Health – You Are What You Eat

We’ve all heard that saying before, and it’s always been a reference to how the types of foods you eat affect your well being and overall health. However, a new study has shown that our food may become part of us in a pretty remarkable way–and I’m not talking about swallowing some chewing gum that got stuck, either.

This new study has shown that not only are we absorbing nutrients from the food that we eat, but also some of its genetic material as well. The researchers discovered that there were incredible amounts of rice micro-RNA floating around in the bloodstream of their Chinese test subjects. The genetic material floating around in the blood isn’t just along for a ride, either–at least that’s not what they think. In test mice, the same rice micro-RNA changed certain gene expressions and altered the liver’s ability to filter LDL cholesterol. While they haven’t pinned down any measureable effects in humans, it’s very likely that this errant genetic material might be affecting our genes as well.

These findings that show our food might actually regulate how our genes are expressed are certainly an interesting discovery, but they bring up a lot of questions–some positive, some not. On the plus side, this may help explain why certain foods seem to be medicinal. The general evolution of this idea would be to find foods that can help treat certain diseases based on how their genetic material comingles with ours. The negative, though, concerns those foods that are genetically modified, which has become a popular process to control everything from crop yields to the duration of freshness in a number of different foods that span nearly every group. Are these seemingly harmless changes affecting us in ways we haven’t discovered yet? They can’t say yet, and there needs to be a lot more research performed before they’ll have any sort of definitive answer.

When I was a kid, my mom always used to tell me that if I ate any more strawberries that I’d become one. Turns out she might be right.
Source: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-09/we-incorporate-genetic-information-food-we-eat-says-new-study

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