La alimentación es fundamental es nuestra vida y determina nuestra salud. El poder de resetear nuestra genética a través de la alimentación y estilo de vida va mas allá y a este conjunto de acciones se le denomina ‘Epigenética’.
Qué es la Epigenética
Epigenética significa más allá de la Genética. “Es el conjunto de cambios heredables en la expresión génica que no van acompañados de cambios en la secuencia del ADN”
Dicho de otra forma, para conseguir la adaptación al medio ambiente, se producen cambios en la expresión de los genes, sin modificar la estructura de los mismos. Esto quiere decir que los genes no están impasibles, sino que los factores ambientales afectan a su forma de actuar y gracias a la epigenética nuestro organismo puede responder rápidamente frente a estos cambios del entorno. Un ejemplo ilustrativo y al cual se le denomina un ‘evento epigenético’ sería la primera vez que se fuma un cigarro. Vaya que el organismo se queja, pero a través de dicha repetición del evento epigenético, lo vamos acostumbrando, hasta volverlo adictivo sin importarnos el daño que nos cusamos.
Cómo influye el medio ambiente en nuestra salud
Son muchos los factores ambientales que pueden influir epigenéticamente, entre ellos: agua, aire, alimentación, estilo de vida, materiales sintéticos con los que convivimos, tabaco, estrés, todo aquello no propio, como seria todo aquello ajeno a nuestra fisiología, llámese antígeno antagónico al nuestro, etc. Son marcadores epigenéticos persistentes, interfiriendo en el comportamiento de los genes a lo largo de la vida. Estos marcadores además, son heredables y pasan de una generación a la otra.
De todos los factores ambientales que inciden en la expresión de los genes, la alimentación es la más importante, aquella que nos viene marcando desde la infancia y anteriormente la alimentación de la madre durante la gestación y sucesivamente de generación en generación.
La importancia epigenética de la alimentación es tal, que si un individuo está predispuesto genéticamente a desarrollar cierta enfermedad y realiza cambios adecuados en la dieta, estos actuarían de manera epigenética positiva evitando o atenuando dicha enfermedad. De la misma manera si la dieta es inapropiada la influencia epigenética negativa actuaría desencadenando o agravando la enfermedad.
Es decir, los genes no determinan si vas a enfermar, solo son responsables de la predisposición. La activación de dichos genes se debe a marcadores epigenéticos como la alimentación.
De hecho nuestro genoma no se ha modificado más que un 1% en millones de años, pero en cambio, lo que sí ha cambiado radicalmente es nuestra forma de comer.
La importancia de los marcadores epigenéticos quedó demostrada en el caso de la clonación de la oveja Dolly. No se obtuvo el éxito esperado debido a que las células utilizadas para la clonación tenían demasiadas marcas epigenéticas, eran células “viejas”. De manera que Dolly heredó de su madre las alteraciones epigenéticas, que se manifestaron en ella, a una edad demasiado temprana.
Cuáles son los mecanismos de actuación de los marcadores epigenéticos
• Metilación del ADN
• Impronta genómica
• Modificación de histonas
De los tres mecanismos, la metilación es el más estudiado, mejor entendido y el que ofrece un futuro esperanzador en la prevención y tratamiento de patología.
Qué es la Metilación del ADN
La Metilación consiste básicamente en la unión de grupos metilo a lugares específicos de la cadena del ADN. Es un proceso celular que sirve para activar y desactivar genes.
Es una manera que tiene el cuerpo de protegerse. Por un lado, tiene desactivados genes que no se necesitan en ese momento o que han sufrido una alteración en su función. Y por otro lado, con el efecto contrario, la desmetilación, activa los genes necesarios en un momento dado, como por ejemplo durante el crecimiento.
Si se produce una alteración de este proceso de metilación/desmetilación, normalmente por factores ambientales, es cuando surgen los errores. Por ejemplo, la desactivación de la expresión de un “gen bueno”, como son los genes supresores de tumores, que actúan evitando la producción incontrolada celular tumoral y que no se han desmetilado cuando era necesario.
