Friday, September 30, 2011

Can Grandma’s health affect my kids?

So many people usually think about what their kids would look like
and how they will behave before they are born but even though most parents know a little biology concerning genes and DNAs, there is something that people have always believed to be a myth. If you thought that you can’t find grandma’s health or epigenetics among the kids health tips that you read in the magazines or on the Internet then you are wrong because epigenetics is gaining popularity at a very fast rate.

What is epigenetics?

Well, have you ever noticed a behavior in your child that you used to see in your own father or mother? This can range from the weird to the normal so you don’t have to be too keen so that you can notice a similar behavior. However you try and carry out your investigations regarding Grandma’s health, you are always sure to get results. The surprising thing is that even if you’ve been a loyal fan of health tips, you can’t really run away from epigenetics. The behavior that you see in your son or daughter is actually wired into his/her genes.  Epigenetics  or in full Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance argues out that a kid’s behavior and health isn’t only influenced by physical factors such as one’s lifestyle, the environment and stress levels. For someone who saw the two people i.e. the kid and the grandparent then it won’t be hard for him/her to admit that epigenetics is not some fiction story. True, one can always try and improve his/her health and there are thousands of health fitness tips that are bound to keep you healthy till you reach a hundred years old but you can never run away from epigenetics.

Should we call it evolution?

In fact, that’s something that most people have been wondering: whether epigenetics is a form of evolution. Science tells us that evolution takes years.  Here you are wondering if this time your missing tail will come back but how long would that take? Thousands of years, right? Then how comes this parent who’s been a disciple of health tips produced kids who have the same character that their grandparents had? No, it certainly isn’t evolution but scientists have found a good thing out of all this. No, they aren’t only interested in finding out whether this is a type of evolution or not but they are also looking at the health benefits that come along with borrowed genes. True, you can’t always borrow the bad genes; you’ll always get some good genes from your grandparents as well. The way that major changes occur in a person’s genome is giving scientists new ideas on ways to deal with diseases which are genetic related.

Is there a switch for on/off?

Unfortunately, you as a parent can’t do anything about the behavior that you see in your kid. Only the grandparent has the switch but it’s not that easy to turn it on and off. Many parents will start paying attention to all kids health tips because of what they are seeing in their own kid but they may not know that it is something “borrowed”. The whole idea about inheriting certain gene traits is not something bad if you look at it from a scientist’s perspective. Not all the bad genes will be inherited from your grandma or grandpa, some of the good genes will be inherited too and they’ll be even more if the grandpa/ grandma showed more concern when it came to health fitness tips. So, there’s no need to worry when you see your son doing the same thing that your dad do because there’s a possibility that he can do more.

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