Future Disease Prevention by Turning Genes On And Off

The Future Of Disease Prevention May Not Depend On Your Genes But Upon Ways To Turn Them On And Off

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The new field of epigenetics has shown that the choice of which of your genes are “expressed,” or activated, is strongly affected by environmental influences.

This means that expression of your genes can change, and they are influenced by external factors.

One implication of this is that many health problems — ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease to neurological disorders — can be caused at least in part by altered “histone modifications,” which affect DNA.

According to Eurekalert:
β€œThe good news … is that β€˜HDAC inhibitors’ can stop this degenerative process, and some of them have already been identified in common foods. Examples include sulforaphane in broccoli, indole-3-carbinol in cruciferous vegetables, and organosulfur compounds in vegetables like garlic and onions.”


Eurekalert April 28, 2010
Experimental Biology 2010, Anaheim, California April 24-28, 2010

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Herbal Care

Broccoli Boosts Aging Immune Systems

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A chemical in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may help to restore your immune system as you age. UCLA researchers found that the chemical, sulforaphane, switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which fight the damaging effects of free radicals.


Free radicals are a supercharged form of oxygen that can cause oxidative tissue damage — for example, they can trigger the inflammation process that causes clogged arteries. Oxidative damage is thought to be one of the major causes of aging.

According to researchers, treating older mice with sulforaphane increased their immune response to the level of younger mice.

The ability of sulforaphane to reinvigorate the immune system abilities of aged tissues could play an important role in reversing much of the negative impact of free radicals.
Science Daily March 10, 2008
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology March 6, 2008