Host: Deanna Minich, PhD, FACN, CNS
Guest: Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACN, FACB, CNS
There has been considerable discussion recently as to what is the best approach in the management of early stage chronic disease- drugs or lifestyle? To help us answer that question, Drs. Deanna Minich and Jeffrey Bland discuss a recent New England Journal of Medicine publication1 by Johns Hopkins Professor of Medicine Andrew P. Feinberg, MD, MPH on the emerging and important role of epigenetics in medicine and human disease prevention and mitigation.
The term “epigenetic” means “in addition to changes in genetic sequence,” which includes any process that modifies gene activity, function or expression without altering the DNA sequence itself.2 Epigenetic modifications can be transmitted onto daughter cells, and myriad diseases (e.g. cancers, cognitive dysfunction, cardiovascular, autoimmune, etc.) are now linked to epigenetic mechanisms.2 Several types of epigenetic processes exist, such as methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, and ubiquitylation; while these processes are natural for many normal cellular functions, when they occur improperly, the health effects can be deleterious.2 Drivers of epigenetic changes are thought to include a variety of agents, from heavy metals, pesticides, tobacco smoke, hormones, viruses, bacteria, and radioactivity, to name a few.2
By understanding how our genes and our lifestyles interact to translate into health vs. disease, we can shift the health care paradigm to improve patients care and peoples’ lives.
This Metagenics Institute LIVE broadcast took place live June 19, 2018 on the Metagenics Institute Facebook page.
- Feinberg AP. The key role of epigenetics in human disease prevention and mitigation. N Engl J Med. 2018;378:1323-1334.
- Weinhold B. Epigenetics: the science of change. Environ Heath Perspect. 2006;114(3):A160-A167.