Holistic Health Secrets of the Epigenome
To understand the epigenome, we must first understand where all the magic takes place: in each cell of our body.
Cell and epigenome
The cell is the smallest autonomous living unit in our body. This means that a cell averaging no more than ten microns in size can convert nutrients into energy, breathe and reproduce. It can also repair itself and communicate with the outside world.
To carry out its tasks, the cell has a membrane that provides it with a stable entity defining its identity and therefore its physical integrity. This complex membrane enables the cell to select the molecules that enter and leave it, so it can feed itself, evacuate its waste, communicate and release the molecules it produces (e.g. hormones).
Our genetic heritage, called DNA, is stored inside the cell in a special structure called the nucleus. This double protection limits the risk of DNA damage, as any alteration of the DNA can lead to genetic diseases or cancer.
However, DNA doesn’t just serve to reproduce the cell, making it possible to have an extra cell by doubling. DNA serves as a template for the synthesis of all the proteins made by the cell.
And what becomes of the proteins made by the cell according to the model contained in the DNA?
- Hormones such as insulin
- Enzymes such as proteases
- Transport proteins such as hemoglobin
- Muscular structural proteins such as actin
- Defense proteins such as antibodies
So any modification of DNA can have dramatic consequences for our organism.
However, what few people know is that DNA is regulated. DNA is like a library: it contains information, but it doesn’t decide what information to read and produce.
All the proteins that act on DNA and all the chemical modifications made to DNA are grouped together under the term epigenome.
Understanding the Epigenome
The epigenome is made up of hundreds of molecules that regulate DNA expression. Saying that we understand the epigenome is a clearly exaggerated statement. The reality is that the epigenome is very complex, and we discover more about it every day.
Epigenetics, the science that studies the functioning of the epigenome, can be considered as vital as genetics, if not more so, because, unlike DNA, we can act on the epigenome.
Epigenetics is studied at two levels:
- The molecular level
- The lifestyle and environment level
Naturally, epigenetics has been an integral part of natural medicine for millennia as it is the core of natural medicine’s ability to act on everything that influences the expression of our DNA.
On the contrary, epigenetics has only become important for conventional medicine in recent years, forced to recognize its power after negating it for many decades.
Importance of the Epigenome
Today, a majority of the population does not realize the impact of a poor lifestyle on health, or at least greatly underestimates it.
Although your DNA is undeniably important, what is going to change and evolve during your lifetime is your epigenome.
In that sense, we can say that the epigenome is the biggest health field for improvement.
To give an illustrated example, we can say that your DNA is like a gift that you receive at birth, and your epigenome is what you do with that gift during all your life. You cannot change the gift but you can hugely impact what you do with it.
Sadly, there are many hassles along the way that prevent people from understanding the crucial importance of the epigenome, here are the biggest two:
- Society’s norms
- Delayed consequences
This is an ancestral issue based on the fact that everything is relative depending on what we are comparing. Most people like conformism, and therefore they aspire to be “normal,” like the others.
When the general population is healthy, then this is not a problem, but when it becomes sick then it quickly creates an issue.
Lowering the average health level creates a new normal that is in reality, not normal.
By comparing themselves to others, people get the feeling that, overall, their lifestyle is quite good when, in reality, it is clearly harmful to their health.
This is why, in a Holistic natural care approach, we always teach our patients to compare their health state only with their previous health state and not with somebody else. That way, if the global population has a bad lifestyle, they will not fall into the trap of thinking that they have a good one by comparing it to others.
We can say that this is a positive and negative point at the same time. It is positive because it’s one of the vital functions needed for us to survive. It is negative because it gives us a hard time understanding the consequences of our mistakes.
In other words, it is not because we don’t immediately pay for our mistakes that we should do them on purpose for all our lives or at least think that the bill will never be paid.
For example, bad fats, bad sugars, and inflammatory proteins destroy your vessels, but it can take 10, 20 or 30 years before you have a stroke or a heart attack.
Another good example is with drugs. Smoking or drinking damages your whole body, but it can take years before you develop severe diseases like cancer or liver cirrhosis.
For that issue, the only remedy is knowledge and wisdom. Knowing how the epigenome works and how the lifestyle and environment influence it is key to getting wiser in life choices regarding your health.
Oversimplification and bad advice
Now let’s imagine that we need to explain the impact of lifestyle habits and the living environment on current or future diseases, the mechanism of which would be the disruption of DNA expression. It’s an arduous task.
That’s why conventional medicine decided to take a very different approach to the subject compared to natural medicine.
Health authorities have basically oversimplified and summarized disease prevention with advice such as “eat five fruit and vegetables a day”. Needless to say that we’re going nowhere with this kind of advice.
The reality is that the epigenome is complex and needs to be approached with personalized health care done by professionals.
Although oversimplification and shortcuts are bad, it’s important that the patient understands it to become more independent and capable of making better health choices.
This is why we have created Holistic Natural Health Experts, to give to the people an accessible knowledge about various health topics, including the epigenome.
The Relationship between Holistic Health and the Epigenome
As we mentioned above, it is within the core of natural medicines to care for the epigenome. For that, they are mainly working on two different aspects:
- Preserving health and preventing disease
- Treat illnesses naturally within the limits of their possibilities
Natural medicines did not study the body at the molecular level as we do today. Nevertheless, molecular discoveries only confirm the knowledge of natural medicine.
