A new breakthrough study proves what I’ve always believed — you can reprogram your own DNA.
Not that there’s anything wrong with how we were designed — we are perfect. But our cells and bodies are being held hostage by toxins in us and around us. It’s time to set our cells free. Time to reclaim the beauty and wisdom of our genetic heritage.
And for my female patients, I let them know it’s as easy as sipping a cup of tea.
A new study shows that women — but not men — who drink tea had positive improvements in how their DNA works.1 These changes affected genes that interact with cancer and estrogen metabolism.
The researchers took a look at something called DNA methylation in more than 3,000 people. Methylation is a vital metabolic process that happens in every one of your cells and organs. It takes place more than a billion times per second in the body.
Here’s what happens…
Inside your genes is a sophisticated network of chemical switches. These switches surround your DNA and turn genes “on” and “off.” This is a process called gene regulation.
Your chemical switches are sensitive. So whatever you put into your body, and whatever you come into contact with, has the power to activate your genes.
But our modern world is filled with triggers that turn good genes off — and bad genes on.
Bad gene “triggers” include processed foods and refined grains and sugars. As well as the heavy metals and harmful chemicals that we come up against every day.
But here’s what’s really important…. You are not a slave to the genetic legacy you’re born with.
And you can change how your genes are expressed by the foods you eat and your environment.
Here’s the thing…
You have molecules that pass on methyl groups to other molecules. A methyl group is a carbon atom linked to three hydrogen atoms. These methyl groups are the stop-and-go signals that turn genes on and off.
DNA methylation is an epigenetic activity — meaning this can involve improving our body’s ability to express genes the way nature intended… but NOT changing the core DNA itself.
When your cells don’t methylate properly, unhealthy genes get turned on and healthy genes get turned off. That can lead to a long list of diseases like heart disease, dementia, depression, migraines and even cancer.
As you get older, your ability to methylate goes down. That’s why a cup of tea is a great way to keep methylation going.
I encourage my patients to enjoy two or three cups of green, black, oolong or rooibos tea every single day.
Certain foods can also boost this process and prevent the expression of harmful genes. Good methyl donors include onions, garlic, beets, radishes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and bok choy.
Take Control of Your DNA with These 3 Supplements
When it comes to how well my patients’ DNA is working, I help them take control and promote positive gene expression with a few natural supplements:
- SAMe (s-adenosylmethionine). SAMe is a powerful methyl donor. By boosting methylation it helps regulate gene expression, block disease and slow certain aging processes. SAMe also helps your body make DNA and RNA, as well as proteins. It protects the structure and fluidity of your cell membranes, too. Take 200 mg of SAMe per day for maximum benefit.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that taking omega-3s daily tells your genes to prevent inflammation and hardening of the arteries. In fact, omega-3s may have a positive effect on more than 1,000 genes.
I recommend getting around three to five grams of omega-3s every day. Cold-water, wild-caught fish like wild salmon, tuna, and sardines are good sources. Or you can supplement. Look for krill oil and calamari oil. They’re purer and more concentrated than fish oil. And your body absorbs them better.
Aim for 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg per day of DHA-rich omega-3s, on top of any other nutrient you’re taking.
- Pterostilbene. This nutrient is proven to improve the expression of genes tied to longevity, inflammation, blood sugar and the death of cancer cells.2 You can get small amounts of pterostilbene in fruit like blueberries and red grapes. But it’s nearly impossible to get enough from food alone. That’s why I recommend a supplement. Take 50 mg of pterostilbene per day in addition to your other supplements.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Ek WE, et al. “Tea and coffee consumption in relation to DNA methylation in four European cohorts.” Hum Mol Genet. 2017;26(16):3221–3231.
2. Kim JS, et al. “Pterostilbene from Vitis coignetiae protect H2O2-induced inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication in rat liver cell line.” Food Chem Toxicol. 2009;47(2):404-409.