Genetics: Think Epigenetics or Ways To Turn On and Off Specific Genes
By Raymond Francis
Former Member(deceased), OptimalBreathing FAQ Health Advisory Board.
There is no question that each of us is genetically unique and that we all have genetic weaknesses and predispositions to certain malfunctions. Genetic strengths do run in families as well as weaknesses.
That being said, whether or not we ever develop a disease to which we are predisposed is largely under our control. There is a large body of scientific evidence showing that diet and lifestyle play significant roles in the development of such diseases, and even in the reversal of such diseases should they occur.
For example, schizophrenia appears to run in some families. What in fact may be the problem is an abnormally high genetic requirement for certain B vitamins and minerals such as zinc. Given adequate amounts of these nutrients, these people will never develop the disease. Likewise, a group of rats was genetically engineered to develop a disease called lupus. When adequately fed and kept in a good environment, they did not develop the disease.
Another example would be the traditionally healthy populations like the Hunzas, Vilcabambas, and Titicacas. They did not develop any of our chronic diseases as long as they ate their normal diets and lived their active lifestyles.
Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, these were all unknown among them until they started eating our diet. The weaknesses were there all along, but they did not manifest. In Micronesia, diabetes is the leading cause of death.
These people have a genetic weakness for diabetes, but diabetes was unknown until after World War II and the importation of processed foods.
How we breathe is an important part of the health equation. Improper and unnatural breathing can reduce oxygen levels, change the carbon dioxide content of the blood and thereby affect the blood pH. Altering blood pH adversely affects all of our biochemistry thereby causing disease.
Genetic Predisposition Really Isn't?
DNA primacy is being greatly challenged by current research. Recent research reveals that the existence of a self-regulatory property for genes is an extremely inaccurate assumption.
A groundbreaking article by H. F. Nijhout (Metaphors and the Role of Genes in Development, BioEssays 12:441, 1990) describes how concepts concerning genetic “controls” and “programs” were originally conceived as a metaphor to help define and direct avenues of research.
Widespread repetition of this compelling hypothesis over time has resulted in the “metaphor of the model” becoming the “truth of the mechanism,” despite the absence of meaningful supporting evidence.
Nijhout has redefined the truth as follows, “When a gene product is needed, a signal from its environment, not a self-emergent property of the gene itself, activates expression of that gene.” In other words, a gene cannot turn itself on or off, it is dependent upon a signal from its environment to control its expression. Genes are indeed involved with the structure and behavior of an organism, however, they are not the source of “control.”
This to me is a major statement of self-determinism and another reason why faith in God, optimal nutrition, exercise and breathing development can stimulate seemingly miraculous wonders.
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