HEALTH & WELLNESS
My Passion For a Healthy Way of Living
I love sharing cutting edge research in the area of natural and preventative medicine. Although I am passionate about preventative medicine, I am by no means fanatical about my health. I enjoy my wine and dessert, I’m not super skinny, I only exercise about three times per week, but I do a lot that my body does thank me for! I have always been ahead of my time when it comes to wellness. I was eating organic, eliminating toxins from my house, drinking alkaline water & green juices and using essential oils for example, long before all of this hit mainstream, and I’m going to be honest, I took a lot of crap for it from some friends and family in the beginning. I lived and continue to live in my truth, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I do what’s best for me and expect you to do what’s best for you. If any of the information that I provide helps even just one person heal, have more energy, feel uplifted or slow the aging process then I’ve done my job.
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Have you ever wondered why a certain diet worked wonders for your best friend, but you didn’t lose any weight? Or why one twin develops Type II diabetes, but the other twin doesn’t? The answer is highly personal—it’s in your DNA and the lifestyle choices you make.
We grow up hearing about how unique each of us is, but we often forget that our uniqueness goes down to the cellular level. It’s the reason why someone like comedian George Burns can live to be 100, even with a notable smoking habit, while other people die of lung cancer in their 40s. Science has made tremendous advances in understanding human DNA, and now we’re able to more easily use genetic research to our advantage, especially when it comes to our diet.
To understand this concept a little better, here are a few definitions to know:
- Genome means the genetic material that you’re born with: your DNA. This cannot be changed—think “written in pen.”
- Epigenome means the network of chemical compounds that interacts with the genome by directing which genetic material to activate or which to leave inactive—the mechanism that “turns on” or “turns off” your DNA. The epigenome is affected by personal health, diet, nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle choices—think “written in pencil”—thus affecting which genetic material is active.
- Nutrigenomics is a field that combines the study of nutrition and gene expression. Scientists working in this field investigate how nutrients and other bioactive components in food affect important metabolic and physiological processes by “turning on” or “turning off” certain genes.
Turning genes on and off? It may sound like science fiction, but it’s very real. Nutrigenomics has come a long way in a short time and has developed a wealth of information that can be used by anyone concerned about personalizing their healthcare plan.
Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, one of the top researchers in the nutrigenomics field, investigates how the foods we eat interact with our genes to affect our health. In an interview with John Berardi, Dr. El-Sohemy gives a few examples of how this concept plays out:
- Compounds found in broccoli can switch on a gene that helps the body detoxify some of the chemicals we’re exposed to every day. This gene is missing in about 20% of the general population who won’t get the detoxification benefits (though they will still get the other benefits of healthy eating).
- In some people, creatine supplementation provides large increases in performance and increases lean mass. In others with different DNA, there is no response at all.
- Studies with caffeinated coffee show that for some individuals, drinking coffee lowers the risk of heart attacks. But in other individuals, the same dose of coffee actually increases the risk of heart attacks.
See how different foods and substances affect each of us differently? That’s why some people may bulk up with creatine and others don’t notice any benefits. And it’s also why your body may have a more difficult time losing weight. The research in nutrigenomics has also found that what food tells your genes affects your metabolism. Mark Hyman describes nutrigenomics like this: The new science of nutrigenomics teaches us what specific foods tell your genes. What you eat directly determines the genetic messages your body receives. These messages, in turn, control all the molecules that constitute your metabolism: the molecules that tell your body to burn calories or store them. If you can learn the language of your genes and control the messages and instructions they give your body and your metabolism, you can radically alter how food interacts with your body, lose weight, and optimize your health. Ultra-metabolism: the simple plan for automatic weight loss. New York: Atria Books; 2006. p. 24.
The implications of this research are huge. It determines, for example, why certain medications work for some people, but not for others, or why people need different doses of medication. And while studies often show inconsistencies about how nutrients, supplements, and other bioactives work in the body, everything depends on the DNA of the subjects being studied. On a personal level, nutrigenomics can help you understand yourself better. Pay close attention to what type of diet, exercise, or supplements work best for you. This, in turn, will give you the best results when working towards better health.
Nrf2 is a powerful protein that is latent within each cell in the body, unable to move or operate until it is released by an Nrf2 activator.
Once released it migrates into the cell nucleus and bonds to the DNA at the location of the Antioxidant Response Element (ARE) or also called hARE (Human Antioxidant Response Element) which is the master regulator of the total antioxidant system that is available in ALL human cells.
This balancing act can become disrupted as one ages, or if the body is overcome by malfunction and disease resulting in further cellular damage. This damage is known as oxidative stress and is accompanied by free radical production. Oxidative stress and the associated free radical damage contributes to the progression of hundreds of of diseases and aging symptoms.
Direct antioxidants such as vitamin C, Vitamin E, berries and juices have typically been used to neutralize free radicals and to prevent the damage they cause. One molecule of antioxidants from these sources neutralizes one free radical, i.e. they combat free radicals on a one to one ratio. However there comes a tipping point where the direct antioxidants are inadequate to take care of the damage.
A better approach to fighting free radicals is to use the body’s own self defense mechanism. When Nrf2 is activated in the nucleus, it turns on the production of antioxidant enzymes such as Catalase, Glutathione and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). These antioxidant enzymes are powerful enough to neutralize up to one million free radicals per second, every second. This one to one million ratio proves to be a far more effective approach in combating aging and disease.
Since the Nrf2 protein remains dormant in a cell until it is activated by a Nrf2 activator. The challenge is to determine what activates Nrf2 to take advantage of the one to one million free radical neutralization mentioned above?
Through the study of Nutrigenomics, it has been determined that a variety of foods are powerful activators of the Nrf2 pathway.
“While not necessarily rich in antioxidants, they directly and dramatically amplify our innate ability to produce vast antioxidant protection by signaling our DNA. In this way, specific molecules from Nrf2 activating foods can trigger the production of thousands of antioxidant molecules, providing far better protection against the brain-damaging effects of free radicals compared to standard antioxidant supplements.” Dr. David Perlmutter M.D Huffington Post 1/25/11Nrf2, a master regulator of detoxification and also antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other cytoprotective mechanisms, is raised by health promoti... - PubMed - NCBI
Why is it important to understand oxidative stress?
Read the article below and then go to the National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine and type in any disease you can think of & oxidative stress and you will find a connection. Then watch the following ABC News Prime Time Report with John Quinones and you will learn why direct antioxidants are not enough to sufficiently fight oxidative stress in your body.
What is Oxidative Stress?www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Oxidative-Stress.aspx
Life Vantage is a biotech company that trades on the Global NASDAQ, and is based on peer-reviewed independent studies validated by the National Institutes of Health. We are at the forefront of two significant and emerging fields in anti-aging and preventative medicine called Nutrigenomics and Nrf2 Activation. According to Washington State University, Nrf2 may be the most extraordinary breakthrough in preventative medicine in the history of medicine.
This is the only company of its kind that I would ever dream of partnering with and all aspects of my life have been positively affected because of it. To learn more watch the informational videos below and/or visit my Life Vantage products page at hollycouch.lifevantage.com.