The Real Story about the Importance of Genes in Our Lives

​In a recent teleseminar sponsored by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, we picked up the following insights from current research in neuroscience:

  • Somewhere…we acquired a belief that genes were self-actualizing; that genes made decisions… all of a sudden the gene would say, “Oh, time for cancer!” and then you would end up with cancer.”
  • What has been found with epigenetics is that genes are just.blueprints and we’re starting to understand who reads the genes.
  • And guess who can read and modify them?.Genes are in fact controlled by how we respond to or perceive the world around us.
  • There is a tremendous amount of power in the life of an individual to influence the expression of his or her genes.
  • The American Cancer Society came out very recently and said that over 60% of the cancer that we see in this world is basically due to lifestyle. Well, you have the gene but depending on how you live, how you respond, what your belief systems are, the expression of the gene could be modified

One of our clients – a married guy in his late forties – provides a beautiful illustration of this, only with another disease, Diabetes Type II. A while back he had a sample of his saliva analyzed by a genetic testing service to determine his genetic propensity to be afflicted with 21 major diseases. It turned out that based on his genes he had a way above average probability of 50% of being afflicted with Diabetes Type II. He further had a high genetic propensity for obesity. Indeed the genes for Diabetes Type II and Obesity are linked by the FTO gene, commonly referred to by genetic researches as “The Fatso Gene.” So when our client and his wife got the test results they had a big, hearty laugh because this guy is 5′ 8” tall, weighs a lean 168 lbs and does resistance work in a gym four times a week with his personal trainer, in addition to one-hour bike circuits three times a week around Manhattan.

Given this dude’s lifestyle (and it should come as no surprise that his wife does Yoga three times a week), the odds are virtually Zero that he’ll ever be afflicted with Diabetes Type II or suffer from Obesity. And this doesn’t mean that he and his wife can’t hop over the Brooklyn Bridge once a month – on their bicycles, of course – for a large pizza washed down
 with a few cold Manhattan Brews at Grimaldi’s.

Andre Moore, Director

Marriage Couples Counseling and Life Coaching in New York City.