AncestryDNA, 23 and Me, National Geographic Geno 2.0…..today so many of us turn to genetic testing to find out more about ourselves. While some of us search our genetic code to discover where our ancestors began; others are turning to genetic testing to reveal health concerns which may lay hidden in the spirals and twists of our DNA. Problems can arise then when we mistake our new-found information about "what is written in our genes" with "how our health will be in the future."
Recent studies reveal that a better predictor of future health lies in our epigenes.
EPIGENETICS: the study of the process by which genetic information is translated into the substance and behavior of an organism: specifically, the study of the way in which the expression of heritable traits is modified by environmental influences or other mechanisms without a change to the DNA sequence.
Simply put, our environment affects the expression of our genes. To illustrate this, let's imagine "The Book of You."
Your prologue contains snippets of your parents, their well being, and the quality of combined DNA which they passed to you via egg and sperm. It contains the struggles they encountered, the foods they ate, and the adaptations of their genetic material as they coped with their environments over millennia.
All of this pre-work isn't YOU yet. It is back ground information which has been collected from your families' DNA library. The first page in "The Book of You" begins at conception.
CONCEIVE: 1) to become pregnant 2) to form in the mind; to imagine
The dualistic nature of conception as both a physical event and a metaphysical event, represents the magic that begins "The Book of You". We are both body and spirit by design. Our physical conception in the womb underlies the divine conception of our soul when we were thought on by Creation itself. We operate in a body that eats, sleeps, works, plays, and reproduces in a physical realm; while at the same time we laugh, cry, hope, believe, and dream in a spirit that exists in a metaphysical realm.
Our health at birth appears as a reflection of our environment during time spent in the womb. As a tiny sentient being, you responded to your mother's voice, and dwelt in the mystical darkness beneath her heart. You heard the rhythmical beat of her heart sending oxygenated blood to her body; and floated in the hammock of her body as she moved throughout her day. Maybe you heard her singing and felt her laughter. Her body gave you your first nourishment, delivered through the placenta. Your wellbeing was entirely dependent on the wellbeing of your mother, and life was good… (451)
Or not. Maybe your mother suffered from stress or depression. Perhaps she lived in poverty, and was physically abused. Cloaked in her body, you felt her body tighten around you. You heard her cry and scream. You felt her stumble and fall. Maybe your mother retreated to drugs or alcohol. Your tiny body became accustomed to the rush of chemicals as they washed through your system. Here lies the story of epigenetic expression, and how it can shape our very beginning.
The magical truth about epigenetic expression is that it can be changed. For the sake of simplicity, your epigenes are electrons, that act like tiny protein switches that can turn on or turn off the expression of your DNA. These protein switches are only visible on a quantum level when you look at them, then they disappear as you look away because they are made of energy.
The energy to form our epigenes is generated from food, nutrients, and thought. This is how our environment affects our epigenetic expression: if we are in an environment, rich with organic foods, healthy relationships, and pleasant surroundings, we produce healthy epigenes that switch our DNA to health. However, if we are eating heavily processed foods, living with abusive relationships, immersed in stressful surroundings, we produce unhealthy epigenes that switch our DNA to disease.
Two of the fastest ways to start repairing our DNA and to switch our genes to health is through colostrum and mind/body practices.
Because colostrum is the first food of life for all mammals, it is the most perfect food to rebuild healthy genetic expression. It gives us all the necessary building blocks needed to form our internal environment. Bovine colostrum is bio- identical to human colostrum, and enables us to utilize colostrum therapeutically. Two very important components of colostrum are immune factors and growth factors.
Immune factors in colostrum include lactoferrin, proline-rich peptides, leukocytes, cytokines, oligo polysaccharides and immunoglobulins. These
target harmful bacteria and viruses. While harmful bacteria and viruses create a stressful environment in our microbiome, colostrum replaces the harmful bacteria with healthy bacteria, changing our internal environment to one of health.
As we are constantly regenerating cells, the growth factors in colostrum encourage healthy expression of epithelial cells, fibroblasts, hormones, and platelets.
Our power of thought may be the most over looked tool in determining healthy gene expression. Thoughts and emotions create proteins in our epigenetic electrons, and happy, positive thoughts create healthy epigenes. Throughout millennia, it has been observed that when we think we are receiving a medicine, we often get better. It's called the placebo effect, and has been documented throughout medical literature.
So as we re-write our "Book of You", from a story that may hold health concerns in the DNA of our prologue, it is important to remember that we control the pen while writing the story of our health. Choosing healthy, organic foods, and forming healthy relationships; by thinking happy, positive thoughts, we are shaping our environments. And in shaping our environments, we are shaping our genetic destinies.
Antoinette Caruso, NTP
"Once a teacher, always a teacher, "Antoinette Caruso says as she shares her passion for nutrition, food, and spiritual development. When her husband died with complications from pharmaceuticals, she left her teaching career to pursue new degrees and to rediscover ancient knowledge. She earned certificates as Nutritional Therapy Practitioner from the Nutritional Therapy Association in Seattle Washington, and as Certified Gluten Practitioner from Dr. Tom O'Bryan, the world's leading authority on gluten and autoimmune disease.
"We have a dual nature," Antoinette explains. "We're spiritual beings in a physical body, so it's important to focus on how we feel emotionally because that impacts the state of our body." With a background training as Reiki Master and a certificate in Chinese Medicine, she teaches clients how balance is key to healthy living. "We are designed to be happy and healthy," Antoinette continues, "our body is continually regenerating and regrowing cells. When we give it the proper foods and nutrition, and when we continually think healthy, happy thoughts, we re-create healthy cells in a body that will live a long life."