What is Epigenetics?

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Epigenetics (Photo credit: AJC1)

We talk about epigenetics on this site a lot but what is it? It’s a programming language within our cells that control our genes and DNA. It switches genes ON or OFF causing things to happen at the cellular level. Like a computer where the software turns instructions ON that form the various programs ewe run, epigenetics is the software and genes are the hardware.

Epigenetics are a chemical reaction that can enable or activate a gene or block it from being activated. These chemicals are methyl groups which comes from the environment we live in. It can be the food we eat, how we think (positive or negative), what we believe (placebo/nocebo), stress and exercise. Our body uses these chemical reactions to activate and deactivate genes or to send messages from one cell to another to do something.

There are no good/bad associated with these reactions but they can [positively or negatively affect our health and mental outlook. Early man & woman didn’t have the choices we have today. They were nomadic (got exercise), thought positive (were seekers and explorers), had low stress (except when chased by a saber-toothed tiger) and ate nutritious foods. They ate organic (it was all there was). They didn’t eat much meat (they probably got eaten more than they ate other animals). Their bodies evolved around this kind of simple life.

We have changed all this in the last 100 years. We don’t exercise, we are over stressed all the time, we eat junk food, and we all believe we will grow old and sick. And then we are shocked when it actually happens. Take control of your life and be well.

We are NOT DNA Predetermined but Environmentally Predetermined


An animal cell

An animal cell (Photo credit: Cindy Trussell)

Dr Lipton [See his videos on thios topic: Video #1 Video #2] says our environment feeds signals to our senses which feeds signals to our brains which filter these systems via our beliefs. The brain then sends signals to all cells which react to them causing certain genes to be activated. This activation creates RNA which encodes for a particular protein. The protein then can start the process over by signaling other cells. Dr Lipton can take a cell in a Petri Dish and remove its DNA. The cell continues to live and function. This proves our DNA is not what predetermines our cells actions but our environment does.