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Epigenetics: The Future of Healthcare

Epigenetics: The Future of Healthcare

Epigenetics cuts through the noise of the latest training or diet trend; it is a revolutionary tool that informs lifestyle changes to help your internal health, facilitating a healthier, happier and longer life.

Simply put, epigenetics is the study of how a person’s behaviour and environment influence the way their genes work, or express.  It is the intersection between genetics, nutrition, and environment; it shows how diet, micronutrients, exercise and sleep can all change the expression of our genes.

We cannot change our genetic code. We are all predisposed to certain strengths and weaknesses. Yet these weaknesses should not be taken as fixed or absolute. Like anything in life, if you commit to working on something, you are likely to see improvements. The same goes for your genetic expression. We can largely compensate for our specific weaknesses by eating key foods, vitamins and minerals to improve how our genes express themselves and function. We need to remember that nature and nurture are both at play here. Yes, we can have extremely beneficial genes in a whole variety of areas, but if they are not given the correct stimulus and nurturing, their response is subdued.

Our lifestyle and environments affect those same genetic traits and either dilute or accentuate them through a process called methylation. DNA methylation (DNAm) is a process where tiny chemical markers called methyl groups attach to your DNA. As we naturally age these methyl groups will either hypo (low) or hyper (high) methylate regions across your genome, which will then affect how specific genes and biological process’s function, such as our eyesight, hearing and memory. (Ref. Link)

Me & My Health’s bioinformatics and science teams have identified the genes – as well as the specific biomarkers which sit upon them – that correlate to cellular ageing. This allows you to see a true representation of how your diet, lifestyle and environment has been affecting you at a cellular and genetic level, as well as the status of your internal health.

Biological age is a true reflection of how our cells are ageing and how they have been affected by exogenous and endogenous stressors such as diet, exercise, lifestyle and environment. Nutritional deficiencies, stress, poor sleep and the pollution levels in our towns and cities can all contribute to accelerated biological ageing. These can cause negative health implications such as, a lack of energy, loss of circadian rhythm, slower cell regeneration and increased inflammation.

Biological ageing is the true indicator of internal health. Measurable external factors such as muscle mass or cardiovascular endurance are correlated with good health, but do not necessarily equate to being healthy. These factors lack the robust ability to provide commentary on a person’s internal health, unlike the use of epigenetics.

What does this mean for Proactive Healthcare?

At Me & My Health we believe that understanding your biological age will become the new currency of health. We provide you with the ability to track your biological age over time and recommend tweaks to your diet, exercise, or lifestyle to help improve your internal health. This forms a large part of our proactive healthcare mission, aiming to identify potential health issues early, minimising the need for clinical intervention, and supports improved lifestyles for a healthier future, reducing the demand on the NHS.

Our services provide insightful data on internal health, highlighting potential frailties or weaknesses in a person’s wellbeing that can be combatted or alleviated through informed lifestyle changes. This way potential health risks are addressed before they even manifest. The key to a healthier population is personalised, preventative healthcare, and epigenetics is the future.

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