In 1951 essayist Norman Cousins wrote: “The hand that is dealt you represents determinism. The way you play your hand represents free will.” He was writing about the nature of man, but it’s not unreasonable to extrapolate his thoughts to the part that our genes play in our health.
The genetic material we inherit from our parents may be a blueprint, an instruction book used to build our body and to keep it running, but – for most of us – it doesn’t determine our fate completely.
If you’re completely satisfied with your health, don’t read this article. This is not for you. Give yourself a pat on the back, and save yourself the scrolling. For the rest of you, approach what I’m about to say with an open mind, and maybe you can come out of this a fitter person.
This article really is about getting the conversation with yourself started. It doesn’t talk about long term, re-evaluating periodically. A plateau is a more obvious sign about re-evaluating – not too late, but can be.
I’ve made some changes in diet in the last six months or so. Weight loss is part of the training agenda, while noticing that I should probably eat more protein. But the changes also appeared in my INR tests – my levels having consistently been in the 3.5 range. A bit of a concern – higher chance of bruising/internal bleeding. My doctor started taking notice, test in two weeks rather than monthly. So made another change, which I’m hoping suits all goals – natural food source, a bit more vitamin K intake to level off the INR, and cheaper than what my second breakfast was (besides healthier).
We know that genes play a role in how well children do in school, but there are gaps in our knowledge: is this the same for different topics in school? And can this be explained largely by intelligence, or do other genetic factors contribute?
Just linking genes and behaviours is still an area of furious debate, let alone figuring out the exact mechanisms by which those genes cause the behaviours in question. Hopefully studies like this one, that take us closer to identifying genetically-influenced traits, can also get us closer to figuring out the answer to that question.
Generalizing, look at animal behaviour for some insight. Take a typical breed to see what attributes it has. Labs are pretty consistent – loyal, happy, but destructive if you don’t keep them active. Bernese Mountain dogs for me have been similar to labs, but shorter life spans. Dachsunds have a lot of personality… I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone describe corgi’s as smart 😉
Steroids seem to have two functions: making people strong and screwing up their lives. We’ll take a look at how steroids accomplish both of these tasks. From bulking muscles to shrinking testicles, this is what happens when you put a steroid in your body.
The link is not new. A study as far back as 1979 noticed the link, and acne breakout is listed as a side effect of taking B12 as a medication, (though acne breakout is listed as “rare”). This study is fascinating because it revealed the biochemical mechanism of this relationship. While this research may not be clinically relevant to everyone, people on B12 supplementation (whether pharmaceutical or dietary), could potentially benefit from this study.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is much more common than having too much B12 in your diet. The culprit is either b12 pills, or things like Redbull and 5 hour energy. Don’t stop eating a healthy diet because there is B12 in it.
When Spanish explorers first brought domesticated tomatoes to Europe 500 years ago, the fruit was already gigantic compared with its olive-sized wild counterparts. Researchers trying to understand the genetic basis of this girth have uncovered a way to make other fruits larger as well. The team discovered this secret by studying two mutant tomato strains that had many branches coming off the upper part of the stem and that produced unusually fecund fruit.
CRISPR, a new genome editing tool, could transform the field of biology—and a recent study on genetically-engineered human embryos has converted this promise into media hype. But scientists have been tinkering with genomes for decades. Why is CRISPR suddenly such a big deal?
The Y chromosome, a chunk of genetic code that is unique to male animals, isn’t just physically smaller than the X. It also contains far fewer genes. The X has more than 1000 genes, while the Y has fewer than 200 —and most of them don’t even work. Why do men have this odd, stunted chromosome in their genomes?