Influencia de la alimentación
Ya hemos visto que un aspecto crucial en la Epigenética es la composición de nuestra dieta.
Pero cómo come la gente hoy en día?
Hay diversos cambios de actitudes que han modificado la dieta a lo largo de los años: El rechazo a la lactancia materna. En los niños, un bajo consumo de alimentos frescos y un excesivo consumo de carnes, lácteos y alimentos procesados ricos en grasas. En la juventud observamos que se sustituyen comidas importantes por Fast Food, y toda clase de alimentos procesados.
De esta manera, poco a poco ha ido cambiando la prevalencia e incidencia de enfermedades como Diabetes, Hipertensión Arterial, Obesidad, Cáncer, etc. Apareciendo estas, cada vez, a edades más tempranas.
Por ello es importante incluir en nuestra dieta, nutrientes ricos en metilo, como son fundamentalmente, verduras de hoja verde y alimentos como el brócoli, granada y aguacate.
Comiendo mas verduras, frutas y legumbres y restringiendo factores externos que induzcan cambios epigenéticos negativos como el estrés, tabaco y alcohol, podemos conseguir que genes que desarrollan enfermedades crónicas no lleguen a expresarse nunca y permanezcan latentes, o si se expresan lo hagan más tarde y de forma más leve de lo habitual.
Nuestras células se renuevan cada 7 años. Si con los alimentos que le aportamos no obtienen los nutrientes necesarios, se producen los errores.
Somos lo que comemos. Nuestra energía proviene de los alimentos y la energía de estos, proviene de la naturaleza. Los alimentos refinados, procesados e industrializados carecen de energía. Así que debemos fundamentar nuestra dieta en frutas y verduras, y añadir legumbres, cereales integrales, frutos secos...
Nuestra actitud ante la comida también tiene efectos epigenéticos. Pensar bien y ser optimista. Ser agradecido, vivir sin contradicciones y ser feliz también contribuye a la salud del ADN.
Es por ello que el Dr D Adamo se avoca a la tarea incansable de coadyuvar en poder recetear nuestros genes de manera favorable y a nivel personalizado por medio de su programa SWAMI, que le da a cada quien aquello que requiere dadas sus variables.
No dejen pasar mas tiempo y contacten firstname.lastname@example.org donde con gusto les darán la información de como obtener este reporte nutrigenomico personalizado para lograr una salud plena y expresión en sus vidas.
El libro; Change your Genetic Destiny LA DIETA DEL GENOTIPO ya cuenta con su traducción al español, y hay que leerlo!
HH has battled upper respiratory problems since mid September. We had finally realized that the problem was not a virus, but allergies. When we started treating him for allergies, he improved quickly. Suddenly last Friday his drainage increased and he had a sore throat.
He switched to a different antihistamine and doubled up on elderberry. He ran a low grade fever on Saturday, but was fever free on Sunday. However he still had a bad sore throat.
By Sunday night we were both suspicious, so I drove him to the only 24/7 walk in clinic in our area. He was turned away - - - yes turned away - - - because he is on Medicare.
We were both angry and frustrated. First thing Monday morning he was at our doctor's office. He had strep. He got antibiotics, and was feeling much better in 6 hours.
American liberals will say, "See this is why we need Obamacare, so people don't get turned away."
American conservatives will say, "See this is why we need real Medicare reform, because clinics already know that Medicare doesn't pay and it will be worse since Obamacare strips $700 billion from Medicare."
I won't tell you how I voted, but this article helped me make up my mind.
There is a man in DD and SIL's church who does not have a lot of money. He is retired. He lives in a mobile home. He loves the Lord, and he loves his church. He believes in tithing, but it is difficult for him.
