Epigenetic Alterations: Change Is Inevitable – Part 2
Dear Longevity Insider,
Let's talk about our genetic volume control...
Another change that has been observed as an epigenetic alteration is modification of histones.
Remember the histone proteins and chromatin formation we mentioned on Tuesday? Histones are not only one of the primary components of the chromatin but are also integral in the regulation of gene expression. They can alter how tightly or loosely the DNA is wound around them – the looser they are, the more the genes expressed; the tighter they are, the less genes expressed – similar to how a knob would control volume. Abnormal modifications of histones have been correlated with various diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, inflammation and neurological conditions.
Our structural integrity
A third change that is characteristic of epigenetic alteration is chromatin remodeling. The chromatin’s tight coiling structure condenses and protects our DNA. It also prevents DNA from being transcribed continuously. However, in order for genes to be accessed and expressed, they must ‘open’ in a process known as chromatin remodeling. This is crucial for proper cell functioning.
In aging cells, enzymes that are involved in the DNA methylation and histone modification processes start to fade. This results in loss of integrity within the chromatin. Since the strength of the chromatin is necessary for DNA replication and repair, it becomes apparent that deterioration of this important structure can adversely affect the aging process. When the chromatin remodeling process starts to decline, epigenetic abnormalities accumulate, which can result in diseases such as cancer.
Food is medicine
In my best-selling book, The Longevity Equation, I indicate, “Research shows that epigenetic alterations can be slowed down by including plenty of bioactive compounds in your diet. You can do this by consuming healthy fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and oils.”
There is also research that these bioactive compounds alter DNA methylation and histone modifications and have the ability to favorably alter gene expression and prevent tumorigenesis. Foods particularly effective include turmeric, soybean, green tea, grapes, and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower.
The authors state, “The emerging field of nutritional genomics targets nutrient-related genetic and epigenetic changes for prevention and therapy of various diseases including cancer.”
Also, there's another food that I swear by...
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I've known about this green plant since I was just a kid. Fast-forward to today. The science world is just learning this plant’s potent benefits.
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And that’s just the beginning of it… There’s more you should know.
To your longevity,
Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