OPTIMUS HEALTH

EPIGENETICS

Epigenetics is all about ways of affecting the modifications of gene expression, rather than the genes themselves. The DNA contains instructions for building all the cells in our bodies. However, it is not only the make-up of the DNA that affects our bodies. Surrounding the DNA in our cells we find so-called histones, a basic protein responsible for packaging the cellular genome. It is the histones that unwind the DNA and “read” the instructions that the genome contains. In other words, the histones are responsible for how our genes are expressed. Both the DNA and the histones are covered with chemical tags, the so-called epigenome. The epigenome wraps itself around inactive genes, making them unreadable for the histones, and is relaxed around active genes, making them readable. While our DNA remains fixed for life, the epigenome is a flexible structure. It adjusts specific genes in our genomic landscape in response to our environment. In this way, gene expression is affected by a variety of factors: lifestyle, nutrition, chemicals and stress factors in our environment, as well as the dynamics of our internal processes and body functions. The study of epigenetics is the study of how to affect the epigenome, that is how to change the way that our genes are read and interpreted by our bodies.

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