Epigenetics is the study of the influence of the environment on the genome. The book “Take back control of your genes: epigenetics” by Isabelle Mansuy and co-authors provides advice on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, control genetic heritage and improve the genotype of descendants.
Voluntarily provocative, the book’s title – “Take back control of your genes” – invites us to question the omnipotence of genetics. For a long time, scientists believed that man was the result of a fixed genetic code, transmitted from one generation to the next, and that it was almost insensitive to external factors. But the with the discovery of epigenetics this dogma has started to change. Observations and research in recent decades have shown that genetic material contains much more information than that encoded in genes alone.
We now know, through epigenetics, that our life experiences, our food, our beliefs, our emotions, activate and deactivate our genes daily, and that they can also influence those of our descendants. In other words, what our parents or grandparents ate, just like the traumas they experienced, can change our health today. The authors argue that by acting on our environment and adopting a better lifestyle – eating healthy, limiting stress, engaging in physical activity, cultivating relationships with others, expressing emotions – we can reprogram our genes and improve our lives and those of our descendants.
Prof. Isabelle M. Mansuy is professor of neuroepigenetics at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich and at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Jean-Michel Gurret is a psychotherapist trained in behavioural and cognitive therapies and energy psychology. He teaches at the Institut français de psychothérapie émotionnelle et cognitive.
Alix Lefief-Delcourt is a journalist specialized in the fields of health and well-being and author of numerous books, alone or in collaboration.
Reprenez le contrôle de vos gènes (French)