People have been taught to believe that their health depends on…….
Bad Luck, Bad Germs and Bad Genes
……….But here’s some very good news – Your genes are not your destiny! Personal responsibility can change our lives.
In an effort to keep up to date with the latest research, Richard and staff recently attended a conference with Dr James Chestnut. Dr Chestnut has combined research from genetics, nutrition and exercise with the science of personal change, inspiration and empowerment.
by Dr. Dean Ornish M.D.
Dr. Dean Ornish’s pioneering research below is showing clearly that changing our lifestyle can alter our destiny and is less expensive than you thought and the only side effects are good ones.
New research shows that improved diet, meditation and other non-medical interventions can actually “turn off” the disease-promoting process in men with prostate cancer.
Earlier this week, my colleagues and I published the first study showing that improved nutrition, stress management techniques, walking, and psychosocial support actually changed the expression of over 500 genes in men with early-stage prostate cancer. This study was conducted at the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and the University of California, San Francisco in collaboration with Dr. Peter Carroll, Dr. Mark Magbanua, Dr. Chris Haqq, and others.
In this study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we studied gene expression in biopsies from 30 men who were diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer. These men had decided not to undergo conventional treatments such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy for reasons unrelated to the study. They had early, small-volume prostate cancer with stable prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels and Gleason scores of six or less, meaning that their tumors were not aggressive.
We biopsied their prostates at the beginning of the study and again three months later, after making comprehensive lifestyle changes. Since these patients did not have conventional treatments during this time, it enabled us to assess the effects of the lifestyle changes on gene expression without confounding interventions such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
The changes included a plant-based diet (predominant fruits, vegetables, legumes, soy products, and whole grains low in refined carbohydrates), moderate exercise (walking 30 minutes per day), stress management techniques (yoga-based stretching, breathing techniques, meditation, and guided imagery for one hour per day), and participating in a weekly one-hour support group. The diet was supplemented with soy, fish oil (three grams/day), vitamin E (100 units/day), selenium (200 mg/day), and vitamin C (2 grams/day). These lifestyle changes are described more fully in my book, The Spectrum.
After three months, we repeated the biopsy and looked at changes in normal tissue within the prostate. We found that many disease-promoting genes (including those associated with cancer, heart disease, and inflammation) were down-regulated or “turned off,” whereas protective, disease-preventing genes were up-regulated or “turned on.” For example, a set of cancer-promoting oncogenes called RAS was down-regulated in these men. The Selectin E gene (which promotes inflammation and is elevated in breast cancer) was down-regulated. Another gene that suppresses tumor formation called SFRP was up-regulated, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. These genes are the target of many new drugs that are being developed. Clearly, changing lifestyle is less expensive, and the only side-effects are good ones. Dr. Craig Venter’s pioneering research is showing that one way to change your genes is to synthesize new ones.
A simpler alternative may be to change our lifestyle!!
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