If you are not familiar with the tithe, it is a biblical concept where believers give 10% of their income to the Lord's work or to their church. Sometimes tithing is hard to do, but if you talk to people who tithe, they will tell you that it is often accompanied by unexpected blessing. I can say that my husband and I have tithed for years, and our needs have been met in good years and in bad.
The man in DD and SIL's church gives the money he can. He also gives from his garden. He grows okra and turnip greens. He brings gifts to his pastor and to other church members. He has chickens, and he brings fresh eggs to his pastor and his friends at church.
DD and SIL are delighted to be the beneficiaries of this form of tithing. They are enjoying omelets and egg sandwiches. They are eating fresh garden vegetables. Occasionally I get to benefit as well. DD cooked up a big batch of turnip greens and ghee - more than they could eat. So she gave some to me, and I had them for lunch today.
I think that having a garden is a great idea for anyone. I don't have one yet, but when I retire from the photography business, a garden is at the top of my to-do list. A garden is especially beneficial to people on fixed income because it lets them eat a healthy diet on a limited budget. When God provides an abundant harvest, it is also a way to share with His people and His work.
I am sitting at my computer this morning with a bad feeling in my stomach, a feeling that I have not felt since 2003.
I'm not going to tell my nutritional history in this blog - I've told it many times over the years. But briefly, it was GERD - indigestion - a burning feeling in my lower esophagus and upper stomach - that led me to the BTD. Within a week of starting this diet, I was off of all medication, and within 10 days I was pain free. I had hoped never to have that feeling again.
This morning's pain is my own fault. DD has always tended slightly to constipation. Now that she has a desk job, that tendency has gotten worse. So she and I did some brainstorming. She eats a very high fiber diet - lots of seeds and nuts that are a good protein source for Type As. She drinks lots of fluid and gets plenty of exercise.
We bought some bran, because that is what Dr. D recommends for constipation in A's, B's, and AB's. She was reluctant to take it because even though it is recommended in the protocols, it is avoid on the food lists. I bought her some psyllium, which isn't listed on the BTD or GTD food lists. She said it helped a little, but not much.
All of the brainstorming I was doing with DD got me to thinking about myself. I loved the way my lower digestive system worked when I ate 2 Tablespoons of bran every day. I thought about trying an experiment. DD sent me home with a container of bran and a container of psyllium. I added 1 Tablespoon of bran to my breakfast one day and 1 Tablespoon of psyllium the next.
The immediate impact was a marked improvement in my already good bowel health. With colon cancer in my family, plus having had a precancerous polyp removed, I was delighted. I alternated the two fibers for several weeks, with no ill effects. Three days ago, I felt just a twinge of indigestion. It must be the bran, I thought. So I set the bran aside and took psyllium two days in a row. Yesterday the indigestion was a little worse.
At this point I should have gone on the BTD website and done some research. I would have read that Dr. D does not recommend psyllium for Type Os. I would have read comments from lots of Type Os who tried psyllium anyway and regretted it. Instead I focused on the good effect psyllium was having in my colon, and added it to my breakfast again this morning. Within 30 minutes I knew I had made a mistake. This time the pain is not a twinge, it is uncomfortable and annoying.
The good news is that I know I will feel better as soon as the psyllium has passed through my stomach. I will focus on beneficial foods and ghee that will heal the inflammation. My only regret is that I've already tried rice bran, oat bran, and flax seed. They help, but there doesn't seem to be a fibrous food that does for Type Os what bran and psyllium do for other types.
Our neighbors tell us we got five inches of rain while we were gone. I believe them! The grass seized the opportunity and went to seed. We returned home to find thigh high grass. Our yard could have inspired the words "amber waves of grain".
Because we live in the country, we do not have a manicured suburban yard. We encourage native plants, and most of the year we let the yard, except for the area right around the house, go wild. But thigh high grass is too much. It invites snakes and rodents to take up residence; and that is not acceptable! So, I've been mowing an hour or two every afternoon. It's good exercise.
Yesterday I got double exercise. I met my exercise partner at the fitness room in the morning to lift weights. In the afternoon I mowed. This morning I feel fit and strong.
