by Heather Callaghan
Through the emerging information from epigenetics – the study of environmental exposure on genes – it becomes apparent that we are not the body equivalent to Las Vegas. What happens to us doesn’t stay with us – it moves on.
It’s not so much that disease moves on, but a “poorly trained” immune system does, according to a unique new study in Nutrition Journal.
It starts with inflammation from the Western diet and an infinite domino effect begins….
An excerpt from the abstract of “Fast Food Fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity”:
Detailed attention is given to the dietary impact on the gut microbiome and the mechanisms by which our poor dietary choices are encoded into our gut, our genes, and are passed to our offspring.
While today’s modern diet may provide beneficial protection from micro- and macronutrient deficiencies, our over abundance of calories and the macronutrients that compose our diet may all lead to increased inflammation, reduced control of infection, increased rates of cancer, and increased risk for allergic and auto-inflammatory disease.
On page 4:
What is perhaps of larger concern is that the harmful effects of diet can actually stretch across generations. A mother’s diet may potentially shape her child’s flavor preferences even before birth, potentially skewing their palette towards anything from vegetables to sugary sweets in ways that could influence subsequent propensity for obesity and/or unhealthy dieting. In addition, children inherent their microbiome from their mother mostly through parturition but also during breast-feeding and development until the bacterial balance matures around to four years of age.
It goes on to say that microbiome can be “seeded” into the unborn child while in the womb, but if diet toppled mom’s bacteria balance, the child’s inherited immune system doesn’t have an “education.”
Later, while the study definitely doesn’t condemn the genetic modification of food crops, major concern surrounds the inflammatory effects of certain Bt pesticide-resistant varieties and its potential genetic impact on gut bacteria, and perhaps that issue being passed on. They point out that it would be hard to fully determine since patent laws bar independent study without permission, and the potential for evidence suppression and conflict of interest on the word of biotech companies is a possibility. Indeed.
The study doesn’t contest that Americans are fed, but the inability to absorb nutrients which literally leaves them defenseless in the face of disease, or rather creates the environment for it with a poorly trained and equipped immune system. Lacking a good bacterial microbiome is intensifying the vulnerability and that seems to be what we pass on to offspring.
The authors conclude:
Of potentially greatest concern, our poor dietary behaviors are encoded into both our DNA scaffolding and gut microbiome, and thus these harmful immune modifications are passed to our offspring during their most critical development window.
Therefore, given the scope of influence, the vast economic impacts, and the potential for trans-generational inheritance, the dietary impacts on immune health should thus, at minimum, be afforded a level of attention equal to that given to the dietary impacts on cardiovascular health.
In the end, it takes a terribly hopeless tone, concluding that even probiotics can’t undo the damage or help posterity – meaning, more needs to be done. But what? Intervention? The target seems to be the “damage of our dietary choices.” Yet, most people are limited in their choices, especially at the grocery store where most of the choices have unlabeled GMOs and chemicals.
Recovery for Western health and future generations of course, remains to be seen. A great many atrocities appear aimed at deactivating the entire terrain of the human immune system. What do you suppose the ultimate purpose was for this study?
Please feel free to read the study and let me know what you think. You can see some interesting charts here.
Recently, I wrote about the impact of hunger, genocide and war on the skulls of Cherokee native Americans. Skulls were shrinking in size and that trait was being passed on genetically, but only during tumultuous times. While the discovery seems quite new, I point out that doctors were warning about the necessity of nutrition on genetic impact decades before, yet they were ridiculed at the time. We come full circle again.
But it’s not just junk food – the modern bogeyman in politics; it’s everything in the environment, especially chemicals, which we eat and are exposed to with everything we touch and the air we breathe. The devastating and gene-altering capability of environmental chemicals, even before conception (through the DNA of each parent), has been documented for decades.