How diet can change your epigenome and affect cancer and chromatin of DNA

Food that shapes you: how diet can change your epigenome

You are what you eat – quite literally. Our diet can influence the tiny changes in our genome that underlie several diseases, including cancer and obesity.

DNA helix
Image courtesy of mstroeck /
Wikimedia Commons

When you look at yourself in the mirror you may ask, ‘How, given that all the cells in my body carry the same DNA, can my organs look so unlike and function so differently?’ With the recent progress in epigenetics, we are beginning to understand. We now know that cells use their genetic material in different ways: genes are switched on and off, resulting in the astonishing level of differentiation within our bodies.

Epigenetics describes the cellular processes that determine whether a certain gene will be transcribed and translated into its corresponding protein. The message can be conveyed through small and reversible chemical modifications to chromatin (figure 1). For example, the addition of acetyl groups (acetylation) to DNA scaffold proteins (histones) enhances transcription. In contrast, the addition of methyl groups (methylation) to some regulatory regions of the DNA itself reduces gene transcription. These modifications, together with other regulatory mechanisms, are particularly important during development – when the exact timing of gene activation is crucial to ensure accurate cellular differentiation – but continue to have an effect into adulthood.

Epigenetic modifications can occur in response to environmental stimuli, one of the most important of which is diet. The mechanisms by which diet affects epigenetics are not fully understood, but some clear examples are well known.

Figure 1: Epigenetic changes
to the chromatin structure
involve mainly histone
acetylation – which enhances
transcription – and DNA
methylation, whereby methyl
groups are covalently bound
to cytosine, making the
chromatin structure less
accessible. These changes are
reversible, allowing gene
activity to be adapted to
changing environmental
conditions or signals.
This image was updated on the
13 May 2014.

Image courtesy of Cristina Florean

During the winter of 1944–1945, the Netherlands suffered a terrible famine as a result of the German occupation, and the population’s nutritional intake dropped to fewer than 1000 calories per day. Women continued to conceive and give birth during these hard times, and these children are now adults in their sixties. Recent studies have revealed that these individuals – exposed to calorie restrictions while in their mother’s uterus – have a higher rate of chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity than their siblings. The first months of pregnancy seem to have had the greatest effect on disease risk.

How can something that happened before you were even born influence your life as much as 60 years later? The answer appears to lie in the epigenetic adaptations made by the foetus in response to the limited supply of nutrients. The exact epigenetic alterations are still not clear, but it was discovered that people who were exposed to famine in utero have a lower degree of methylation of a gene implicated in insulin metabolism (the insulin-like growth factor II gene) than their unexposed siblings (Heijmans et al., 2008). This has some startling implications: although epigenetic changes are in theory reversible, useful changes that take place during embryonic development can nonetheless persist in adult life, even when they are no longer useful and could even be detrimental. Some of these changes may even persist through generations, affecting the grandchildren of the exposed women (Painter et al., 2008).

Figure 2: Two queen
honeybee larvae floating in
royal jelly in their queen cell.
Queen larvae are fed
exclusively with royal jelly,
which triggers the
development of the queen
phenotype, allowing
reproduction 

Image courtesy of Waugsberg /
Wikimedia Commons

The effects of early diet on epigenetics are also clearly visible among honeybees. What differentiates the sterile worker bees from the fertile queen is not genetics, but the diet that they follow as larvae (figure 2). Larvae designated to become queens are fed exclusively with royal jelly, a substance secreted by worker bees, which switches on the gene programme that results in the bee becoming fertile.

Another striking example of how nutrition influences epigenetics during development is found in mice. Individuals with an active agouti gene have a yellow coat and a propensity to become obese. This gene, however, can be switched off by DNA methylation. If a pregnant agouti mouse receives dietary supplements that can release methyl groups – such as folic acid or choline – the pups’ agouti genes become methylated and thus inactive. These pups still carry the agouti gene but they lose the agouti phenotype: they have brown fur and no increased tendency towards obesity (figure 3).

