Epigenetics is the study of genetic variations that are caused within an individual, by external or environmental factors that can switch genes on and off, as opposed to changes in DNA sequence which happen as genes are passed down to the next generation. One of the most potent ways epigenetics can change is through nutrition.  In fact, one of the main reasons good nutrition is so important is because healthy food choices will minimize the expression of disease-causing genes we may have inherited. Unlike behavior or stress, diet is one of the more easily studied, and therefore better understood, environmental factors in epigenetic change. The nutrients we extract from food enter metabolic pathways where they are broken down, modified, and assembled into molecules the body can use. One such pathway is responsible for making methyl groups (CH3), which interact with important epigenetic tags that silence genes. Familiar nutrients like folic acid, B vitamins, and SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine, a popular over-the-counter supplement) are key components of this methyl-making pathway. Diets high in these methyl-donating nutrients can rapidly alter gene expression, especially...

We all know our “health care” system isn’t working.  That’s because it’s actually a  highly profitable disease management system.  The industry makes money when you are chronically ill.  I know that sounds cynical but observe how darned easy it is, 24/7, to buy poor quality food made of fluffed up GMO corn, soy or refined wheat.  GMO corn is everywhere in the form of corn syrup (HFCS).  Kids are targeted in sophisticated advertising campaigns to pester their parents for horribly poor quality “food” choices. 

Community Gardeners Less Likely To Be Overweight 22 Apr 2013 People who are involved in community gardening tend to have a considerably lower body mass index than their non-gardening counterparts, a team from the University of Utah reported in theAmerican Journal of Public Health. Previous studies had shown that community gardeners provide both nutritional and social benefits to neighborhoods, lead author CathleenZick explained. “But until now, we did not have data to show a measurable health benefit for those who use the gardens.” The Utah team used BMI (body mass index) to measure how close or far people were to their ideal body weight.

50 Shades of Gluten (Intolerance) Celiac disease is characterized by an immune response to a specific epitope of gliadin (alpha-gliadin) and a specific type of transglutaminase (tTG-2). But we now know that people can (and do) react to several other components of wheat and gluten — including other epitopes of gliadin (beta, gamma, omega), glutenin, WGA and deamidated gliadin — as well as other types of transglutaminase, including type 3 (primarily found in the skin) and type 6 (primarily found in the brain). This is a huge problem because conventional lab testing for CD and of gluten intolerance only screens for antibodies to alpha-gliadin and transglutaminase-2. If you’re reacting to any other fractions of the wheat protein (e.g., beta-gliadin, gamma-gliadin or omega-gliadin), or any other types of transglutaminase (e.g., type 3 or type 6), you’ll test negative for CD and gluten intolerance no matter how severely you’re reacting to wheat. Read More…

This week, the USDA will decide whether to allow Monsanto and Dow to introduce one half of the chemical mixture Agent Orange into our food supply. Widescale use of Roundup has led to a new generation of resistant weeds, and the next step in the pesticide arms race is 2,4-D — a chemical linked to cancer, Parkinson’s and reproductive problems.

Starting January 1st 2008 the state of Pennsylvania will ban labels on dairy products which claim to be rBGH, pesticide and antibiotic free.  This means consumers will no longer be allowed to distinguish between dairy products containing hormones, antibiotics or recombinant bovine growth hormone, and dairy products which do not. The states of New Jersey and Ohio are also considering bans on labelling which would prevent consumers from making informed choices between clean versus tainted dairy products.  Organic dairy farmers pledge to avoid the use of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone, or somatotropin) in their cows.  Commercial dairy farmers use rBGH to increase milk production. The state change in labeling guidelines, which blindsided many in the organic dairy industry, is part of a broader effort by the Pennsylvania Agriculture Department to crack down on labels that highlight what is not in a product, such as “antibiotic-free” and “pesticide-free.” Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said in a news release that “antibiotic-free” and “pesticide-free” are misleading terms because all processed milk sold in the state is tested a minimum of 10 times...

There’s a new wave in testing people for a so-called “body burden” of industrial chemicals in their blood stream.  The results are shocking.  A family with two young children in Oakland, CA