Despite the huge advancements in medicine in recent decades, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, PCOD/PCOS, dementia etc are increasing with each new generation. While it is usual to attribute the higher prevalence of these lifestyle diseases to the faulty lifestyles themselves, it is only half the story.
While faulty lifestyles can indeed act as triggers for these diseases, these guns can’t fire if they aren’t loaded. And this loading is primarily at the genetic level. In other words, more often than not, most of these lifestyle diseases are triggered when a hard coded genetic risk for developing a lifestyle disease meets its faulty lifestyle triggers.
The classic examples are obesity and type 2 diabetes, whose genes are expressed or triggered by faulty lifestyles like too much food, too much sugars & carbohydrates and too little exercise. This is why not all who overeat and lead sedentary lives develop obesity or diabetes.
Buf if the underlying reasons are so much controlled by genetics or hereditary factors, the natural riddle would be how can it be controlled for yourself and your children? There is only one way for this and it is a biohack called epigenetic lifestyle modifications.
These are research-validated lifestyle modifications, personalized as per one’s genetic risks, and spanning diet, nutrition, supplements, exercise, sleep, yoga, meditation, breathwork etc that can override even genetic predispositions to one’s potential diseases. And there is a big bonus for adopting such a biohack.
Epigenetic modifications are heritable, which means you can pass it on to your children. For instance, if you have inherited a genetic risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and if you have detected it early on and adopt epigenetic lifestyle modifications against it to keep that risk at bay, you can pass on that protection to your children too.
But there is a catch, which is that you should adopt such epigenetic lifestyle modifications well in advance before you plan to have a baby! Unfortunately, what we see today is often just the reverse, young men and women in their 20s and 30s going through immense stress due to work, and often relying on poor lifestyles like sedentary work, sleep deprivation, and even alcohol or smoking to cope, right when they are trying to have a child.
With things being such, it is really no wonder that the prevalence of lifestyle diseases are increasing with each new generation. A recent research illustrated this concept powerfully. A large Swedish study involving more than 4.67 lakh male infants born across a decade found that if their moms had the lifestyle disease of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), these boys were twice as likely to develop obesity, when compared to boys born to moms without PCOS.
Moreover, if their moms were also obese or overweight, as measured by a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25, these boys ran an even higher risk of ending up obese, when compared to boys born to moms without PCOS and obesity. Earlier, this same research team had found that female infants born to moms with PCOS had five-times the risk of developing PCOS itself than girls born to moms without this condition.
The bottomline here is simple yet profound – if you want to take charge of your health and your family’s health too, biohacks like personalised epigenetic lifestyle modifications are the way to go, but you need to start early, before these diseases set in for yourself, and before you unwittingly transfer your risks to your children too.
The upcoming World Biohacking Summit (WBHS) that is happening on May 30 & 31, at Dubai, is sure to witness several biohacks across the spectrum of quantified self tools as well as personalized epigenetic lifestyle modifications including personalised diets, personalized fitness, personalized nutrition, personalized yoga etc WBHS is sponsored by Limoverse and supported by the Dubai Economy & Tourism Department and the UAE Genetic Diseases Association (UAEGDA).