Genes vs. Lifestyle

Uploaded by drweil on 06.08.2010

The health equation, there are contributions from both genetics and from environment, factors
under our control and factors not under our control. I think it is impossible to say exactly
where that line is but there is more and more evidence that we have the ability to control
gene expression. That even our choices of food, specific nutrients in food, can turn
genes on or turn them off, that's very powerful. For instance, with prostate cancer where there
are a number of genes that affect its expression. There are nutrients in food, like lycopene
in tomatoes for example and elements in soy, that actually turn off some of the genes that
increase the aggressiveness and growth of prostate cancer. There is an even more provocative
area of research showing that emotional states can turn genes on or turn them off. I would
say that there is great promise there that factors under our control affect genetic expression.
In Healthy Aging I wrote that we can see all around us people are aging differently from
their parents and grandparents. We commonly hear people say 70 in the new 60 for example,
and it's true. What's changed in this time? It's not genes. What's changed is that many
people today have available to them better information, better products and services,
better preventive medical care, and they're applying that and the differences are obvious
even in the relatively short space of years.