One of my favorite educational conferences to attend is the annual International & American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists (IAACN Conference), a scientific symposium. The topic and focus of this years 4-day symposium was “Epigenomics and Orthomolecular Nutrition: Keys to Sculpting Optimal Health” with presentations from some of the most brilliant doctors and researchers including Drs. Tom O’Bryan, Arden Andersen, Steve Haltiwanger, Luke Bucci, Russel Jaffe, Chris Meletis, Jim LaValle and David Miller.
The fact that this years IAACN Conference was held in San Diego while we were experiencing a 115° heat wave in Phoenix, AZ made it even better and was a much welcomed getaway. This is a photo of the view from my room – very calming, relaxing and nourishing for the soul.
My brain was thoroughly nourished and overloaded with an abundance of information (an environment I thrive in). And of course, lots of fun too with like-minded friends and colleagues. Below you’ll find just a small fraction of some of the valuable, cutting-edge info that was presented at the IAACN conference.
Epigenetics: Clinical Pearls from the IAACN Conference
“Epigenomics and Orthomolecular Nutrition: Keys to Sculpting Optimal Health”
- You’re going to hear quite a bit about epigenetics, if you haven’t already. Epi means over and above in Greek. Epigenetics is the study of heritage changes in gene expression that occur with a change in the DNA sequence (what happens around the gene). The science of epigenetics is that we can alter which genes we turn on and which genes we turn off, and which genes are expressed known as genetic expression.
- Numerous external and internal influences greatly impact our genes such as nutrients, the food we eat, our thoughts, physical activity, stress, and exposure to environmental toxins and microbes all of which move us closer to either health or disease. It is our lifestyle choices and environment that determine our destiny. Food is the primary environmental exposure.
- We are quite literally what we eat as well as what our parents and even grandparents ate. Epigenetic states can be passed on to offspring meaning that above and beyond genetics there are certain traits that can be passed on from one generation to the next. For instance, if your grandmother smoked, suffered from depression or was chronically stressed while she was pregnant this has long-lasting effects that are passed down to the next generations.
- The carbs you choose to eat have an impact on up-regulating or down-regulating inflammatory genes. White potatoes and grains turn the inflammatory gene on. Blueberries activate anti-inflammatory genes.
- Do you want to live longer? Eat 20% less. Doing so modulates histone acetylation, which reduces the expression of inflammatory genes.
- The triad for most autoimmune diseases include genetics, environmental influences and intestinal permeability. Arrest the development of autoimmunity by healing the gut. Anyone with Candida is autoimmune. Always, always, always heal the gut first.
- Just because someone looks healthy does not mean they’re healthy. No one gets Alzheimer’s or any degenerative disease at age 60 or 70; the process starts decades earlier.
- No human can properly digest wheat, rye and barley. Toxic peptides of gluten in wheat are also found in oats. Cyrex Labs is the best lab to track and detect gut permeability and gluten sensitivity.
The core food quality issues today presented at the IAACN Conference
- Genetic engineering (GE) is an infective process where a cell is infected with foreign material, which triggers and induces significant inflammation in the gut and visceral organs.
- Newly found—infective biomolecular matrices that uses conventional plant-breeding methods to enhance the concentration of micronutrients in food crop. This new infective agent is a killer, “The Emerging Plague of the 21st Century.”
- Genetic engineering (GE) of foods – inherently proflammatory and a disease causing system and has led to the increased use of toxic pesticides causing an increase in human disease.
- Nutrient density (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants). Gut dysfunction and GI disease have risen according to the nutrient decline in food.
- GE crops use 30-50% more water to grow. GE is not needed; it’s about monopoly, money and greed.
- Animals given a free choice will not touch GE crops unless they are starving. Every study, including those by the industry itself, shows adverse reactions to animals that eat GE crops.
- A salad today (mixed greens, peppers, onions, tomato, olive oil) has 15-76% less nutrient value plus residues of pesticides and herbicides compared to the same salad mix in 1940.
- GMOs and pesticides corrupt genetic expression. In 1990, 35 million liters of pesticides were sprayed on fields; this year over 300 million liters will be sprayed!
- Even when a farmer isn’t growing GM crops, contamination can easily occur through seed mixing or pollen drifting from neighboring GM fields.
- Pesticides affect insulin-binding receptors. Pesticide exposure has been linked to weight gain, IBS and gut dysfunction, hormone disruption, food allergies, neurodegenerative and cognitive dysfunction, systemic botulism, food poisoning, birth defects, infertility, cancer and more.
- The negative side effects of pesticides can take years to show up, and by the time symptoms are clear the damage may have already been done.
- Environmental exposure to obesogens is triggering the early onset of puberty. In 1900, puberty occurred at 16-17 years of age. Today onset of puberty can be 10 or 11; for African Americans the age is 5 to 7 years of age.
- All grains are sprayed with Round Up (glyphosate). Grains have elevated levels of mycotoxins, which are endocrine disruptors. Remove all grains from your diet and testosterone increases.
- Round Up is a chelating agent, particularly chelating trace minerals from the body.
- At lower concentrations of Roundup and glyphosate, the main endocrine disruptor is a decrease in testosterone by 35 percent. (Toxicology in Vitro 26 (201) 269-279).
More Clinical Pearls from the IAACN Conference
- Understand that nutrient density is the fundamental quality standard for food.
- Be proactive upon consumption. Educate yourself regarding food quality, evaluation techniques and have discernment between lip service and truth
- Avoid GM foods – canola, soy, corn cottonseed, alfalfa, sugar, Hawaiian papaya (and animal products from animals that are consuming these items)
- Eat organic when available and as much as possible
- The timing of nutrient supplementation or deprivations, infections and inflammation have important effects on brain development and function. The vulnerable period for nutrient deficiencies extends until 3-5 years of age.
- Nutrient deficiencies create permanent cognitive and behavioral impairment when they occur between fetal growth and 5 years of age. Feeding fast food to kids slows down their mental growth creating an IQ disaster.
- Alcoholism, antisocial personality and borderline personality all have frontal lobe and hippocampus dysfunction caused by nutritional deficiencies in the first five years of life.
- Adverse environmental influences in early life such as maternal care, alcohol exposure, and prenatal and early childhood nutrition interact with epigenetic factors to induce neurodevelopmental disturbances that are related to various psychiatric disorders.
- Glucosamine works best taken once daily when taken on a empty stomach (such as before bedtime) will elevate serum levels 30-fold, reaching a max at 3 hours.
- Telomeres are the caps on the ends of chromosomes. Researchers have compared them to the tips on the end of shoelaces. Shortening of telomeres is linked with accelerated aging and contribute to every known disease of aging.
- Telomeres were on average six percent shorter in men who slept 5 hours or less per night compared with those sleeping 7 hours per night. (PLoS ONE 7(10): e47292. 2012)
- Support the health, length and protection of telomeres: lower inflammation; reduce oxidative and psychological stress; detoxify the body; and take nutrients to support telomere length. Resveratrol and magnesium are two of the best nutrients to support the health of telomeres.
- Qualified predictive biomarkers: Hemoglobin A1C, homocysteine, C-reactive protein (hsCRP), oxidized LDL/HDL and 8 oxo-guanine, vitamin D, and first AM urine pH.
- An easy way to explain methylation: primary method of detoxification; turning on the genes that encourage detoxification.
- You can order a simple and inexpensive DNA test to discover over 240 of your health conditions and traits and find out things like if your body metabolizes caffeine quickly, or if you’re at a higher risk for diabetes. The more you know about your DNA, the more you know about yourself.
I hope you enjoyed these clinical pearls from the IAACN Conference!