What it is, How it functions…

 

Think of your house as your DNA- a sound structure that maintains its integrity through your life.  Then, your epigenome is the collection of paintings and decorations that you put up or take down and change with your lifestyle preferences and tastes.  Your DNA is never changing while your epigenome is malleable. 

 

A perfect illustration of epigenetics in action is through identical twins.   If born with the same set of DNA, how can each person express individual characteristics?  Maybe one is diagnosed with Diabetes, a diet-related disease, while the other isn’t?  Perhaps the other shows advanced signs of aging, an epigenetic response, earlier than the other?  Environment, diet, and exercise are powerful mediators of genetic expression.  The diabetic twin may have led a sedentary life with poor diet choices, while advanced aging could be provoked by a stressful life, chronic inflammation or poor nutrition.