There is much in the health of individuals that is attributed to winning or losing in the sperm lottery — what you inherit genetically from your parents.
The actress who recently had a preventive double mastectomy brought some attention to the fact that she is not the first woman to take such drastic measures to protect herself from her genome.
But breast cancer is just a small sliver of what might be dealt to offspring.
A good fixit clue
Genetics make a difference, but right now you are somewhat at the mercy of yours unless you have a clue.
Lifestyle appears to be an answer to addressing a bad gene pool.
A lot of us outlive parents who died of heart problems or cancer. I would say in those cases the children would invariably say they lead improved lifestyles over their parents.
That includes better health practices like annual physicals. Or improved habits such as what you eat and drink, and how active you are.
How to not screw up your kids before they are born
Epigenetics is the study of how an individual’s lifestyle affects their genome.
The underlying genome — the one you inherit — is largely fixed, but the epigenome can be changed by lifestyle and environmental conditions.
Changed for the better as well as the worse
Yeah, changed by things we do or allow ourselves to be exposed to. Such as:
- Bad nutrition
- Toxins in the home or workplace
- Ultra-stress such as bad jobs and relationships
You could probably add drugs and alcohol, and other things, but you get the picture.
Here’s the deal about your kid-to-be
Epigenetic studies have tracked identical twins. This is a slow process and far from complete. But when one twin develops a disease or ages faster than the other, what do you think it is attributed to?
If you said lifestyle choices, you win.
And the deal is once the twin is messed up it can become a genetic issue that now can be passed on to the offspring. That goes for non-twins also.
So the danger is your lifestyle may not just mess up you. You can pass it on to the your unborn child.
So that next cigarette or bag or box of crap food you like so much can be akin to planting a seed.
The damage you do to yourself can became a hereditary issue in your lineage that can be tracked back to you and make generations think what an inconsiderate dope you were. You know, like, maybe you give them diabetes or vascular disease, or … name your poison.
And for the record both the sperm and egg donors contribute.
Seriously, you should know about this if you are going to have children. It’s called epigenetics. Look it up.
Remember to have an annual physical. Thomas Amshay articles are not meant to take the place of your doctor or health care team. Talk to them before starting any exercise program, diet, or supplement.