DNA v. Environment: New Evidence to IBD Cause

 

An Incomplete Story: the “Genetics Loads the Gun” Theory

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, affects approximately 1.4 million Americans, according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The CCFA claims that the lifetime risk for developing IBD is 10 to 20 times higher for close family members (siblings or offspring) than for the general population. This leads many researchers to believe that a specific gene triggers the onset of these digestive disorders. Based on this assumption, the CCFA has created a DNA Data bank in order to isolate and study potential genes. However, studies not funded by pharmaceutical companies have pointed towards the power of the environment and diet in determining disease susceptibility.
Epigenetics and the Power of Environment 

Epigenetics is the study of gene expression. Through epigenetics, scientists have isolated a phenomenon called epigenetic drift, whereby twins become more different with time. Additionally, twins who spend more of their lives together in the same environment have similar genetic portraits than those who separate earlier. These studies reveal the vulnerability of early life, and the fundamental contribution of the environment in determining health. 
Why the CCFA Hides Part of the Picture

Mounting evidence points to the relevancy of external factors on our health. Irritable bowel diseases may have some genetic correlation, but larger contributors such as diet, lifestyle, and environment play the largest role. Often, resolving a dietary or lifestyle issue can completely eradicate digestive disorders. Unfortunately, it is more lucrative for pharmaceutical companies, and the organizations which they fund (such as the CCFA), to purport the “Genetics Loads the Gun” theory. 
Your Health: Get the Whole Story

When it comes to you and your family’s health, it is imperative to get the whole story. Your health depends on it.

An Incomplete Story: the “Genetics Loads the Gun” TheoryInflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, affects approximately 1.4 million Americans, according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The CCFA claims that the lifetime risk for developing IBD is 10 to 20 times higher for close family members (siblings or offspring) than for the general population. This leads many researchers to believe that a specific gene triggers the onset of these digestive disorders. Based on this assumption, the CCFA has created a DNA Data bank in order to isolate and study potential genes. However, studies not funded by pharmaceutical companies have pointed towards the power of the environment and diet in determining disease susceptibility.
Epigenetics and the Power of Environment Epigenetics is the study of gene expression. Through epigenetics, scientists have isolated a phenomenon called epigenetic drift, whereby twins become more different with time. Additionally, twins who spend more of their lives together in the same environment have similar genetic portraits than those who separate earlier. These studies reveal the vulnerability of early life, and the fundamental contribution of the environment in determining health. 
Why the CCFA Hides Part of the PictureMounting evidence points to the relevancy of external factors on our health. Irritable bowel diseases may have some genetic correlation, but larger contributors such as diet, lifestyle, and environment play the largest role. Often, resolving a dietary or lifestyle issue can completely eradicate digestive disorders. Unfortunately, it is more lucrative for pharmaceutical companies, and the organizations which they fund (such as the CCFA), to purport the “Genetics Loads the Gun” theory. 


Your Health: Get the Whole StoryWhen it comes to you and your family’s health, it is imperative to get the whole story. Your health depends on it.