Epigenetics, DNA Methylation, and Arsenic

epigeneticsIf you have followed my blogs, you have undoubtedly come across the concept of methylation being important, VERY IMPORTANT, for your health and I suspect normal development. This is why folate and vitamin B-12 are so critical.  Epigenetics is the area of genetics that will continue to get the lion’s share of attention in the next decade and you’ll hear news report after news report about a new genetic link to this disease and that disease.  Most of these will be epigenetic in nature and the mechanism for all these toxins to affect us is? …..drum roll……

DNA methylation!

The study just released gives evidence that it is the DNA methylation that is affected by arsenic exposure while pregnant.  I’m willing to lay bets that this will turn out to be important for many of the toxins. 

As a future parent what should you do?
Don’t throw your arms up in despair and say “it’s too complicated”, “we’re all going to die anyway”, and “I can’t figure all this out”.  Here are a few steps I highly recommend before you get pregnant, but it’s never too late to start:

 

1.  Take extra folate and B-12 to support methylation and thus the normal reading of your genetics, removal of toxins, and development of neurotransmitters.

2.  Avoid toxins (pesticides, heavy metals, plastics). The best way is to drink filtered water and eat organic and free-range (if meat eater), and avoid all processed foods.

3.  Take extra vitamin D (5000 IU a day for adults).

4.  Eat lots of organic fruits and vegetables.

5.  Avoid stress.

6.  Exercise

7.  Stay connected with a loving, supportive group (family, friends, church, activities).

 

These are not in any particular order of importance, but chances are the things on this list that you are NOT doing are the most important for you.

Here is the link to the recent study on arsenic-induced epigenetic alterations:
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1205925/

Dr. Paul

 

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