Figure 3: The agouti mouse
model. The phenotype
depends on the mother’s diet
during pregnancy. A:
Normally, the agouti gene is
associated with yellow fur
and a tendency towards
obesity. B: Mice born to a
mother receiving dietary
supplements of methyl
donors, however, have a
methylated and thus
inactivated agouti gene,
resulting in a thin, brown-
fur phenotype.

Image courtesy of Cristina
Florean

An insufficient uptake of folic acid is also implicated in developmental conditions in humans, such as spina bifida and other neural tube defects. To prevent such problems, folic acid supplements are widely recommended for pregnant women and for those hoping to conceive (see Hayes et al., 2009).

What about the dietary effect on epigenetics in adult life? Many components of food have the potential to cause epigenetic changes in humans. For example, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain isothiocyanates, which are able to increase histone acetylation. Soya, on the other hand, is a source of the isoflavone genistein, which is thought to decrease DNA methylation in certain genes. Found in green tea, the polyphenol compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate has many biological activities, including the inhibition of DNA methylation. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric (Curcuma longa), can have multiple effects on gene activation, because it inhibits DNA methylation but also modulates histone acetylation. Figure 4 shows further examples of epigenetically active molecules.

Fruit market in Spain
Image courtesy of Marcel
Theisen / Wikimedia Commons

Most of the data collected so far about these compounds come from in vitro experiments. The purified molecules were tested on cellular lines, and their effects on epigenetic targets were measured. It remains to be proved if eating the corresponding foods has the same detectable effect as has been seen in cellular models (Gerhauser, 2013).

Epidemiological studies, however, suggest that populations that consume large amounts of some of these foods appear to be less prone to certain diseases (Siddiqui et al., 2007). However, most of these compounds not only have epigenetic effects but also affect other biological functions. A food may contain many different biologically active molecules, making it difficult to draw a direct correlation between epigenetic activity and the overall effect on the body. Finally, all foods undergo many transformations in our digestive system, so it is not clear how much of the active compounds actually reach their molecular targets.

As a result of their far-reaching effects, epigenetic changes are involved in the development of many illnesses, including some cancers and neurological diseases. As cells become malignant, or cancerous, epigenetic modifications can deactivate tumour suppressor genes, which prevent excessive cell proliferation (Esteller, 2007). Because these epigenetic modifications are reversible, there is great interest in finding molecules – especially dietary sources – that might undo these damaging changes and prevent the development of the tumour.

We all know that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is healthy for our everyday life, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it might be much more important than that, having significant implications for our long-term health and life expectancy.

References

Resources

Connie’s Comments:

  • Eat colored fruits and Veggies.
  • For quality supplementation that resets your gene expression to a younger you:
    http://www.clubalthea.pxproducts.com
  • Email Connie for nutrition tester for your doctor’s office or health care provider.
    See Dr Oz Pharmanex scanner in YouTube.
    We are looking for business owners to bring nutrition testers to all.

 

 

Nutrition Services are tax deductible

NUTRITION SERVICES CAN BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE

 

The Internal Revenue Service ruled in April 2002 that “uncompensated amounts paid by individuals for participation in a weight-loss program as treatment for a specific disease or diseases (including obesity) diagnosed by a physician are expenses for medical care that are deductible, subject to certain limitations. The cost of purchasing diet food items is not deductible.” This ruling allows taxpayers who pay for services related to their disease or weight condition to deduct those expenses.

Deductible medical expenses can include items such as bariatric surgery, approved weight-loss drugs and nutrition counseling services. Now that the IRS has defined obesity itself as a disease, taxpayers are able to deduct medical expenses related to obesity treatment ordered by a physician.

To take a deduction, a taxpayer must have participated in a weight-loss program for medically valid reasons. Simply joining a gym or a weight control program to “improve the taxpayer’s appearance, general health and sense of well-being” without the guidance of a physician is not sufficient.

