Can the nutrition of one generation can change the genetics of another?



“The environment that we are exposed to as fetuses or young children can cause permeant changes in the way our genes function”

 

“Epigenetics” describe modifications to people’s DNA that don’t affect the sequence of the DNA. Physically, epigenetic changes show up as little chemical decorations added onto people’s genes. You can think of them as chemical baubles and tinsel. Previous studies have shown starvation is able to trigger changes to people’s epigenetics.

The idea that Cambodia’s famine years ago led to diabetes today is a hypothesis that needs more study, but animal studies do seem to support that changes in the genes as an effect of famine do affect those of their offspring.

Why is this relevant to anorexia?

Maybe it is not at all, but what it is – is thought provoking.

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Basically it is suggestive that the nutrition of one generation can change the genetics of another.

 

That is certainly food for thought!

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About Tabitha Farrar

I work as Head of Marketing for a software startup in Boulder. As a recovered Anorexia sufferer, I advocate for proper understanding of eating disorders in my spare time. On that note, I wrote a book about my own journey into eating again called Love Fat.

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