Wed., Jun. 4th
Did you know scientists discovered the gene that causes osteoporosis? They did! It’s a gene that controls the Vitamin D receptor. The news even made the cover of the journal Nature. It was a researcher's dream come true …well, except that it wasn’t really true.
According to Professor Tim Spector of King’s College in London, “In the case of osteoporosis, we now believe there may be 500 genes involved.” Oops. I guess they didn’t find THE gene that caused it after all.
Far more interesting than trying to find the ONE gene that causes ONE disease is looking at how our choices and our environment play a role in our overall expression of our genes and how that affects our life. Science for science sake is pretty interesting, but what I find most interesting is when science shows us real things we can do to improve our lives.
And that’s where the twins come in, specifically identical twins. You see, identical twins are the result of one fertilized egg that splits in two. The result is they have the same exact genes …they're clones! I should say “we’re clones” as I am an identical twin myself.
The reason identical twins are so useful to look at is that if our genes controlled everything, then the twins would have exactly the same health advantages and problems as they age. But, they don’t. In fact, over their lifetimes, identical twins can have dramatically different health.
The reason for this is epigenetics. There are whole books about this, so I will not try to explain it in detail. The bottom line is pretty simple though: our genes are affected and controlled to a degree by our environment. That is, what we eat, how much we exercise, what chemicals we’re exposed to, all of that and more, actually have the ability to turn genes off or on.
Here’s my favorite part: You could ignore all of the science and just make healthy choices and you will be improving your genetic expression and therefore improving your health. I know it sounds overly simple, but the research proves that good choices help good genes express themselves and bad choices help bad genes get expressed. It’s like all we really ever had to do was listen to our great grandmothers!
…and what does this have to do with chiropractic? Getting your spine adjusted is a great way to take stress off your spine and nervous system and is one more healthy choice that affects your overall health. So, if it’s been more than 4 weeks since you’ve been adjusted, it’s time to come in!