I had bought a bag of shredded cabbage for Cole Slaw before we left on our trip. When we returned, the cabbage was looking a little wilted. HH loves Cole Slaw almost any time, particularly with sandwiches or soup. So he was happy to be getting Cole Slaw every day. But I could see that the cabbage was going to go bad long before I could use it all.
I remembered wistfully a cooked cabbage recipe that I loved making before I started the BTD. At the time I was not a cabbage eater. I didn't like raw cabbage in Cole Slaw. I didn't like fermented sauerkraut. I didn't like watery cooked cabbage. I came across a recipe that said cook cabbage in a little milk and melted butter. I tried it and to me it tasted wonderful. Full disclosure - DD and HH who both prefer raw vegetables to cooked, did not share my enthusiasm. But I often fixed cabbage this way for myself when I was alone at lunch. I abandoned the recipe when I started the BTD because of the milk.
I was thinking about that recipe for cooked cabbage as I made Cole Slaw for HH. Then I thought of almond milk. I put some ghee in a skillet, added the last of the cabbage, added a little almond milk and began to cook. As the cabbage wilted, I added a few shredded carrots.
The result tasted every bit as good as I remember the original recipe tasting. I am happy to be enjoying cooked cabbage again. HH is happy because buying cabbage more often means more Cole Slaw for him.
As the old Simon and Garfunkel song said, "Gee but it's great to be back home."
Monday was the last sightseeing day of the trip. We drove to Hartford, Connecticut to see the Mark Twain home. I always associate him with small towns along the Mississippi River, where he grew up; but he did his writing from a beautiful home in Hartford. I think I am going to go back and reread some of his books, now that I know more about him as a man. His childhood years were the foundation for his books, but he experienced great sorrow as an adult.
One for the exhibits said that he lived double life: Sam Clemens the family man and Mark Twain the entertainer, author, and humorist. After he lost his family, he became Mark Twain full time with unkempt wild hair and white suits.
I had packed a lunch with leftover vegetables and chicken. Everyone else elected to go to Subway for lunch, so I was glad I had food with me. Though I can always do a salad at Subway, it is mostly iceberg lettuce, which is not particularly nutritious.
We stopped at a market on the way home and bought shrimp. I grilled onions and steamed shrimp. My sister cooked yellow squash, made a salad, and warmed up the leftover cod. She fixed baked potatoes for herself and our husbands. She worried about me not having enough to eat, but I reminded her that I had eaten two pieces of rice bread in the middle of the afternoon. I heaped my plate high with shrimp, squash, and onions. I was happy.
The next day we were up early to drive to the airport. Flight delays made it a 16.5 hour travel day. That's a lot better than driving, but we were tired when we walked in the door at 10 PM. I had my computer, so I spent most of the day with the laptop literally in my lap. I got a lot of work done, but it was way, way too much sitting. I wish I had gotten up once an hour and walked briskly around the terminal.
The laundry is done. I had a photo shoot Wednesday, so I'm busy editing pictures. Life is returning to routine...which is a good segue into the title of this blog. When I first started blogging in 2004, I had been on the BTD for almost a year. Everything was new. Every day was an adventure. I was blogging 2-4 times a week. In 2008 when my parents began their end of life health issues, I blogged less often. I was eating right, which gave me strength to cope with difficult days, but I didn't particularly want to share all the details of that time. I got out of the habit of thinking about blogging.
I have enjoyed taking you along on this vacation. I have enjoyed writing about daily decisions concerning food and exercise. After nine years on the BTD, the excitement has worn off, but perhaps it would be an encouragement to newbies to see that the BTD does become an easy way of life as you adapt to it.
Major news about one of my favorite molecules, l-fucose. In addition to being part of the antigenic structure of the H antigen found in blood group O, fucose is now garnering attention as an important component in learning. Although neurophysiology spends quite a bit of time looking at the neurosynaptic junction (the gap between two nerve cells, where nerve conduction occurs) most of the emphasis is on the neurotransmitters (such as serotonin and dopamine) that can jump the gap.
