This blog was written for Breast Cancer Conqueror. Since Oct. 2021, I have written all blogs for the website.
Epigenetics and you.
Your DNA is NOT your destiny. You do have control over your health and your life! For too long, we were taught that you “got what you got.” You don’t have much control over your lot – at least regarding your body and health. However, the science of epigenetics says the opposite and that is why I am passionate about studying the body and mind and how it reacts to our environment. According to the CDC, epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.
If you have followed my blogs or heard me being interviewed, you already know that you have the power to live a radiantly healthy life! You just have to do the work. This is why I am constantly researching and finding specific and actionable ways to prevent and heal breast cancer naturally. It is why the 7 Essentials System® dives deep into everything from the food you eat to the cleaning products you use and everything in between. Many medical professionals will focus just on your family history and skip over other major factors such as your biological dentistry and extremely early detection as part of a healthy breast plan.
This is a key reason why we offer group and private coaching to help you make the unique changes to help you prevent diseases and heal breast cancer. You are never alone on this journey. Even on a car trip or a breezy walk, you can listen to our Wellness Warrior Podcast. Take advantage of evidence-based research, real-life stories, and support all at your fingertips!
What exactly is epigenetics?
Epigenetics is the study of how the world you live in and how you interact with it can influence how your body reads a DNA sequence. In similar terms, your genes aren’t the only thing that determines your health destiny. How you sleep, eat, manage stress, exercise, and enjoy life all play a massive role in preventing and healing from dis-eases, especially breast cancer.
What scientists understand so far is that the genetic “blueprint” you are born with stays basically the same throughout your life. It can be very helpful to discover what kind of genetic weaknesses you may have, in order to know how to best support your body.
For example, if you have a weakness with the MTHFR gene your body may not methylate or metabolize your estrogens properly. This could be problematic with a breast cancer diagnosis. However, the great news is that you can learn how to support that weakness with specific nutrients and nutrition.
The study of epigenetics looks at the ways environmental factors influence gene expression. Think of it this way – your genetics are the unique “blueprint” for health. Epigenetic
factors are architects that bring that blueprint to life. Some of the conditions that can negatively influence gene expression and even turn off cancer-protective genes could include:
Toxins in the air, soil, water, inside your home, etc.
GMO, pesticide-laden, and highly-processed “dead food”
Stressors within the body such as gut imbalances
Emotional and mental stress
Lack of sleep and exercise
Negative thoughts and beliefs
How can I use epigenetics to support my health?
Like Newton’s law of cause and effect, the negative things you do to your body, such as staying in toxic relationships or not getting enough vitamin D, can turn into cancer-promoting genes. On the flip side, the positive things you do, such as eating specific healing foods, supplementing with specific nutrients to support your Immune System, playing in the sunshine with friends, can turn ON cancer-protective genes. With a bit of knowledge, you can “hack” your DNA to boost certain biological mechanisms that can further protect you from breast cancer.
For example, studies have found that diets high in substances called “methyl donors” can prevent cancer-causing genes from activating. Research has also shown that breast cancer prevention is dependent on maintaining healthy methylation, a vital component of methylation. This is because methylation also affects how your body breaks down estrogen. Imbalances in estrogen breakdown are often key components to the development of reproductive cancers.
Some common foods considered “methyl donors” include garlic, onions, beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, and radishes. A sure-fire way to get the methyl you need is with the Methyl Support supplement, including our proprietary NatureFolate™. If you are curious to learn more about methyl donors, I wrote a small synopsis of what exactly methylation is, why it is so important, and 3 simple actions you can take RIGHT NOW to support your own methylation pathways on your health journey.
The BCRA Gene
Another common belief is that women with the BCRA 1 and 2 gene mutation are literally “doomed” to get breast cancer. But did you know that according to studies conducted by the US Preventative Services Task Force, only between 2 – 5 % of all women with a strong family history of breast cancer may test positive for the mutation? An even bigger testament to epigenetics is that even if a BCRA gene is found, this does not mean breast cancer is imminent. Your lifestyle, eating habits, sleep patterns, and stress levels may help prevent those genes from being turned on.
The fact is that there are dozens of different kinds of BCRA gene mutations, and some of them can actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. For example, the BRCA1 variation K1 183R was shown in a 2011 study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, to have a protective effect against the dis-ease.
Sadly, the reason why BCRA genes are incredibly feared and taken at face value is because of the lack of education about all of the types of BCRA variations and the control you have over your health. Leaving the public in the dark may come down to dollars. For example, after Angelina Jolie famously announced her double mastectomy in 2013 because of a family history of BCRA mutation and breast cancer, stock in the company Myriad Genetics (who hold the patents for BRCA1/BRCA2) soared significantly.
Take excellent care of yourself and read unbiased, evidence-based research. You are empowered and do have control of your life and health! If you want a quick summary of my decades of research, get your copy of my latest book, Heal Breast Cancer Naturally.
Genetic Makeup Testing
An insightful and actionable way to learn about your unique body and prevent future health issues is by taking a Self Decode DNA Test. Your body is no longer a mystery. Finding out precisely what your genes tell you can take away unnecessary stress, as well as lead to practical ways to optimize your specific health problem areas and cognitive function. The Self Decode DNA Test gives you the power to be your own health detective. Their tests are empowering because they give you information about your genetic weaknesses and how you can best support the expression of those genes. I have personally benefited from their Wellness Reports that give you specific guidance as to how to improve your health. I highly recommend Self Decode to all of my clients and community.
Knowledge about epigenetics is power!
It really is epic power! “Epi” means “above” or “over”—meaning that we actually do have more power over our DNA than we know! Researchers are discovering more and more ways in which our genetic expression can link to external factors through epigenetics. This sheds new light on how much each of us can affect our health, both positively and negatively.
Your DNA is not your destiny, no matter your genetic dispositions. Information about your genetic blueprint is still good knowledge to have, but it isn’t the end-all. Make good choices that will support healthy genetic expression and “program” your own body for breast cancer prevention, as well as vibrant health all around!
Ready to show cancer who is boss? Read a few inspiring, life-changing stories to give a boost of energy, confidence, and encouragement not to let your DNA define you!