13 Factors That Influence our Genetic Expression

There are a number of diseases that are 100% impacted by genetics. These are known as Mendelian Inheritance Diseases; such Sickle Cell Disease, which is a single gene disorder. If you have the gene, you will have the Disease. Other conditions can be from changes in the number of chromosomes, such as in Down’s Syndrome. These types of genetic changes do not provide an explanation of all disease though. Modern research kicked off by the Human Genome Project, suggests many modern health challenges have their origin in epigenetics. Epigenetics refers to changes that occur in an organism due to up-regulation or down-regulation of genetic expression, rather than changes in genetic code itself, such as in those examples above.  This interplay between epigenetic expression and our genetic Achilles heel(s) can leave the body’s self-healing mechanisms not functioning as well as hoped. Poorly functioning mechanisms then lead to the signs and symptoms we experience as disease.

The genetic lottery

When it comes to genetics, the reality is that we can’t control the genes we have received from our parents. They are set. But regardless of the genes we are born with, there are still factors that we can control. The choices we make on a day to day basis can impact the expression of our genetic code.

Factors that influence epigenetic expression

There are many day to day factors that can impact epigenetic expression. These include:

  • Our dietary choices, along with nutrient deficiencies or excesses
  • The air that we breathe
  • The water we drink
  • Our exposure to mutagenic and carcinogenic by-products
  • The level of exercise we engage in – whether this be too little or too much
  • The electromagnetic fields we are exposed to
  • Our mindset
  • Whether we get enough sleep
  • Our life experiences and past trauma’s
  • The way we handle the stress we experience in our lives
  • Our exposure to pesticides
  • Our exposure to infections
  • The composition of our gut microbiota and other microbes in our body

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