Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

Epigenetics – XII. Lifestyles and Environment (1 of 2)


It’s a simple proposition.

We eat in moderation and properly (plenty of fruits and
vegetables, little meat, and we make sure we consume adequate
servings of the 4 groups of food recommended by Health Canada).
We exercise restraint when drinking.  We do not smoke.

Since our ancestors were farmers, or otherwise worked very
hard in a physical sense, we should remember to exercise
adequately, for most of us no longer till the soil or perform
hard physical labor.

If we do so, we remain healthy; if we don’t, we suffer from

What happens in real life?  Most of us spend our summers
barbecuing.  We eat as if a time of starvation was just around
the corner!  We drink to excess.  The nation is littered with gym
memberships which are not used!  It’s from the home to the car to
work and back home.

It saddens me in more ways than one.  We deprive ourselves
of the immediate health benefits, our day-to-day feeling of well-
being.  Nature – through epigenetics – gives us a second chance.
Heart diseases may be rampant in both mom’s and dad’s families.
However, that doesn’t make you a marked man.  You don’t have a
contract on your head!  If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you
can live to a ripe old age.  You can change your genetic destiny.
How?  By following what I said at the beginning of this section,
and by checking regularly with your doctor to make sure your
heart remains healthy.  Healthy living allows your epigenome to
alter your genome.  It’s the ghost in your genes that allows you
to regain control.

Food rich in methyl molecules (e.g. onions, garlic, beets)
can change the behavior of a gene, the methyl groups can either
activates it, or conversely silence the gene.

Epigenetics works both ways, methylated genes can be
demethylated.  And methyl tags that are knocked off can be
regained via nutrients, drugs, and enriching experiences.

There are, however, limits to this process; do not go too
far.  What I am saying is that you should not research and
experiment – in a big way – on your own.  Examples:  Exercise is
great, too much of it can be harmful.  An enriching experience
does not refer to a poker game!  Do not try to find a whole bunch
of methyl-rich food, too much methyl can affect your epigenetics
mechanism.  Put simply:  Use your common sense.  Epigenetics is
still very young.  We still have a lot to learn.

Nature or Nurture?

Nature or nurture?  This is one of the oldest chicken-and-
egg debate humans have indulged in.  Thanks to epigenetics we
finally have an answer.

Dr. Randy Jirtle, Ph.D., a genetic researcher in Duke’s
University has this to say, “We can no longer argue whether genes
or environment has a greater impact on our health and development
because both are inextricably linked.”  He also adds, “Before,
genes predetermined outcomes.  Now everything we do – everything
we eat or smoke – can affect our gene expression and that of
future generations.  Epigenetics introduces the concept of free
will into our idea of genetics.”

Until recently, the structure of an individual epigenome was
thought to be firmly established during early fetal development.
While this is still seen as a critical period, scientists are now
realizing that the epigenome can change in response to the
environment throughout the lifetime of a person.

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