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Do some people just have good genes?

Posted by Danae , 11 October 2014 · 1,622 views

good genes epigenetics
Do some people just have good genes? Epigenetics is the latest thing. Anyone familiar with Bruce Lipton's work will have read evidence that Lamarckism may not be quackery after all. It appears that the environment can alter how a specific gene can behave throughout a person's life, and even in their offspring. The interesting thing is that 'environment' does not just mean pollutants and bad food, but also stress and emotions, i.e. the inner environment. Epigenetic modulation can occur due to stress-related conditions, and as stress is in the eye of the beholder, this gives us tremendous power over our physical condition. Stress is triggered by the thought or emotion - conscious or otherwise - "this is a stressful situation". The old story about the husband and wife who went to heaven springs to mind. They find themselves in a room where one football match after another is played on TV and an unending supply of beer and crisps appears on the table. The man is in heaven, but his wife is in hell.
Exposing ourselves to violent films, ruminating over betrayals and injustice, uncontrollable anger and constant relationship stress take their toll on our bodies and may well affect which genes are expressed.
The DNA sequence does not change as such, but the function of the genes on it does. Inheriting a gene for a disease is no longer always a death sentence. There are things we can do - lifestyle, stress reduction, mood control and (the big one!) self-awareness - to keep it switched off. There are good genes that we can also switch on, and one way of doing this is understanding our true motivation surrounding a situation, as well as healthy lifestyle changes.
What's more, the changes we make (if we make them early enough) may be passed on to the next generation. The famous Dutch mothers study showed how not only were the children of mothers malnourished during the Hongerwinter in 1944 born very small, but their grandchildren were too - suggesting genetic changes had occurred during the mothers' starvation period which were passed on down the generations.
So, as far as our genes are concerned, it's not what you've got but what you do with it.
Epigenetics is at its beginnings. However, genetic determinism may be on the way out.

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