In 2015, the National Institute on Aging will award up to $500,000 to researchers studying the association between epigenetics and age-related disease. As a scientist in the personalized health field who is passionate about the power of epigenetics, I couldn’t be more excited about this next step towards empowering people to take control of their health.

Epigenetics is a relatively new scientific field, examining the influence of environment and lifestyle on genetic expression. The insights that the study of epigenetics may lead to are all-encompassing, providing information about individualized ways to heal disease and reach optimal health. Most importantly, epigenetics shows us that health solutions must be personalized in order to be effective. I am thrilled that the National Institute on Aging is choosing to invest significant funds into these studies.

Epigenetics is what dictates the differences in appearance and health between two twins that may have been separated at birth and lived very different lifestyles. While DNA may plainly show a predisposition for certain disease, genes can be turned on or off, just like a light bulb. Epigenetic factors determine whether a gene is switched on or off.

For example, disease and aging may appear differently in two people with the same exact DNA if one smokes and the other does not, or if one is malnourished and the other is not. Other epigenetic factors, like climate, light, career, stress, and exercise can all influence the likelihood of disease expression in aging.

Ten years ago, I began my own journey with epigenetics and healing from disease. As I worked with physicians and epigenetic specialists to reach greater levels of health than ever before, I was inspired to find a way to share the efficacy of this approach with the world. This year, a team of international scientists, physicians, and other personalized health specialists founded ph360.

ph360 is a web-based personalized health app that integrates the cutting edge science of epigenetics with the wisdom of anthropometry (the scientific assessment of the body’s physical measurements) to deliver individualized suggestions for diet, exercise, weight loss, and lifestyle. As scientists backed by the National Institute on Aging work to improve the range of potential treatments and health solutions available to the aging population, ph360 will provide ongoing daily solutions based on epigenetic insight.

Last week, GenomeWeb reported, “The institute said these studies will focus on using epigenetics to address important questions in the emerging field of geroscience, which aims to relate the biology of aging to the development of chronic diseases and conditions that are prevalent among older populations.”

In the meantime, I invite you to explore the power of ph360 to enlighten you regarding the potential of epigenetics and personalized health solutions!

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