Different strokes for the same folk – at different times!
How often have we used the term – Different strokes for different folks? A huge number. However, there are 2 very interesting insights about this in theory and then its practical application.
The Brief Overview
Not only does the science of genetics tell us that different people need different things, but individuals actually require different strategies at different times. How your genes are turned ‘ON’ of ‘OFF’ will actually determine what your body needs.
Do you know what your body needs at this moment in time?
If you want to find out where you can learn and train in the science of epigenetics in practice, read on and see the links below for free and paid webinars and events to up-skill yourself in the future of lifestyle medicine.
When it comes to health, we still live in a world of recommendations that are generic, with similar prescriptions given to everyone with the same condition. We all figure that weight loss is purely to do with macros and exercise volume, while we constantly come across people in practice who are eating virtually nothing, exercising up a storm and their weight doesn’t budge! Something is wrong with our model of health – and the answers lie in the fascinating science of genetics and epigenetics.
Not only do different people sometimes need completely different foods, exercise types and social support, the needs of the same person can vary greatly at different stages of their life.
When it comes to straight up genetics, what we know now is that just looking at individual genes can give huge information about red flags, particularly with medication and food.
Coffee for one person can be fine, while for another it actually makes their mental, health and athletic performance worse (De Caterina, 2016). A similar deal exists for certain types of carbs and starches (Falchi et al, 2014). For some people, they are fine, no problem. For others they can greatly increase the risk of diabetes and unhealthy weight gain.
We now know that the wrong exercise for your genes will slow your results down and make you more likely to ‘not respond’. (Jones et al 2016)
If you have your genetic information, this is great info to have. But what is being recognised as even more important is the activity of these genes. As your body changes, as you give it different stimuli like food, thoughts, exercise, different climates, certain genes turn on, and turn off, and it means your body may actually want something different in a given environment even though it has the same genes as before.
A simple example is: You spend 15min in a sauna, you feel like a cold drink. You walk straight into a freezer room and sit for 15min, you feel like a warm drink. Exactly the same person, genes, attitude, but completely different environment, and therefore different epigenetic requirements – hot vs cold drink. This is a motivation that is driven by different genes being active.
A 70 year old has exactly the same genes as the 6 month year old version. However, a 70 year old needs more than breast milk to improve their health.
If you have a ‘slow’ caffeine gene, you can actually alter the effect of caffeine through consuming certain antioxidants (Hakooz, 2007). By exercising more, and consuming more cinnamon, your ability to digest and assimilate certain starches improves. If your levels of stress decrease, you actually have a reduction in blood sugar elevation after a meal.
You are in control of your genes by controlling the environment to which they are exposed. Improve the environment in a way that is specific to your genes, and you can take charge of your health.
Find out more info about all of this through the ph360 education material.
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Up-skilling to Use in Practice
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- Jones, N., et al., A genetic-based algorithm for personalized resistance training. Biology of Sport, 2016. 33(2): p. 117-126.
- De Caterina, R. and A. El-Sohemy, Moving towards Specific Nutrigenetic Recommendation Algorithms: Caffeine, Genetic Variation and Cardiovascular Risk. Journal of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics, 2016. 9(2-4): p. 106-115.
- Falchi, M., et al., Low copy number of the salivary amylase gene predisposes to obesity. Nat Genet, 2014. 46(5): p. 492-497.
4. Hakooz, N. and I. Hamdan, Effects of dietary broccoli on human in vivo caffeine metabolism: a pilot study on a group of Jordanian volunteers. Current Drug Metabolism, 2007. 8(1): p. 9-15.