You wonder why your best friend can eat what she likes, yet the minute you look at that chocolate cake you can feel it on your hips? It may be that her default gene expression setting is one that gives her a brilliant metabolism compared with yours. But don’t give up, all is not lost; it is possible that those settings can be adjusted.
Our behaviour affects the behaviour of our DNA. Yes, we have the same DNA as we are born with for all our lives but, the expression of that DNA changes. There are too many genes to be read when new cells are being made and so we turn a lot of genes off to make the job easier. For example we may turn off the gene that regulates inflammation or the gene that helps us to burn fat or build strong bones. Our early lives shape our default settings of our gene expression (which are turned on and which are off) but we are still able to alter these settings by changing the environment that our body experiences.
Scientists are only just beginning to identify which genes affect particular functions in our bodies, let alone able to tell the optimum settings for all of them. The body is incredibly complicated but, at the same time, it is also incredibly clever! We do not know the optimum gene expression settings but it does, and giving your body a nutritionally healthy diet, good quality sleep, exercise, sunshine and tranquillity, gives it a brilliant set of tools to work with.
With the above in mind, a nutritional therapist is able to assess you current diet and lifestyle and suggest areas of improvement. It is very easy to get stuck with bad habits and a good nutritional therapist will help to identify and correct these. We can identity nutritional deficiencies, for example a lack of a certain vitamin or mineral, and suggest foods to consume which will replenish stocks of this and help the body get closer to optimum functionality.
Additionally, antioxidant capacity can be assessed; antioxidants help to fight free radicals. Free radicals are those pesky atoms which roam around our body damaging our healthy cells by stealing oxygen molecules for themselves. When damaged cells reproduce, the resulting cells can then also be damaged which means they are then unable to do their job correctly. High amounts of this can lead to issues such as faster ageing and tumours. A nutritional therapist can help to identify and reduce sources of free radicals in your diet and identify and increase antioxidant sources.
A good Nutritional Therapist will treat each and every one of their Clients as an individual and take in to consideration their current condition of health, likes, dislikes and lifestyle. It is my opinion that almost everyone would benefit in some way from visiting a Nutritional Therapist.
Author: Julie Parker