The tax code indicates that total medical expenses must exceed 7.5 percent of an individual’s adjusted gross income and can only be taken by taxpayers who itemize their deductions. This means that a person with an AGI of $50,000 would be able to deduct medical expenses that exceed $3,750. Many individuals do not, however, have enough medical expenses to qualify for a deduction. According to an IRS study, only 5 percent of taxpayers deducted any medical expenses in 2000. Taxpayers are advised to consult with professionals before taking any deductions in this area.


Email Connie at motherhealth@gmail.com for nutrition services. I work with nutritionist to personalize your health needs.

Coconut and cinnamon for Alzheimer’s disease

How can you revive your brain cells and get your memories back with coconut and cinnamon? Food and caring caregivers are important. Call 408-8541-883 for caring bay area caregivers.

Email motherhealth@gmail.com for your feedback in using coconut oil and cinnamon in getting a healthy brain.

Coconut Nutritional highlights

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including ironseleniumsodiumcalcium,magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance.

One tablespoon of ground cinnamon contains:

  • 19 calories.
  • 0 grams of fat, sugar, or protein.
  • 4 grams of fiber.
  • 68% manganese.
  • 8% calcium.
  • 4% iron.
  • 3% Vitamin K.

Whole foods and essential oils are high frequency foods that can help grow healthy brain cells

When cooking your greens and colored foods, add a tsp of lemon to help in the absorption of nutrients.

If you cannot eat full servings of colored fruits, veggies, nuts, fish and eggs, add quality supplementation from:

http://www.clubalthea.pxproducts.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Image result for recipe coconut and cinnamon
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together coconut, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  2. Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl; mix well.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Beat in oil and sugar. …
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.

Cinnamon Coconut Loaf Recipe – Allrecipes.com

allrecipes.com/recipe/6893/cinnamon-coconut-loaf/

Gut-healing Cinnamon Coconut Latte – The Real Food Dietitians

recipe coconut and cinnamon from therealfoodrds.com
 Rating: 4.8 – ‎13 votes – ‎5 min – ‎155 cal

May 11, 2016 – And because this gut-healing cinnamon coconut latte recipe calls for little less fat (~1 Tbsp.), it’s not quite as filling (aka: calorically dense) so …

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coconut Cookies – Chocolate Moosey

recipe coconut and cinnamon from www.chocolatemoosey.com

Dec 4, 2012 – In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Coconut Cinnamon Buns – I Am A Food Blog

recipe coconut and cinnamon from iamafoodblog.com

iamafoodblog.com/coconut-cinnamon-buns/

Dec 15, 2016 – Coconut Cinnamon Buns – http://www.iamafoodblog.com … Coconut CinnamonRoll Recipeyield: 9-12 cinnamon rolls prep time: 30 minutes bake …

10 Best Cinnamon Coconut Drink Recipes – Yummly

recipe coconut and cinnamon from www.yummly.com

Oct 20, 2017 – The Best Cinnamon Coconut Drink Recipes on Yummly | Spiced CoconutCoffee, Coquito Ii, Puerto Rican Coquito.

Cinnamon-Coconut Cookies | Spache the Spatula

recipe coconut and cinnamon from www.spachethespatula.com

Dec 6, 2013 – In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars for 5 minutes, until creamy. Place the bowl of dough in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap, for 2 hours, or overnight.

