Could We Use Epigenetics and Diet to Fix Binge Eating?

July 25, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Our eating habits can definitely be changed for the worse because of stress, but the reason for an uncontrollable bout of eating may not just be psychological. An underlying epigenetic influence was recently discovered to play a role in binge eating. A new mice study published in Cell Metabolism suggests that a mother’s stress level when she’s pregnant could make her female offspring more likely to engage in binge eating when they grow up. Interestingly, it was also found that [more…]

Recent Epigenetic Discovery Could Help Revitalize Immune Response to Cancer and Viruses

July 18, 2017 Tim Barry

A recent discovery out of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital finds an epigenetic cause to why T-cells fall ineffective in immune responses to cancer and viral infections.  T-cells, a type of cell produced by the thymus gland, are a critical combatant in the human immune system. Their main job is to fight foreign invaders such like viruses or cancers by detecting certain proteins on the surface of the intruder cell. Cancer cells often carry normal proteins which can trick the [more…]

The Epigenetics Behind Unique Human Faces

July 11, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Here’s a strange question many people probably have not given much thought to: why are our faces shaped the way they are? We know that no two faces are perfectly alike, but why exactly might one person have a long nose and another a small forehead? How is it that our earlobes are attached to our ears and not our chins? Researchers from Switzerland and France have wondered this, and published a study in Science that suggests epigenetics might be [more…]

Excess Stress Changes Marks on DNA and Could Epigenetically Harm Mental Health

July 5, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

An excess amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body could impact epigenetic processes and boost one’s risk of experiencing psychological issues in the long run, reports a new study in Scientific Reports. People with anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression and other stress-related disorders could be adjusting chemical tags on their DNA as a result of high cortisol exposure, which may even persist throughout the course of their lives or be passed on to their children. The study assessed individuals [more…]

Brown Rice Could Curb Cravings for High Fat Foods by Epigenetically Affecting the Brain

June 27, 2017 Natalie Crowley

High fat foods tend to be the most palatable and preferred choice of food in both humans and animals…and the most overeaten. We are more likely to eat an entire bag of chips or a pint of ice cream and still want more than overindulge on broccoli. Even though we need fat in our diets, most people eat far too much of it. The reason why is because fat makes food taste delicious. It enhances the flavor, aroma, and texture [more…]

Epigenetic Profile at Birth Could Predict Behavior Problems Later in Life

June 20, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Marks on a baby’s DNA might be able to predict whether he or she may develop conduct problems later in life, suggests new research published in Development and Psychopathology. Conduct problems — such as lying, stealing, and fighting — fit into a spectrum of behavioral and emotional issues found in youngsters in which basic social rules or the rights of others are violated. These behaviors are known to have a link to genetic factors and environmental influences. Now, there may [more…]

Can Tai Chi Boost Your Health Through Epigenetics?

June 13, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Cloud hands, single whip, white crane spreads wings – you’ve probably never heard of these terms unless you practice tai chi, an ancient Chinese tradition that focuses on “meditation in motion.” Tai chi in modern form reduces stress and anxiety as well as improves balance and strength all through special movements often named after animals, combined with deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and a tranquil state of mind. Tai chi has great depth and history, but is easy to learn for [more…]

Drinking Tea Can Turn Genes On or Off in Women

June 6, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Green, black, white, oolong, and rooibos – these are all types of tea many of us have enjoyed for their power to soothe or energize. But did you know that sipping on some tea could lead to epigenetic changes in your genes, especially in those linked to cancer? A recent study supports the notion that tea might be a key player in modulating a person’s disease risk by decreasing inflammation, suppressing the growth of tumors, and influencing estrogen metabolism – [more…]

B Vitamins Protect Against Harmful Epigenetic Effects of Air Pollution

May 30, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Air pollution has a negative impact on our health and can also adjust important chemical tags on our DNA. Aside from taking steps to reduce pollution in our communities, a new study suggests that we can take B vitamins to combat the harmful effects on our bodies. Particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers, or 3% of the diameter of human hair, is known as PM2.5. These fine particles have been shown to wreak epigenetic havoc on our [more…]

Muffins Reveal Epigenetic Impact of Saturated and Polyunsaturated Fats on Our Bodies

May 23, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Muffins – not only are they delicious, but they offer valuable insight into how different foods we eat might alter our DNA. New research that builds off of the popular “muffin study” that was published a few years ago suggests that eating a certain type of fat may actually adjust marks on your DNA and contribute to the way your body stores fat. We often hear that saturated fat – found in butter, cheese, cream, chocolate, and sausage, for example [more…]

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