Too often has the idea that genes are responsible for one’s ailing health or lack of control over their weight, cropped up in both research and common dialogue. Although there have been many studies showing that genes play a role in a variety of metabolic processes and diseases, more recent studies indicate that the percentage they play may not be as large as once thought.
Isn’t Science Pretty Much Infallible?
Science is an amazing tool that has helped propel humanity into the modern age. Without the amazing discoveries and the countless hours of research followed by practical developments, humankind would still be living in the Dark Ages. The challenge with science is that it is a human institution, subject to the whims and excitement of emotional beings. Genetics and their role are governed by these very strengths and weaknesses. The pinnacle of excitement surrounding genes was around the time the Human Genome was decoded. This heralded a new direction for geneticists and subsequently created a new outlet of possibilities and excuses for the human condition. This, however, isn’t the whole truth. It is important to understand the role of genes and what they code for and the possible expressions they may take. It is equally important to understand the personal role we can take in shaping these genetic expressions.
What Role Do Genes Play in Obesity?
There has been a relatively long-standing idea that genes are responsible for obesity. It has been written into the conclusions of many research papers and worked its way into the daily vernacular. “I’m just big-boned,” has been replaced with, “it’s just my genetics.” The idea of personal responsibility has therefore been sloughed off onto a scientific idea that is still in the burgeoning stages of discovery. A study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine reported that there is very little correlation between obesity, diabetes, and one’s genes. The chief researcher at Biomedical Research Center of Louisiana State University clearly stated that there has already been a long history of research indicating that people who stick to a particular diet are able to lose weight and reap the benefits of that lifestyle change. This ideology is contary to the idea that as humans we are slaves to our genetic codes.
Science is starting to catch up with some ancient “truths,” ideas that were well established in certain small communities. These ideas were one of leading a complete and healthy life. The components of which there is little space to detail here, save for that it includes a healthy diet and exercise. Recent studies are showing that one has the ability to regulate the expression of their own genes through eating a healthier diet. This new field is referred to as nutrigenomics. The details and mechanism of action can be quite complex, but the simple truth is that a healthier life can influence one’s overall physical and mental health on more levels than previously thought.
About the Author: Lawrence Sylou-Creutz Ojermark is the founder and CEO of Plenary Fitness, a complete health system incorporating the major elements needed for radical transformation. Lawrence has done research in biotech, has been a physical fitness trainer, studied eastern medicine for years in Asia, studied several modalities of massage, years of martial arts training under some world-reknown masters, has studied nutrition, and is the author of a few internationally sold health books.
Hyman, MD, Mark. “Why Your Genes Don’t Determine Your Health.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 01 Jan. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.
Lawrence Sylou-Creutz Ojermark. “Plenary Fitness: A Guide to Health, Fitness and Happiness.” Plenary Fitness Publishing, June 2011.