Observation, the study of human and animal physiology, ecosystems, diet and the absence of chemical pollution have enabled us to understand the causes of disease, and the impact of climate, physical activity and emotions on our bodies.
Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. Knowledge was built up differently from one era and country to the next, but today we have access to the consolidation of this knowledge and its practical application.
Constitution and temperament
The particularity of the analyses and advice given by experts in natural medicines is that they are personalized according to the patient’s constitution, temperament and health problems.
The constitution and temperament presented in our health concept webinars are intrinsically linked to a person’s genetics and epigenetics. This means that our advice, like our treatments, will be personalized!
Natural medicine experts use not only their knowledge to personalize their advice, but also specific blood tests to highlight physiological dysfunctions.
At the heart of the natural medicines we advocate, diet is certainly the mainstay of the epigenome for three reasons:
- The supply of macro and micro nutrients essential to the functioning of our organism (and therefore of the cell and the epigenome)
- The development and maintenance of a healthy flora
- Exclusion of food pollutants and toxins, as well as harmful foods (which are detrimental to the functioning of the cell and the epigenome).
While a plant-based diet, as described in our book: “Healthy Food: Your Fundamental Right”, is the healthy food of reference, it must be personalized according to the individual’s constitution, temperament and lifestyle.
What’s more, with healthy eating we obviously include the non-use of legal or illegal drugs, as well as an overall healthy lifestyle.
Yet many people downplay junk food, even homemade junk food, when in fact epigenetic studies have shown an alteration of the epigenome (through disruption of intestinal flora) with just a weekend of junk food.
Unquestionably, without physical activity, our epigenome cannot function at its optimum.
A sedentary lifestyle is the bane of our society. As a matter of principle, blood and lymph circulation, which nourish our organs and tissues as well as evacuate our waste products, need movement.
Without physical activity, intestinal movement diminishes and disrupts transit. Without physical activity, particularly walking, our cerebral hemispheres communicate less well. And at a microscopic level, for our cells, without movement, everything goes haywire.
All natural medicines have advocated movement, walking in the fresh air, in nature, thermal baths and sun exposure.
The naturist movement defends the concept of maximum contact of our bodies with nature, but without going that far, the simple act of walking barefoot on the grass or lying down in it considerably reduces the stress accumulated in our artificial dwellings. And stress is the enemy of our epigenome.
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Stress the enemy of our epigenome
We’re not talking here about positive stress, the kind that comes from passion or joy. We’re talking about stress that releases excess cortisol and adrenaline, and ends up keeping you awake at night.
The hormonal changes brought about by stress directly modify DNA expression, because steroid hormones, including cortisol, act directly on the cell nucleus.
The use of anabolics for doping proceeds in a similar way: modifying the epigenome to increase muscle mass made up of proteins synthesized by the cell on the orders of the anabolics. The circle is complete.
Tips for Holistic Epigenetic Health
The first and best tip is to learn more about the subject. In our field experience working with patients for decades, we can guarantee you that most of the mistakes are made because people simply do not know!
For that, you have everything on our platform to learn more about various topics of your epigenome, starting with your diet.
We also recommend you watch our special webinar series called Health Concepts, where we teach a lot about understanding the epigenome..
Holistic natural health check-up
The second tip is to make a holistic natural health check-up. This will allow you to know in reality what your current health status is and what your best options are.
With that in hand, it’s important to determine a strategy in order to improve your lifestyle depending on your situation and your possibilities.
For that, we advise you to get the help of a holistic natural health expert.
The third tip is to think about the global coherence of your actions. For example, improving your exercise but eating junk food will annihilate your effort. It is therefore important to improve your lifestyle globally and not just focus on one or two points.
Don’t fall for anti-aging marketing tips
Finally, we advise you not to fall for anti-aging marketing recommendations.
The marketing around anti-aging and, therefore epigenetics often presents simple and obvious things as revolutionary:
- Get enough sleep
- Eat early in the evening or not at all (intermittent fasting)
- Join a fitness club or do yoga
- Take some overpriced supplements to lengthen telomeres (structures that protect DNA)
- And so on.
In the end, people are lost when those tips are not enough to make significant changes in their health, as the biggest part is missing: personalized natural medicine treatments.
We’ve all been given a different set of cards to live our lives. Some were given very good cards, others not so good. We can’t change the cards we’ve been dealt, but we can play the cards we’re dealt very well.
This is what epigenetics is all about, and natural medicine is here to help us live our lives to the full.
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Barone Holistic Experts is a distinguished team of three highly skilled natural healthcare professionals. With certifications in Naturopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine, they possess a collective experience of over 50 years.
Their primary focus is on delivering personalized treatments and creating comprehensive long-term plans that enable individuals to achieve optimal health. They prioritize the unique needs of each client, striving to provide the best possible results.
Renowned as pioneers and authorities in alternative therapies, this team has gained a well-deserved reputation. Through their combined expertise and collaborative efforts, they offer an extensive range of solutions to their clients.
These include homeopathy, aromatherapy, phytotherapy, reflex methods (Auriculotherapy, Sympathicotherapy, Reflexology), manual techniques (Osteopathy, Tui Na, Reboutology, Trigger point, Fascia therapy), Nutrition and micro nutrition, and many more.
Beyond their clinical practice, they are deeply committed to educating their clients about holistic health. They empower individuals by educating them on how to improve their well-being through dietary choices, lifestyle modifications, and mindful life decisions.