Coconut Cinnamon Smoothie | Silk

recipe coconut and cinnamon from silk.com
150 cal

But I decided to let my husband decide on our new recipe, and low and behold……thecoconut and cinnamon is what he picked!! To make a long story short, …

No-Bake Cinnamon Coconut Cookies – Whole Natural Life

recipe coconut and cinnamon from wholenaturallife.com

wholenaturallife.com/no-bake-cinnamon-coconut-cookies/

3 cal

Oct 8, 2016 – Coconut cookies | Gluten-free cookies | Cinnamon cookies | Paleo cookies … If you enjoy making recipes with shredded coconut, I highly …

Cinnamon Coconut Ice Cream – Whole Natural Life

recipe coconut and cinnamon from wholenaturallife.com

wholenaturallife.com/cinnamon-coconut-ice-cream-dairy-free/

414.6 cal

Dec 10, 2013 – So Jesse and I have discovered a new ice cream obsession: cinnamon coconut ice cream. I mixed up a recipe on a whim a couple of weeks …

Coconut Cinnamon Rice Pudding – Mommy’s Home Cooking

recipe coconut and cinnamon from mommyshomecooking.com
 Rating: 5 – ‎10 votes – ‎1 hr 20 min

Aug 27, 2013 – This Coconut Cinnamon Rice Pudding Recipe is delicious and very easy to make. You’ll love it!

Cinnamon Coconut Loaf Recipe – Allrecipes.com

recipe coconut and cinnamon from allrecipes.com

allrecipes.com/recipe/6893/cinnamon-coconut-loaf/

 Rating: 4 – ‎23 reviews – ‎1 hr 25 min – ‎248 cal

Cinnamoncoconut, brown sugar and sour cream are swirled into the batter for this marvelous sweet bread.

Healthy Pumpkin Recipe – Pumpkin Coconut Tart — Dark rum, coconut …

Oct 8, 2014 – Healthy Pumpkin Recipe – Pumpkin Coconut Tart — Dark rum, coconut milk,cinnamon, ginger and cloves give this high-fiber, high-potassium pumpkin tart a …

{NEW}: Gluten-Free Coconut Cinnamon Millet Cereal Get the recipe …

May 9, 2014 – {NEW}: Gluten-Free Coconut Cinnamon Millet Cereal Get the recipe HERE: http://bit.ly/1kUe4Cw · #glutenfree #soyfree #breakfast #cereal #coconut #milletrecipes …

 

http://www.alz.org/facts/http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8492918.stmhttp://www1.cbn.com/healthscience/coconut-oil-touted-alzheimers-remedyhttp://www.tampabay.com/news/aging/doctor-says-an-oil-lessened-alzheimers-effects-on-her-husband/879333https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15123336http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665200/http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-10-2010/the_high_costs_of_caring_for_alzheimers_patients.htmlhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4300286/http://www.alz.org/facts/http://www.alzfdn.org/AboutAlzheimers/cost.htmlhttps://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/part-2-what-happens-brain-ad/hallmarks-adhttp://www.alzheimers.net/2014-07-02/cinnamon-prevents-alzheimers/http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23531502http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12969264?dopt=Abstract

How to have a stronger immune system for Alzheimer’s disease protection

Massage, ketogenic diet, anti-inflammatory (sulfur rich foods like garlic, mushrooms, onions, greens, colored) foods and supplements, adequate sleep, sunshine or Vitamin D, less stress and a happy positive spirit will help strengthen your immune system for a healthy brain.  Acidic medications/drugs make your blood acidic which can travel to the brain carrying inflammatory or toxic substances.

For quality supplementation that resets your gene expression to a younger you, I recommend AGELOC products , TEAGREEN and others at:

http://www.clubalthea.pxproducts.com

You are all invited to join me to work from home sharing the nutrition test created by NIH, email me at motherhealth@gmail.com or join (sponsor ID:   USW9578356 ) at

http://www.nuskin.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Diet and the Brain

DIET

Image shows a pergnant women.

HIGH-FAT DIET IN PREGNANCY CAN CAUSE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN OFFSPRING

Mothers who eat high fat diets during pregnancy could be elevating the risk of future depression and anxiety symptoms for their children, a new study in Frontiers in Endocrinology reports. High fat diets may impair the development of the central serotonin system, researchers discovered. Further studies noted that introducing a healthy diet to the offspring at an early age did not reverse the effect. READ MORE…

Nutrition and the brain

NUTRITION