If someone told you that your eating habits could beneficially alter some of your genes, would this change the way you eat? Now seems to be a good time to think about this, since a group of international scientists and researchers from McGill and McMaster universities have found out some interesting links between how genes are affected by certain foods. The group realized consuming raw vegetables and fruits can modify genes related to heart disease.
The study, published in PLoS Medicine, was conducted on approximately 27,000 people of various ethnicities: Chinese, Arab, Latin American, South Asian, and European. After noting the particular eating habits of the individuals, they determined if there were any modifications of a gene called 9p21, since modifications of the 9p21 gene may increase the likelihood of developing heart disease. Interestingly, the researchers found consumption of healthier food was correlated to a reduction in 9p21 gene modification.
Moreover, the study revealed that the at-risk individuals who ate raw fruits and vegetables and low-risk individuals had almost the same risks of getting cardiovascular diseases. So, while more experiments need to be carried out to further comprehend the relationship between certain genes and diseases, it may not be a bad idea to start incorporating more greens and fruits into your diet.
Discussion question: What other benefits can arise from eating more vegetables and fruits? What other sources of foods might fight against diseases?
Article source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011171553.htm
Journal source: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001106
Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vegetables_-_Viktualienmarkt_-_DSC08608.JPG
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