Epigenetics means above the control of the genes. This concept has evolved in science as a result of the failure of the human genome project to prove the original scientific hypothesis that one gene expresses one protein which then leads to one cellular behavior.
Prior to the human genome project, it was believed that humans must have greater than 100,000 genes in order to encode for the greater than 100,000 proteins found in the human body, but this is not what was found to be true. When the human genome project was complete it was revealed that there are only 20,000 to 23,000 genes in human DNA, which does not explain how we can encode so many proteins.
What came out of this is the understanding that a single gene can be used by a cell to express many different proteins and it is not the DNA itself that determines how or what genes will be expressed. Instead, diet, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, chemicals, stress, pathogens, and other environmental influences determine which genes get turned on and which are silenced (gene expression). In other words, the epigenetic environment determines what genetic expression will be expressed or present itself.
“The basic lesson from the post-genomic era is that we cannot blame our DNA for causing disease. Rather, it may have more to do with what we choose to expose our DNA to,” states Sayer Ji in his essay entitled The Dark Side of Wheat.
The foods we eat, the cosmetics we use, the chemicals we clean our homes with, the level of stress we create or accept in our life all have an epigenetic effect on our overall health. In our world today we are exposed daily to a huge number of toxins. Some we choose to expose ourselves to and others we do not have any choice about, but without learning how to know what is toxic to us as a community or as an individual, we cannot make educated choices about how to stay healthy.
Comprehensive Elimination Diet
One of the best ways to identify if certain foods are irritating to an individual’s system is to eliminate that food or food category for three weeks and then re-challenge that food or food category and assess for reaction. For example, I have had patients with horrible eczema that have been to several different dermatologists and been prescribed several different medications with no significant lasting improvement. Once these patients did my Detox Plus Program, their rashes resolved while on the 3-week elimination diet and then returned when they re-challenged certain foods. This program empowered them to learn that their food choices were causing an immune response that was initiating a genetic expression of a chronic illness and that changing their food environment quieted that expression.
I have been having patients do 3-week comprehensive elimination diets for a number of years now since I started studying and implementing functional medicine concepts. I have seen so many positive and powerful changes in patients’ lives that I created The Detox Plus Program to give people the information and guidance they need to implement a detox for themselves.
My five-part Detox Plus Program includes
- 6 months access online to Comprehensive Elimination Guidebook
- Video 1: Overview of The Detox Plus Program (Elimination Diet Guidebook included!)
- Video 2: Detox Pathways and Supplement Suggestions to optimize your detox.
- Video 3: Stress Reduction and Detox Enhancement Education
- Video 4: Step by Step information on how to Re-challenge foods to Assess for Food Sensitivities
- Video 5: Suggestions on Where Do I Go from Here? Once you finish The Detox Plus Program
- One 30-minute personalized health coaching visit via video conference, phone, or in-person to help you succeed
Another great resource is my first book, Make a D.E.N.T. in Chronic Disease: Your Guide to Living Pain Free Through Functional Medicine. In this book I explain even further how implementing diet, detoxification, exercise, nutrition, stress management, and other lifestyle changes can have a profound effect on your health.
If you’re interested in checking out these tools for taking control of your life and transforming your health, please visit my website’s online shop.
Dr. Trish Murray is a highly accomplished physician certified in internal medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine, energy medicine, and functional medicine. In addition, she is a best-selling author and the Health Catalyst Speaker. She is the founder of Discover Health Functional Medicine Center in Conway, New Hampshire and has collaborated with four other wellness professionals to create Discover Health Movement Membership.
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