During this module of instruction, you will learn how your diet and environment influences the way your genes behave or express themselves. The study of these "gene-environment interactions" is called epigenetics. Understanding the factors that influence gene expression is key to maintaining good health and preventing disease.
1. Describe the importance of, and mechanism for, building methylation capacity.
2. Recognize the importance of dietary calcium in carrying out the functions of the PON1 and BDNF genes.
3. Recognize the role of dietary zinc in carrying out the function of the MT gene.
4. Describe the gene environment interactions associated with autism and Alzheimer's disease.
5. Describe the role of dietary calcium in the elimination of lead from the body and the prevention of ADHD.
1. Read Chapter 2 of your Unsafe At Any Meal book.
3. Use an Internet search engine (e.g. Google, Yahoo) to find whole foods rich in zinc and rich in calcium. List the foods you find for each element (e.g. foods rich in zinc, foods rich in calcium). Survey your kitchen for the presence of these foods. Hang on to the lists you create because you will need them at a later date.
4. Answer the discussion questions and talk about them with your friend or study group.
1. What is methylation and why is it important in disease prevention?
2. Describe two genes involved in autism and Alzheimer's disease and the factors that may influence their activity or the way they function.
3. Based on your Internet findings and kitchen survey, what measures can you take to improve your dietary environment?