October is a month of reflection for me. Fifteen years ago this month my daughter was born. Two years ago this month I attended a medical conference, determined to identify the rare medical condition my daughter had become afflicted with. Once diagnosed, my research naturally turned to looking for ways to provide my daughter with the best quality of life possible. I noticed that those with my daughter's condition, Periodic Paralysis, who reported significant reduction in their symptoms usually attributed their improvement to having taken a dietary approach, so that’s where I began to focus.
One year ago this month I started both myself and my daughter, who was frequently wheelchair dependent at that point, on daily plant-based protein shakes and concentrated fruits and vegetables to boost our nutritional intake. I also took steps to further improve our already healthy family diet. I had never heard of nutritional genomics, but I was about to enter that realm and discover it's amazing ability to positively alter genetic expression. Within just a couple months we both started seeing positive results.
Conventional thinking had been that we are all just at the mercy of the genetic hand we are dealt. Well, it turns out that isn’t entirely true. In fact, an area of study known as epigenetics has turned that assumption on its ear. As explained by Danielle Simmons, Ph.D., “Epigenetics involves genetic control by factors other than an individual's DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes can switch genes on or off and determine which proteins are transcribed.” Examples of epigenetic factors include Lyme Disease, Infectious Mononucleosis (usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus), and vaccinations. In fact, I know a number of people who have had underlying genetic conditions triggered into active chronic illness be each of the factors I listed.
The new area of study specific to gene–nutrition interaction, known as nutritional genomics, takes epigenetics a step further by focusing specifically on the impacts of nutrition on genetic expression, both for better and for worse. It turns out we aren't completely hapless victims of our genetic heritage as previously thought, and the answer could lie at the end of your fork. In fact, studies have now conclusively proven we can even improve the health of our cellular DNA and genetic expression over time through nutrition. One such study published in Advances in Nutrition states, “Nutrients can reverse or change epigenetic phenomena such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, thereby modifying the expression of critical genes associated with physiologic and pathologic processes, including embryonic development, aging, and carcinogenesis.”
Imperial College London determined 10 servings per day of fruits and vegetables is the threshold at which we can avoid chronic illness, cancer, and premature death, based on the data gathered from 95 independent related studies. The current USDA recommendation is 9 to 13 serving of fruits and vegetables per day. Obviously, that means it takes quite a bit more than just an apple a day to keep the doctor away.
The recent Newcastle Study, which was conducted using the same concentrated fruits and vegetables solution my daughter and I take, conclusively proved it is possible to positively alter gene expression through nutrition. That study revealed over 1600 genes were positively affected within just eight weeks of daily consumption.
The link between nutrition and health as it relates directly to both avoiding and recovering from cancer is also unarguably clear, as detailed in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure. Although many think they are not at risk for cancer if they are skinny, a new study conducted at the University of Arizona has revealed that physically fit middle-aged and older woman who eat a primarily processed diet still have an increased risk of developing obesity-related cancers solely due to their unhealthy eating habits.
I am not a doctor, but common sense dictates that by improving our nutrition we empower our bodies to generate healthier cells. After all, cellular regeneration is constantly taking place within our bodies. We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat”. Dr. Hyman is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, and the Founder of The UltraWellness Center. He states, “Food is not just calories, it is information. It talks to your DNA and tells it what to do. The most powerful tool to change your health, environment, and entire world is your fork.” Dr. Tamara M. Sachs, another highly acclaimed doctor, notes that, “the existing science… (is) that a plant based diet decreases heart disease, and almost all chronic illnesses, by somewhere between sixty and seventy five percent.”
However, chronically ill individuals often lack much appetite and generally have easily upset stomachs. That was the case with my daughter. And quite frankly, consuming 9 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day is really difficult even for those in peak health. I had to find a way to bridge the gap between the nutrients our bodies were getting and what we actually needed, and synthetically isolated vitamins were out of the question. Finding a bio-available plant-based solution was the answer.
We may not be able to control the genes we inherit, but we now know we can control our cellular health and diminish the negative expression of those genes through diet. In fact, as of this writing, the symptoms of my daughter’s genetic ion channelopathy and chronic migraines have been in remission for nine months, and she has been free of medication for seven and a half months. In that time, my Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid Autoimmune Disorder has now been completely eradicated purely using a nutritional, medication-free approach as well.
I am proud to have the opportunity to share the nutrition solution that blessed my family with improved health, as well as drastically improving my daughter‘s quality of life. It provides a wide variety of pure, natural fruits and vegetables that I could never incorporate into our diet on a daily basis any other way, empowering the body to improve and retain health. If you are interested in a little help bridging that gap between what you eat and what our bodies have been scientifically proven to need, please contact me. It would be my honor to assist you. Good nutrition is a powerful thing, and the risks associated with poor nutrition are very real.