Epigenetics

You are not a victim of your genes. The integration of Epigenetics and Nutrition has resulted in a new field called Nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics is the study of how food, along with its constituents, effects our genetic expression.   

Epigenetics sounds complicated, but it is simply the study of chemical modifications on specific genes or gene-associated proteins of an organism. Epigenetics is the study of how inherited traits are modified or changed by influences other than a change to the DNA sequence. The Genome, is the "genetic material" that is contained within the cells. The epigenome is involved in regulating these expressions of the genetic material. Environmental stimuli, such as trauma, nutrition or life adversity can lead to changes in the genome. These changes are called epigenome modifications. Epigenetic modifications define how genetic information is expressed, and our capacity to deal with stress. 

In other words, non-genetic and non-inherited factors cause genes to express themselves differently by modifying their expression by activating, or silencing specific genes through a process called methylation. 

Luckily, PBS has simplified and produced this wonderful production on how we as humans are not victims of our genes and that we can change these with the right environment. 

Once nurture seemed clearly distinct from nature. Now it appears that our diets and lifestyles can change the expression of our genes. How? By influencing a network of chemical switches within our cells collectively known as the epigenome. This new understanding may lead us to potent new medical therapies. Epigenetic cancer therapy, for one, already seems to be yielding promising results.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/epigenetics.html