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Ways Nutrition Affects Human Genes

Epigenetics is a branch of genetics that studies how human expression is influenced by the environment or behavior. It's a relatively new field in science, but one that has potential for growth. One interesting study under this topic is how the food we eat affects our gene expression.

Food Affects How Genes Are Expressed

In a study published in Science Magazine, a group of researchers from the University of Newcastle in Australia examined a sample population and identified the foods that were associated with gene expression changes.

The food groups used were bread, red meat, poultry and fish. Each person had blood samples taken to determine which genes were being expressed differently.

They discovered that different classes of genes showed different levels of change to these foods. The researchers then looked at a total of 26 different genes associated with diabetes, obesity and cancer. They also found that those who had a change in gene expression from the foods were more likely to have a higher BMI or body fat percentage.

In addition, they found that those who had gene expression changes from the food had higher levels of inflammation, as measured by C-reactive proteins.

So, What Should You Eat?

With such a serious health risk associated with changing gene expression, you'll want to keep an eye on your diet. It often makes sense to avoid processed foods and instead eat more whole foods. Examples of whole food include unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Curating a Diet for Chronic Disease Prevention