not.

So, if you think that our health is affected by our genes as they can put us at risk for various diseases, including weight gain, depression, heart diseases and more, no doubt you are right.

At the same time, our lifestyle also affects our health at the level of our genes. Also, the exercise sways the stem cells to become the bone marrow blood-producing cells rather than becoming the fat cells.

Therefore, you are not only at the mercy of the genes because the genes are at the mercy of our lifestyle and the health related activities/habits.

All those who are feeling health problems due to the genetic issues can try to get rid of it as they have some power to change the condition. Make some healthy lifestyle choices by consulting your doctor and pay attention to his recommendations.

But, along with following your doctor's advice, make sure that your genes are also being affected in the desired way; otherwise, the results may be opposite.

About Author
David Polidan earned MBA from La Salle University. Now working as a sales manager in a wristband company i.e WristbandBuddy. Also serving as an event fundraiser and helping in organizing charity events.

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