I want to introduce you to an amazing organization called the price - pottenger organization. This article comes from there and highlights the effect that Nutrition has on our genetic mackup as well as health outcomes related to this. I have done a podcast episode on this topic so click here to listen to this episode highlighting the power of nutrition on health outcomes.
To get started on this subject I want to talk about Genes. They carry the information that determines your traits, which are features or characteristics that are passed on to you from your parents and thier parents.
For example, if both of your parents have green eyes, you might inherit the trait for green eyes from them. Or if your mom has freckles, you might have freckles too because you inherited the trait for freckles.
Another concept I want to go over is epigenetics, which is more concisely defined as temporary changes in how genes are expressed or turned on or off due to our interactions with the environment, and how those changes affect our health and the health of future generations.
Dr. Frances Pottenger Jr. did not realize the significance of his research while he was alive, but Pottenger and his cats paved the way for this subject called modern epigenetics.
The Pottenger Cat study was one of these studies which found that cats living on quality nutrition maintained excellent health. Mother cats carried their babies to full-term, birthed approximately five kittens to a litter, and experienced no difficulty in nursing. The kittens had consistent skeletal structure and no dental issues or infections.
On the other side, the health of cats fed substandard nutrition quickly declined. Even within three months of a transition from a high quality diet to a lesser quality one, dental infections often arose. Mother cats had difficulty carrying offspring full-term, and suffered from increased miscarriages and raised infant mortality rates.
Mother cats were often too weak to nurse, and some died in labor. Kittens were born with varying skeletal structures and weaker bones, and were prone to infections, allergies, and respiratory illnesses.
The degenerative health of the cats without good nutrition continued and appeared to be passed from generation to generation. After several generations of degeneration, Pottenger attempted to test the potential “regeneration” of health by means of going back to a quality diet. He found that this was indeed possible, though minor health problems did persist even into the third generation.
He found that by adding in better quality "building materials" regeneration and better health outcomes were possible.
Remember that old saying, "You are what you eat," well Pottenger made a strong case toward validating this concept.
So how powerful is nutrition. Well from a health perspective it has the power to make life degenerative or regenerative.
Another way of saying this is "The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison"
- Ann Wigmore