Epigenetics describes the cells in our bodies and their ability to inherit traits from our experiences. Epigenetic inheritance allows much more transmission of traits between generations than genetic inheritance alone. What is epigenetics and how does it affect us in real life?

Table of Contents:

What are genes?

Genes are small sections of DNA that code for proteins. They are made up of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA. There are about 20,000 genes in our body. These genes determine how we look and how we function. A gene is a DNA sequence that contains the information necessary to make a protein. A particular gene may contain the code for one or more proteins, or it may not contain any coding sequences (e.g., introns). Genes that encode proteins are called “coding” genes; those that do not encode any protein information are called “non-coding” genes.

What is epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that do not involve changes in the underlying DNA sequence. These changes can be passed on to future generations, thus affecting the way our genes are expressed. These changes are caused by factors such as diet, lifestyle and environment. However, what is epigenetics in practice? It is considered the missing link between our environment and our health because it helps us understand how our choices affect our bodies. It also explains why identical twins who share the same genetic code do not always contract the same diseases or experience the same health problems.

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Photo: genetic testing

What is the difference between genetics and epigenetics?

Genes are segments of our DNA that determine the structure and function of our body. They contain information for the formation of proteins, which perform most biological activities in the body. The way genes work depends on a combination of genetic (DNA) and environmental (non-genetic factors) influences. What epigenetics is is a focus on non-genetic factors that affect how genes work. These include chemical changes in DNA called methylation, which can turn off certain genes; histone modifications; DNA methylation; and non-coding RNA molecules. The goal of studying epigenetics is to understand how these mechanisms affect health and disease.

How can lifestyle affect your genes?

Our lifestyle choices can change our genes, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. The most important thing we can do is to stay healthy, eat well and exercise regularly. Learn more about nutrition in the article 5 reasons to visit a nutritionist. The lifestyle choices we make every day, such as our diet and exercise habits, can affect our DNA. The DNA in our bodies has been the same since we were infants. However, we do not always express our genes in the same way. We don’t all look the same and we don’t all suffer from the same diseases. What epigenetics is is what makes us different – that is, how our environment changes the action of our genes. Your epigenome is made up of molecules that attach to your DNA and determine whether specific genes are turned on or off at any given time. These changes can be passed on to our children. Epigenetic changes can occur when something in the environment triggers chemical reactions in the body that alter the way genes are expressed – for example, when someone smokes cigarettes or goes through a stressful event such as a breakup or divorce. When this happens, it can cause long-term health and behavioral effects that manifest decades later – which is why it’s so important to protect yourself from bad habits now if you want to avoid chronic diseases later in life.

Epigenetics shows that some effects of our environment can be passed on to future generations

The question of what epigenetics is can be answered that it is nothing more than the study of gene expression – the way a gene is used by a cell – can be changed without altering the DNA sequence itself. This means that some of the effects of our environment can be passed on to future generations without changing our DNA. Epigenetic changes are sometimes called “molecular scars” because they are thought to be similar to DNA mutations, but are reversible and potentially beneficial. The most common epigenetic change is methylation – the addition of a methyl group to DNA or histones (proteins that package DNA). This process inhibits gene expression by making it difficult for transcription factors (proteins that bind to DNA) to bind to target genes. The same gene can be expressed in one way in one person and in a different way in someone else. Epigenetic changes can be caused by environmental factors such as diet, stress and exposure to toxins. They can also be inherited from parents.

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What should a woman who is a mother know about epigenetics?

The study of epigenetics is relatively new, but is gaining attention because it has the potential to help us understand the causes of many diseases. In particular, epigenetic changes may be involved in the development of several types of cancer. Addressing changes that occur at the cellular level and affect how genes are expressed (turned on or off) without changing the DNA sequence itself is the task that accounts for what epigenetics is. These changes may be temporary or permanent. Epigenetic modifications are responsible for turning genes on and off at different times in our lives. They can also be passed from generation to generation through mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modification and expression of non-coding RNA. The most common type of epigenetic change occurs when small chemical tags attach to DNA, which can affect gene activity by blocking access to certain regions of DNA or allowing other proteins to bind to them more easily. These chemical markers are usually attached by enzymes called histone modifiers, which control which parts of the genome are accessible during certain stages of development, such as during pregnancy or child development. Epigenetic marks are like switches on your DNA that affect whether your genes “turn on” or “turn off.” They can be affected by environmental factors such as diet, stress and exposure to toxins – and even our thoughts and emotions! These marks dictate which parts of the genetic code are expressed or suppressed, which can affect everything from disease risk to ease of weight gain.

In fact, epigenetic changes have been shown to occur throughout life, including during childhood development, adolescence and old age

Epigenetic changes have been shown to occur throughout life, including childhood, adolescence and old age. These changes can be passed from parent to child via egg or sperm (this is known as germinal inheritance). Epigenetic changes also occur throughout life based on environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle and stress levels. It should be noted that what epigenetics is does not affect our genetic code – it changes the way genes are read and expressed in different cells or at different times during development and growth. This can lead to an increase or decrease of certain proteins in the body, which over time can affect our health.

Different people as different genetic profiles react differently to the same environmental factor

For example, some people are more prone to obesity than others, and certain types of cancer are more common in certain families than in others. Epigenetics helps us understand why this happens. Epigenetic changes can occur at any time in a person’s life – even before birth – and can affect how his or her genes are expressed throughout life.


Since 2007, there have been more than 36 unique studies directly related to epigenetics and its effects on humans, as well as many additional studies related to this topic indirectly. This research has helped shed some light on what epigenetics is and how it relates to human life, opening the door for future research and development in this field. The possibilities of what we can do with the information we have gained so far are impressive and offer a bright future for our understanding of genetics, disease susceptibility, and even education and development.


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