Are You a Genetic Time Bomb?

Recent research into the role of genes and more importantly the stuff around our genes known as the epigenome reveals why some of us may be a genetic time bomb ticking away.  What can you do to stop the clock?

During my years of medical practice I was approached by patients with real fears that they were doomed to repeat their parents’ deaths.

We learned this fear was unfounded and unnecessary when we sequenced the entire human genome several years ago.  We now realize that 70-80% of whether we become afflicted with illness or disease is within our control.  The lifestyle modifications recommended in The Immortally Edge are crucial to help prevent the ailments we once believed resulted from the cruel and inevitable roll of the genetic dice.

Your genes act like a library containing many books.  Your epigenome represents the books you check out and actually read.  This is how you “change your fate”.

One example of this is related to how our body converts plant Omega-3 and Omega-6 to a useful and necessary substance called Prostaglandins that our cells need to function properly.  Prostaglandins are formed by the metabolic conversion of EFAs (essential fatty acids).  The conversion requires enzymes which assist with the conversion over several steps.  Once EFAs are converted to Prostaglandins, they work similar to hormones to help cells maintain normal functioning.  Prostaglandins appear to be involved in nearly every body function.  Various Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids form different Prostaglandins with different activities.  A proper balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 is important for maintaining health because they compete for the same enzymes for conversion.  Only 5-10% of Linoleic Acid (found in all oils) and Alpha-Linolenic Acid (found in flax, hemp, chia and black currant) converts to our body’s much needed Prostaglandins.  Some people lack the conversion enzymes and don’t convert any of the plant based Omega-3s.

You may be genetically predisposed to Prostaglandin deficiencies because you lack the enzymes to properly convert Omega-3 and Omega-6 intake.  You wouldn’t know you were among the misfortunate genetic group, but luckily you have the power to override this genetic misfortune by taking an Omega-3 fish oil supplement. 

Inadequate Omega-3 EPA and DHA intake can lead to low IQ, allergies, heart disease, breast and prostate cancers.  You can wait for reliable genetic tests to identify these various and sundry gene problems, or you can act now and avoid the risks involved with low Omega intake and conversion.

I recommend 6 grams of fish oil a day to help you avoid becoming a genetic time bomb!

Best in health,

Dr. Dave Woynarowski, MD, CPT

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