You are what your ancestors ate? or are you?

Could it be possible that what your parents or grandparents ate could affect your health now?

That’s the question posed by You are what your mother and father (and grandmothers and grandfathers) ate a timely article on Marks Daily Apple. An excellent question and one which new evidence and theories are implying could actually be true. What your parents ate really could affect you now and so could the experiences they went through when they ate.

I’m still forming my own opinion about epigenetics and its effects. I certainly believe in the concept but as in any field there is wide room for interpretation. Marks article is a case in point. I’m sharing it simply because it’s part of my research journey and I feel the concepts raised within it are central to Cell Your Sole. The main concept being that fully realising your own health depends on first fully realising who you are and the context in which you live. That process is a life long quest.

The article begins with Epigenetics. For those who haven’t already heard of Epigenetics it is a fast growing field of biology. The esteemed Denis Noble explains the concept very well in a seminal speech Physiology and Evolution. The basic concept explained around 26 minutes into the video, is that DNA and Genes are not the sole element defining a human or any species. The cell, initially the egg, in which is resides is equally important.

Mark explores some of the possibilities Epigenetics research opens up. I would note that the article presents these ideas in quite a deterministic tone. Implying that the circumstances affecting your parents or grandparents or the habits they had  will determine your behaviour and prospects. You will eat or act a certain way. While I certainly think inheritance like this can have a profound impact on you I don’t think it’s the whole story. Wider evidence shows there is much more at work. For example people who migrate from areas of low heart disease to areas of high heart disease generally start showing the same high incidence of heart disease to he place they moved to not from. What matters is how much they adopt their new culture and lifestyle.

In Marks example there seems no consideration of this wider context in which people live. The social and psychological circumstances for example. That is a book in itself. The point is about listening to different views. Considering the simple concept that to understand ourselves properly we may benefit by understanding our recent family history. At the same time exploring the growing evidence that we are influenced by factors far beyond what science initially thought possible. Many of us believed this anyway. The difference is that now we can talk more openly about it and consider the effects and implications. Maybe understand ourselves that little bit better.

This article, like my others, is about sharing opinions and evidence to generate discussion. What you take for fact is up to you. So let us hear your opinion. Add a comment below.

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