However, what goes into holding the synapse together may be as important a factor in cognition and learning as what jumps across the synapse. And that appears to be lectin-like receptors on one side of the nerve synapse which bind to fucose as a ligand on the other.
In other words your nerves have a sweet tooth for fucose.
Reaction in the brain involving fucose skyrocket during periods of intense learning. And human milk is a very rich source of the sugar, with amounts far higher than all other species. The sugar content of human milk varies by ABO blood type and secretor status which makes me want to do a study looking at learning differences along blood group and secretor status in breast fed and bottle fed children.
The fucosyltransferase enzymes FUT1, FUT2 and FUT3 are very intimately involved in determining ABO, secretor and Lewis blood types and recent research has linked serum B12 levels (another important player in proper nerve function) to the FUT2 (secretor) gene.
Fucose and fucosylation have a big role in ontogeny (the origin and the development of an organism from the fertilized egg to its mature form) via it's role in the development of the Lewis X antigen (FUT9) which supports cell-to-cell-adhesion in embryos. Lewis X expression in the brain is in turn controlled by the PAX6 gene, which regulates many elements of nerve growth in addition to forming the architecture of the iris.
The link between PAX6 and Lewis X (FUT9) may explain why a recent study showed that at least some aspects of personality were determined by the genetics of iris formation. Close-up pictures were taken of the study participants' irises, and they also filled out a questionnaire about their personalities. The researchers looked at crypts (pits) and contraction furrows (lines curving around the outer edge of the iris), which are formed when pupils dilate. It was found that those with more crypts were likely to be tender, warm and trusting, while those with more furrows were more likely to be neurotic, impulsive and give in to cravings.
PAX6 is gene that helps regulate embryonic differentiation. PAX6 also has some interesting effects on adrenal and pancreatic function as well as norepinephrine expression in the gut via the enteric nervous system. Maybe there's a future in medicine for the iris after all.
Going forward, I predict that soon the best thing to use in kids who are learning-challenged will not be the usual suspects like Ritalin or SSRIs, but rather glycomic agents from the diet that enhance fucosylation. These drugs do enhance the function or persistence of neurotransmitters, but fucosylation enhancers seem to enhance the stability of the entire neural network. It makes no sense to up-regulate neurotransmitters if you haven't insured that the nerves are holding to each other in the first place.
Of course, most of the old blood typers know that Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosis) is a decent source of fucose.
Schizophrenia, gluten, and low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets
We report the unexpected resolution of longstanding schizophrenic symptoms after starting a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet. After a review of the literature, possible reasons for this include the metabolic consequences from the elimination of gluten from the diet, and the modulation of the disease of schizophrenia at the cellular level.
Previously, Dohan (Acta Psych Scand 1966, 42(2):125-152) observed a decrease in hospital admissions for schizophrenia in countries that had limited bread consumption during World War II, which suggested a possible relationship between bread and schizophrenia. Early work with lectins clearly showed that the brains of schizophrenics bind lectins differently than the brain tissue of non-schizophrenics, which appears to make sense in that the carbohydrate content of schizophrenic brain tissue (in addition to dementia and a few other illnesses) revealed the existence of spherical deposits in the inner and middle molecular layers of the dentate gyrus in the hippocampal formation which contained fucose, galactose, N-acetyl galactosamine, N-acetyl glucosamine, sialic acid, mannose and chondroitin sulfate; many of these blood group active carbohydrates with known lectin binding affinities (link).
Over the years some of the most stirring letters I've received from book readers have centered around improvements in family members with schizophrenia. Almost all of these letters have been from or about blood type O schizophrenics, which may mean that the nutritional approach to schizophrenia might necessarily differ by foods and blood type. We are now only beginning to understand the effects of tissue glycosylation on the development and maintenance of brain neural networks.