Do Genes Determine Who We Are?
When a child is conceived, the blueprint for that child is given to him by mother and father through genetics. Does this mean that everything about that child is determined from birth? As in, how that child will act and react, change and grow, and what choices the child will make? According to new research, not likely. Quoting an article published on theweek.com, researchers are finding that:
“genes can be turned on and off by experiences and environment. What we eat, how much stress we undergo, and what toxins we’re exposed to can all alter the genetic legacy we pass on to our children and even grandchildren. In this new science of ”epigenetics,” researchers are exploring how nature and nurture combine to cause behavior, traits, and illnesses that genes alone can’t explain, ranging from sexual orientation to autism to cancer.”
Let’s consider the significance of this. If outside environmental influences, such as diet, stress, or airborne toxins can influence the expression of our genes in us, what does that say about what a pregnant woman takes in as her diet, feels, or breathes? What does it say about us, as cognitive people, and how we can effect change on ourselves? The scientific community is only beginning to find out. The basic idea though is that we, you, greatly affect how our genes express themselves. If we eat poorly, treat people badly, handle stress badly, ect., we open up pathways for certain genes to express themselves. If we do the opposite, our body has the ability to switch those genes off and turn on new ones. Crazy, isn’t it? Add to that the idea that the genes we turn “on,” or “off,” can turn up “on” or “off” in our children, as well as our children’s children. This idea of epigenetics puts a profound sense of responsibility on a person to allow themselves to become the best expression of themselves that they possibly can. So… how’s that latest nutrition challenge going?
Post taken from CrossFit Verve.