Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nutrients interacting with Genes

Reading this information in an American Institute of Cancer research newsletter made me sit up and take notice: "Choline deficiency can cause liver and muscle damage. The nutrient - found in eggs, meat and wheat germ- is also linked to influencing the risks of certain cancers, such as breast and colon." The article goes on to say that people with a certain gene variant are 15 times more likely to develop a deficiency following a choline- free diet as people without the gene. They did a study, putting people on a choline free diet for 42 days, or, until they showed "signs of liver and muscle damage." (Doesn't say how they saw evidence of this damage.)

This astonishes me, just the idea you could potentially damage your body by abstaining from eggs, meat and wheat germ. Does this mean, if you are following a vegan, gluten - free diet, you could be damaging our health? The point of the article is that diet interacts with genes in unpredictable ways - some people can lead long, healthy lives eating junk food, others can't. But what astonishes me is how being deficient in a certain nutrient can affect your body so quickly and raise your risk of developing a disease over the long term. For all the nutritional advice I have read, its still hard for me to wrap my mind around the connection between the food we ingest and the mysterious workings of our tissues, cells and organs. You can go all over the 'net reading recipes and general weight loss advice, but actual information about how specific foods interact with our genes, and influence our health, is harder to find.

1 comment:

  1. yikes! as a vegetarian I never eat meat, and only sometimes eat eggs. Time to increase my egg intake! thanks for the information!