Food Can Change Your Genes. Really.


If you suffer with chronic illnesses, allergies, brain fog and fatigue, read on…

“All disease begin in the gut” – Hippocrates.

And he was right 2000 years ago.

When I experienced extreme fatigue after having kids, I saw the doctor numerous times, had many tests, and was told nothing was wrong with me. I began to do my own research and realized that actually my gut was out of sync and my diet was highly inflammatory.

Only around 8% of our genes are used and expressed at any one time, so there is a whole load of DNA that is NOT actively being used. What determines which genes are expressed and when is down to your diet and your environment (i.e. toxins, pollutants, sleep, exercise). These changes occur slowly and what you are experiencing now is probably the effect of how you ate and lived many years ago (or indeed, how your parents ate and lived as these epigenetic changes can be passed on just like DNA).

Modern day food is highly processed, commonly GMO, contain pesticides and inflammatory to the body. When there is a lot of inflammation in the body, it will lead to changes in the genetic expression of our DNA and disease.

70% of the body’s immune system is located in the gut, and if you are healthy, there is about 3lbs of friendly bacteria (aka gut microbiome) which aids digestion, absorption and immune function. Unfortunately, modern day living means our gut microbiome is usually out of whack and under attack from our foods, toxins, stress and antibiotics. When the gut is in disharmony, illnesses pursue.

Our bodies have an amazing power to heal itself and repair anything that goes wrong.  However, these self-repair genes may be switched off by your food/lifestyle, and so the immune system malfunctions and stops healing.

Conversely, we’ve all heard of cases of patients who cured their own cancers (I am not advocating this but just using as example) – I’ve met these patients in real life, and almost all of them have taken measures to boost their immune system and empower the body’s natural ability to heal itself, by activating the self-repair genes.

Pharmaceutical companies are all lining up to create the next big “treatment” for chronic diseases. But why are we bombarded by adverts of drugs when we should be seeing adverts about healing foods and “let food be our medicine?”

I see the path to health as a two pronged approach: we do need treatments that bring immediate relief and deal with surface symptoms, but also we need to assess the root cause and correct it – change back those altered genetic expressions that have caused our bodies to misbehave in the first place. It is hard work, and takes time and patience. But it is well worth it because only then can we truly “cure” and curb the rise in these chronic conditions.

The good news is that you CAN change your genetic destiny, and it’s never too late to start. Food for thought?

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Vivian is a family physician from the UK who recently relocated to the Bay area. She has 14 years of experience as a doctor (UK) and has 2 children aged 8 and 5. In trying to help her kids outgrow their allergies and herself from extreme fatigue, she developed an interest in holistic medicine and combine nutrition with her medical knowledge to heal the body. In her spare time, she enjoys reading about health, developing recipes, running and doing yoga.


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