This was a recent article on msnbc news feed this morning. It is always interesting to me being from the chiropractic profession how the media will downplay things that are real health threats with significant evidence to support the threat but yet will blow way out of proportion something like the risks of alternative healthcare. Not to get into a huge debate over that I just wanted to share this article and discuss a little about genetic expression and what happens in these situations and why our health is so important. Our bodies are made up of cells and each of us is in a sense genetically predisposed or set up differently. By that I will use an analogy of when God was putting us together for example he made both Tiger Woods and I both with a love for golf. Tiger though got all the aces in the deck I was given some low number cards and maybe a jack got in their somewhere but it seldom shows up in my game. Irregardless he has some genetic advantages to playing golf. Well in our overall health as individuals its kinda the same. Some of us are just healthier than others, some received a better hand than others. Having said that though there is a lot that we can do to drastically improve or maintain our health and things we do inherently matter and profoundly affect our health or lack thereof. Each cell has what’s called a genome which is kinda the center of the cell and an epigenome which is kinda the outer layer of the cell. The genome is for practical purposes mostly unalterable, but the epigenome we are finding more and more is very susceptible to change and modification. A lot of what is considered chronic health conditions today are nothing more than these epigenomes that have been subjected to poor health choices by individuals, or unwanted exposure to environmental things or events like the radiation exposure in Japan. Some of this obviously is choice and can be controlled and things like nuclear powerplant meltdown not so much. But in either situation what can be done is what we do that can have a profound effect on protecting our bodies and preventing a lot of these conditions. There is no doubt that in areas where people have been exposed to these type of conditions that there is an increase in conditions as the article states like cancers and especially thyroid dysfunction. There are a lot of people for example living in southern utah that during the years past when they did nuclear testing down wind radiation has affected these populations. The problem with scientists correlating it or contributing it to that incidence or exposure per se has to do with this epigenome. A lot of people for example in a population will have increased thryoid problems for example but not all of them. And then you add in the factor of genetics, i.e some families are affected more so than others it is easy for them to link it to that than the environment. So the point I am getting at is this epigenome is highly susceptible to environmental or outside changes, but someone with better genetics may not be as affected by it, even more so someone who takes better over all care of their health is less susceptible these changes. So for example we know that certain things like antioxidants like resveratrol, curcumin, and CoQ10 play a huge roll in protecting this epigenome. So someone who eats a clean diet, supplements with various nutrients such as though in optimal doses, and gets regular exercise will fair far better than someone who eats processed food, takes no supplements, doesn’t exercise, and overall has poor health. A bigger look into the effects of these type of environmental occurrences would be to take into consideration a populations over all health and genetic makeup but these things are not happening. The studies are very superficial and usually done for the sake of downplaying something like the risk involved with for example the radiation exposure from this nuclear plant, the side effects of certain drugs are, or risks of processed food for example. The truth is all of these things have a risk and how they will affect someone depends in part not only on their genetics but on what they are or are not doing that affects the epigenome. So if you want to play like tiger and you don’t have the talent he does what do you do? You hire a coach, you get in the best shape you can, you practice, practice, practice, you use the best equipment etc. In my opinion those who have less health problems in their life are conscientious of many things that affect their overall health and they do all that they can to optimize it. Some of the things that are extremely important in optimizing our health is making sure we have a nervous system that is working optimally, making sure that all the nutrients our cells need not only to function optimally but to repair themselves when damaged are there in our system when the body needs them. By getting adequate exercise, rest, and nutrition. As a chiropractor a lot of the conditions we treat that many think are not treatable or that a lot of other healthcare professionals struggle to get results with are not because we cure anything or do anything magical but because we start to implement these things with the patient and their bodies get back to a state of health because it has the tools needed to repair itself. Its like hoping your car will drive without oil in it or gas in the tank. It may for a bit but poorly and only to lead to damage. So to prevent health problems or if you suffer from a serious health condition these are absolutely things that have to be considered to restore or optimize health.