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 – XV. Impact on Future Generations (2 of 2)

A Different View

So far my examples related to past events, and their impact
on future generations.  What about the impact on our epigenome of
what is presently happening?

Dr. Randy Jirtle, Ph.D., a genetic researcher in Duke
University had this to say:  “In countries like India and China,
undernutrition in one generation is followed by fat-laden fast
foods the next.  Children are set up in utero to experience an
environment of low nutrition and find themselves in the land of
plenty.  The epigenetics software is programmed for one scenario
but encounters another, often with disastrous results.”

Along the same lines, aboriginal communities in North
America have followed a diet that relied on the existing natural
resources.  Obtaining their food required a lot of hard work,
therefore, they were very active.  That went on for centuries. By
the 20th century all that changed.  They more and more followed
the (unhealthy) ways of the white man.  Their children,
epigenetically, from the womb, were ready to follow the old ways.
(A diet rich in protein and fat and low on carbohydrates; for
instance, they ate caribou meat, salmon, and berries).  For the
most part, they were never given that chance.   The result is
that they now suffer from major health problems; for example,
diabetes affect many native persons.

Agouti Mice

Back in 2000, Dr. Randy Jirtle, and his postdoctoral
student, Dr. Robert Waterland designed a far-reaching genetic
experiment that was simplicity itself.  The experiment used pairs
of fat yellow mice known to scientists as agouti mice.  The name
is derived from a specific gene, the agouti gene.  This gene
makes the mice ravenous and yellow; in addition, it predisposes
them to cancer and diabetes.  Jirtle and Waterland tried changing
the destiny of these little rodents.

The offspring of agouti mice are mostly similar to their
parents:  yellow, fat, and susceptible to life-shortening

The researchers changed the fate of these unfortunate
creatures in a very simple way:  They changed, before conception,
the mom’s diet.  They fed a test group of female mice a diet rich
in methyl donors (found in such foods as onions, garlic, and
beets), and they provided them in addition with the supplements
usually given to pregnant women, B12, and Folic Acid.  The
result?  Slender and brown mice that did not have their parents’
susceptibility to cancer and diabetes, and that lived to a ripe
old age.

Note that the agouti gene was passed on to the offspring
intact, but the methyl-rich diet of the mothers added to the gene
a switch that greatly reduced its harmful effects.

Following the above experiment, I can already predict that
pregnant women’s diets will undergo radical changes in the
future.  Indeed, the changes in diet should start before


1) The Ghost in Your Genes
The scientists who believe your genes are shaped in part by your
ancestors’ life experiences
BBC – Science & Nature – Horizon

2) McGill Reporter
McGill blazes epigenetic trail
Freeing ourselves from genetic destiny
Neale McDevitt

3) Science Daily (October 27, 2005)
Duke University Medical Centre
“Epigenetics” Means What We Eat, How We Live And Love, Alters How
Our Genes Behave

4) DNA Is Not Destiny
The new science of epigenetics rewrites the rules of disease,
heredity, and identity
by Ethan Watters
published online November 22, 2006

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