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The Past, Present & Future You with Genetics



In this illuminating episode, I had the privilege of chatting with Dr. Yael Joffe, a leading expert in the fields of genetics and epigenetics. Our discussion revolved around the intricate ways our genes and environment interact, and how understanding these interactions can empower us to take control of our health and wellbeing.



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Meet Our Guest

Dr. Yael Joffe is a globally recognised thought leader in the field of nutrigenomics, which examines the relationship between nutrition and our genetic makeup. She has a background in dietetics, a PhD in Nutrigenomics, and a relentless passion for personalised health and genetic testing.


Genetics and Epigenetics: The Basics

We begin by explaining the fundamental differences between genetics and epigenetics. Genetics refers to our unique DNA letter sequence which remains unchanged throughout our lives. Epigenetics involves changes in gene expression that do not alter the DNA sequence but are influenced by all areas of our lifestyle, these changes can switch genes on or off and significantly impact our health.


The Power of Nutrigenomics

One of the most compelling parts of our conversation was Yael's insights into nutrigenomics. This field studies how our nutrition interacts with our genes to affect our health. Yael emphasised that while we cannot change our genetic code, we can influence gene expression through our lifestyle choices. This means that by making informed dietary and lifestyle changes, we can optimise our health and mitigate the risks of genetic predispositions.

The Myth of One Gene Causing Disease

A particularly eye opening part of our discussion was Yael’s clarification on the common misconception that a single gene can cause a disease. She explained that the relationship between genes and diseases is far more complex. Most diseases result from the interaction of multiple genes and environmental factors rather than a single genetic mutation. This myth oversimplifies the true nature of genetic influences on health and underscores the importance of looking at the bigger picture when it comes to genetic predispositions.


The Broccoli Connection

Yael also shared an interesting example involving broccoli, a food superheo, to illustrate how our diet can influence gene expression. She pointed out that broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that can activate many genes responsible for detoxification and anti-inflammatory responses simultaneously. But in order for this to happen the brocolli needs to be raw!


Personalised Health Strategies

Yael shared how personalised health strategies, based on genetic and epigenetic information, can lead to more effective and sustainable health outcomes. For instance, understanding one's genetic predisposition to certain conditions, such as lactose intolerance or vitamin deficiencies, allows for tailored dietary recommendations. This personalised approach can help prevent disease, enhance well-being, and promote longevity.


Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding Genetics and Epigenetics: Genetics is about the DNA we inherit, while epigenetics involves changes in gene expression influenced by lifestyle and environment.

  2. The Role of Nutrigenomics: Our nutrition can interact with our genes, affecting our health and potentially mitigating genetic predispositions.

  3. Personalised Health: Tailored health strategies can lead to more effective and sustainable health outcomes.

  4. Genetic Testing: Everyone has a unique genetic code and by translating this code we can get to know ourselves better.


Conclusion

The journey into the world of genetics and epigenetics was fascinating and enlightening. Our genetic make up is the prequel to our own story and in order to fully understand who we are we need to know what it says. The 3X4 genetic test created by Dr Yael Joffe is an exciting development in making genetic testing available to everyone. I hope you found these insights as intruguing as I did and feel inspired to explore the possibilities of personalised medicine in your own health journey.



 

The Chronic Illness Coach Podcast


The Chronic Illness Coach Podcast challenges listeners to believe that all chronic illnesses can be put into remission. Alex is on a mission to engage, educate and empower those living with a chronic illness who want to change their life for the better. Join your host as she shares her journey of living with a chronic illness and invites expert guests to break down complex niches of health, science and wellness. Each episode is a lifeline for listeners, offering practical strategies, emotional support, and a sense of community. 


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