Did you know that our daily habits can turn genes on or off? It’s known as gene expression or epigentcis. Gene expression is a process in which certain genes are turned on or off during one’s lifetime. The human body contains approximately 100 trillion cells. Within each cell is the nucleus. Inside every nucleus of every cell are our genes. Experts estimate that the average human has over 20,000 genes. Some of these genes came from our mothers and some from our fathers.
Our daily behavior, our daily habits, can turn genes on or off. Bad habits can turn off good genes and turn on bad genes, opening the door to cancer, diabetes, various addictions, brain damage, heart disease, etc. Bad habits can also create long-term stress in the form of financial problems, job loss, health issues, etc. Long-term stress increases the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Like a domino effect, cortisol switches on a series of specific bad genes that can lead to heart disease, cancer and immunological disorders. Some of the bad habits that turn bad genes on include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Drug use
- Not eating healthy or eating too much junk food can change your DNA
- Lack of daily aerobic exercise
- Consuming too much sugar
- Not exercising our brains by reading or learning new skills
- Negative emotions and negative thinking
Conversely, good habits can turn bad genes off and turn good genes on. Also, the byproduct of good habits is reduced stress resulting from financial independence, happiness, good health etc. Some of these good habits include:
- Daily reading or learning new skills, which can turn on genes that increase your IQ
- Daily aerobic exercise, which can turn on genes that prevent heart disease, asthma and other immunological disorder
- Meditation, which can turn off bad genes that contribute to the onset of various types of diseases and turn on good genes that prevent such diseases
- Positive thinking and positive emotions alter the brain’s chemistry which increases or decreases gene expression
Habits are not harmless. They can alter your DNA by changing your genome. What makes matters even worse is that when you change your DNA you can pass along this altered DNA to the next generation.