Understanding Genotype, Phenotype and Epigenetics

Genotype

  1. The genetic makeup, as distinguished from the physical appearance, of an organism or a group of organisms.
  2. The combination of alleles located on homologous chromosomes that determines a specific characteristic or trait.

Phenotype

  1. The observable physical or biochemical characteristics of an organism, as determined by both genetic makeup and environmental influences. The expression of a specific trait, such as stature or blood type, based on genetic and environmental influences.
  2. An individual or group of organisms exhibiting a particular phenotype.

How many times have you heard that you are at the mercy of your deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA for short)? That we inherit various genetic predispositions (i.e. illness, disease) from our parents and grandparents, and that there is precious little that we can do about it other than accept it, and as we get older prepare ourselves for the inevitable? We've been hearing this ostensible fact from very early on in our existence, from our parents, teachers, doctors, and of course my favorite, various news media including CNN (The most trusted name in news).

Well, I'm here to tell you that the emerging scientific evidence is suggesting otherwise! Before I continue, I would like to stress that I'm just the researcher, so if you don't like what is written, please take the time to investigate things for yourself. A rebellious, close-minded attitude may not serve you best in this situation, or in most cases in life.

Our genotype is the 30,000 genes that we are born with, and our phenotype is the environment that those genes are exposed to, which will determine their expression. There are numerous environmental factors that we must take into consideration as we attempt to understand the interplay between genes and their expression. These variables include the foods we eat, our choice of supplementation, prescription meds, chemicals, toxins, and poisons that we are exposed to on a daily bases, and of course the most influential of them all, the thoughts we think and the feelings we feel. That's right, the thoughts we think and the feelings we feel have momentous affects on our biology, according to the area of cutting edge science known as epigenetics.

In other words, our belief systems are responsible for how our genes behave. For example, when looking at adopted children, with zero genetic connection to the adopting parents, it has been shown that later in life these children end up expressing the same disease processes as their adopting parents and NOT their biological counterpart. The idea is that these children (just like the rest of us), are subject to the beliefs, which we learn from our parents and our environment, that determine our genetic expression as we progress through life.

The idea that we inherit our diseases is not only incorrect but it is also disempowering. To think that there is nothing that can be done to modulate our genetic expression, and that we are all sitting ducks waiting for the inexorable is obviously defeatist. Who wants to live like that? I sure as heck do not. Isn't it much more exciting to know that all is within our control? So how does this epigenetic thing work? Well, first we need to understand a few things.

Number one, we are a collection of approximately 50 trillion cells, different shapes, sizes and function, with each cell communicating with every other cell through a process known as intercellular communication and intracellular transduction (via countless molecular messengers). All this communication goes on via the brains of the cell, which despite conventional thinking, is not located in the nucleus (or the nucleolus), but rather in the cell membrane. This is why it is so imperative that the cell membrane be made up of EPA (marine lipids and not flaxseed oil as only 4% of it converts to EPA/DHA) predominately. Once brain health is established, each cell is able to move forward effectively surveying and responding to its environment efficiently. Its environment is going to be impacted by various foods, nutrients and chemicals as mentioned above, however more than that the cells want to know how life is out there. The only way it can know this is by how we choose to feel, and thus the sensations of feelings that systemically flood our bodies. Consequently, the way we elect to perceive our reality, is what will dictate the flood of feelings (molecular messengers) that speak to our cells. In addition, it also behooves us to understand that happy, joyous, loving feelings are expansive, while negative, stressful feelings are contractive, and our cells cannot expand and contract at the same time. Happy healthy cells are full of life and are round (70% intracellular water), while stressed cells are smaller and crenated (intracellular water may be as low as 50% or lower depending on illness).

Feelings can be so wonderfully enjoyable, while at the same time they can elicit such deep suffering. Therefore, the science of epigenetics suggests that choosing to love ourselves, each other and choosing to perceive our world as a place of beauty, abundance and tranquility is a perception that leads to a cornucopia of healthy cells and healing. The science is suggesting that the choice is ours and ours only. Hence, nothing and no one has more control over the level of health that we will enjoy than ourselves.

How do you get started? The first thing to do is make sure you are consuming copious amounts of marine lipids (EPA/DHA) in a clean high quality supplement form. The standard dose is about 6 grams daily. In addition, attempting to consume an alkalizing diet (lots of greens and clean high ph water) and supplementing with chlorophyll, chlorella, or any greens product is also of utmost importance. Next, I highly encourage you to read the book The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton, who is the pioneer of this cutting edge research. You can also tune into his lecture on the subject by finding him on you tube, in my humble opinion a must for all to see! I believe people are intelligent and want to read the scientific data behind this obviously monumental and groundbreaking information. It is important to understand how it all works, because the deeper the awareness the more passionate is the application.

Remember that yesterday is the untouchable and unchangeable past, and tomorrow is always a day away. All we have is this moment, so to look beyond it keeps us from enjoying the wondrous beauty that surrounds us all. Look around and see the joy and magnificence that exists in everything and everyone, I promise you can't miss it, as it is everywhere.

March 2011 – Issue XI – Fit & Firm Magazine 121

– Reprinted With Permission