Popular Science News | Your Behaviour Affects Your Genes

Popular Science News – for me, it has always been obvious that behaviour affects health. For example, that stress can raise your blood pressure is so blindingly obvious it isn’t worth challenging. However, there has always been controversy about anyone suggesting that stress can either cause cancer or make recovery less likely. Now, scientists are finding ways in which this might be possible.

Recent research is looking at how our behaviour can change the chemical field that surrounds our DNA. This chemical field is called the epigenome and is thought to be responsible for turning on or off the genes that affect our health, particularly our ability to regulate stress and our body’s response to disease. What’s more, scientists say, these changes can be passed along to our children.

One positive outcome of this research that the epigenome can also reverse that state of the gene; turning it off when it is on. So, if there is one message from this research which is important now it is that controlling stress, for example, is not only important for your health it is also important for any children you may have. But, if they are born with an important gene turned off, then by working on their behaviour potentially they can turn it back on. Mind you, in ten years time scientists might change their mind so why worry about it at all?

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