Dr. Goh | Epigenetics: why genes alone don't determine who we become

Epigenetics is the way that the environment can influence how genes are expressed. We all have genes and they serve as a bit of a template for how our bodies will develop and, and grow and change and function over time. Epigenetics is so important because it helps us realize that genes do not define who we are. The effect of the environment on gene expression, has a lot to do with who we, who we become.

Epigenetics --and what we know about how the environment influences gene expression means that we have a choice and we have influence over how our genes are expressed. So what we inherit --our genetic makeup --though we can't change the genes themselves. There are ways that we can influence them and really powerful ways through the environment, and the choices that we make.

You can apply the concept of epigenetics to your daily life. By thinking about the physical environment and also experiences. So in the physical environment there are things that we encounter like air, food, drink, there are things that come and make contact with our skin. Those are environmental factors that we want to be very aware of because they can influence gene expression. And then in terms of experiences, all of the interactions that we have, especially with other people, those also influence how genes are expressed.

Key Takeaways:

  • We can influence how our genes are expressed, starting with the quality of the environments we create for our children

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