Supra-Aerobicized Abs

Dear Subscriber,

Your genetic code is not set in stone. New research is revealing how your environment shapes your genetics – and it’s putting you in the driver’s seat.

Last month, the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute released the results of their groundbreaking study. They found that a mother’s diet during pregnancy not only affects her child, but also her child’s offspring.

This means that the choices a woman makes can affect several generations of children. This is a revolutionary idea that flies in the face of conventional wisdom.

For more than one hundred and fifty years – since the time of Darwin – science has believed that any changes to an organism cannot be passed on to the next generation. That applied to all plants and animals – even humans.

According to strict Darwinism, if you were to change your diet, lose weight and become super fit, your children would not benefit from your efforts. But we now know there is something more at play…

For example, Dr. David Martin split genetically identical pregnant mice into two groups. The first group received a standard diet. The second group received the same diet with the added benefit of supplements like vitamin B12, folate, choline and zinc.

When the babies were born, the females from both groups were mated and fed identical diets with no supplements. When the offspring gave birth, the researchers discovered that the original mouse who had the diet with extra vitamins passed the benefits to both the children and the grandchildren.

This has powerful implications in both directions. If you make healthy choices, you can positively affect not only your children but your grandchildren as well. On the other hand, a diet of fast food and sodas will not only wreck your own health, it will predispose future generations to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

This helps to explain why so many schoolchildren suffer from high blood pressure and low HDL (good cholesterol). The poor dietary choices their parents made are coming home to roost in their children.

In my mind this discovery puts to rest a long-standing rivalry between Charles Darwin and a guy you probably never heard of before by the name of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829). He and Darwin had different ideas about how traits are are passed on from generation to generation.

Lamarck believed that if an organism changes during its life in order to adapt to its environment, those changes are passed on to its offspring. This is what the results of this latest study and similar one are proving.

The decisions you make about your own body can be passed on.

Darwin felt differently. His theories, which shape the ideas of modern science, can be summed up in a few words: Genes cannot be affected by the outside world. In other words, your dietary choices have no effect on your genetic code or how those genes are expressed.

I’m happy to say that’s not the case. The study I mentioned did not mention WHY this phenomenon is true. But I know…

It’s the “epigenome.”

In an upcoming Doctor’s Call, I’ll let you in on the secret emerging from the world of epigenetics. It shows how the power of choice plays a major role in deciding which genes in your genetic code are expressed in your body and why.

That could mean the difference between “inheriting” heart disease or diabetes or not…

Stay tuned. And until then remember, your choices count. So make good ones.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD