12.5 Diet and Health: Nutrigenomics

12.5 Diet and Health: Nutrigenomics


– WELCOME TO THE LAST SECTION IN
OUR SERIES ON DIET AND HEALTH. THIS SECTION IS
COVERING NUTRIGENOMICS. NUTRIGENOMICS IS
THE IMPACT OF FOOD AND THE METABOLITES OF FOOD
ON GENE EXPRESSION. AND GENE EXPRESSION IS
HOW INFORMATION IS PASSED FROM A GENE TO A PROTEIN. REMEMBER, GENES ARE PART OF OUR
DNA AND GENES CODE FOR PROTEINS. THE PROTEINS CARRY OUT CELLULAR
FUNCTIONS IN OUR BODIES, SO THEY’RE KIND OF
THE WORK FORCES IN OUR BODY. AND THE FACT THAT FOOD CAN HAVE
AN IMPACT ON GENE EXPRESSION AND ESSENTIALLY
PROTEIN SYNTHESIS AND THEY’RE ACTION IS
PRETTY INCREDIBLE. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT,
FOOD IMPACTS GENE EXPRESSION, WHICH MEANS THAT
FOOD IMPACTS CELLULAR FUNCTION ON THE GENETIC LEVEL. THIS IS IMPACTING OUR PROTEIN
SYNTHESIS OR THE CREATION OF PROTEINS BY BASICALLY
IMPACTING GENE EXPRESSION. REMEMBER THOSE PROTEINS WILL
ACT AT A CELLULAR LEVEL. WELL, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS GOING TO BE COVERED IN
THE CONTROVERSY IN CHAPTER 11. OKAY, FOR A BASIC REVIEW, REMEMBER WE HAVE OUR CELL
WITH OUR NUCLEUS. THE NUCLEUS
CONTAINS 46 CHROMOSOMES AND THIS CONTAINS 3
BILLION GENETIC LETTERS, GIVE OR TAKE A COUPLE, AND THESE ARE BASICALLY THOSE ARE THE COMPONENTS
OF OUR DNA. NOW, EACH SECTION OF THE DNA IS
GOING TO HAVE A GENE, AND THE GENE IS GOING TO CODE
OR ESSENTIALLY CREATE PROTEINS. SO THOSE PROTEINS ARE THEN GOING
TO CARRY OUT CELLULAR FUNCTIONS. NOW, WHEN WE THINK
ABOUT NUTRIGENOMICS IT’S NOT ABOUT FOOD CHANGING GENES. WHATEVER GENES WE HAVE
ARE HERE TO STAY. OUR DNA IS OUR DNA; THAT DOESN’T CHANGE, BUT IT’S HOW FOOD
INFLUENCES GENES. IT ACTIVATES AND TURNS
THEM ON OR TURNS THEM OFF, BUT THIS ISN’T WITH ALL GENES. AND I’M GOING TO SIMPLIFY THIS. THIS IS MORE COMPLEX THAN THIS, BUT I LIKE TO THINK ABOUT
GENES IN TWO CATEGORIES. WE HAVE OUR COMMANDER GENES; THESE GENES ARE SAYING,
“YOU KNOW, YOUR EYES WILL BE BLUE. YOUR HAIR WILL BE BROWN,”
AND THAT’S IT. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT FOOD, ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
YOU’RE AROUND, THAT’S HERE TO STAY. I CALL THOSE COMMANDER GENES. THEN I CALL THEM THE
PEER PRESSURE GENES, AND THESE GENES ARE A
LITTLE MORE WISHY-WASHY. THEY’RE INFLUENCED BY THEIR
SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT, MEANING THAT YOUR DIET
OR YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS CAN ACTUALLY
INFLUENCE THESE GENES. SO THESE ARE THE GENES WE’RE TALKING ABOUT WITH
THE NUTRIGENOMICS. THEY CAN BE INFLUENCED. THEY CAN BE ACTIVATED,
TURNED ON, OR TURNED OFF. AND THE WAY THIS WORKS IS WHEN A
NUTRIENT COMES INTO THE BODY IT WILL EITHER ACTIVATE GENE
EXPRESSION OR SILENCE IT, AND THAT’S GENERALLY THE
TERMINOLOGY THEY USE. NOW, THIS MEANS, REMEMBER, GENE EXPRESSION IS THAT GENE
CODING FOR A PROTEIN OR CREATING A PROTEIN THAT CAN CARRY OUT
SOME CELLULAR FUNCTION. SO THAT MEANS IF THE
GENE IS ACTIVATED, THE NUTRIENT ACTIVATES
GENE EXPRESSION, PROTEIN SYNTHESIS OR PROTEIN
CREATION IS INCREASED, AND THAT’S GOING TO
CAUSE CELLULAR CHANGES OR CHANGES
IN CELLULAR FUNCTION. AND THAT WILL
EITHER CONTRIBUTE TO DISEASE PROGRESSION
OR PREVENTION. NOW, IT ALL DEPENDS
ON WHAT GENE IT IS, WHAT PROTEIN IT CODES,
OR ETCETERA. AND THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE. A NUTRIENT MIGHT SILENCE A GENE,
MEANING THERE’S LESS OF THAT PROTEIN AND THAT ALSO
CHANGES THE CELLULAR FUNCTION. AND, AGAIN, DEPENDING ON
WHAT GENE IT IS AND WHAT NUTRIENT IT IS AND WHAT
PROTEIN IT CODES FOR, DISEASE WILL EITHER
PROGRESS OR BE PREVENTED. AGAIN, THIS ISN’T ONE NUTRIENT
THAT’S GOING TO CAUSE SOMETHING OR PREVENT SOMETHING,
A CHRONIC DISEASE. REMEMBER THERE ARE MANY
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS, SO IT’S ALMOST AS IF THIS EFFECT
IS GOING TO BE CUMULATIVE. AND WHAT I WANT YOU TO KNOW IS JUST THE DEFINITION
OF NUTRIGENOMICS, THE GENERAL CONCEPT
OF HOW THIS WORKS, AND HOW POWERFUL IT IS TO
THINK ABOUT OUR FOOD THAT WE ARE EATING IS CHANGING OUR CELLULAR
FUNCTIONS AT A GENETIC LEVEL. THAT’S ALL I’M GOING TO
TALK ABOUT FOR THIS SECTION, AND THIS IS GOING TO BE THE END OF OUR SERIES ON
DIET AND HEALTH.