DNA + Lifestyle = New DNA

August 28th, 2010

By Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center

We have long known that lifestyle has a powerful influence on health across a wide array of outcomes. It is not news to you that eating well, being active, controlling your weight, managing stress and not smoking, for instance, can influence your fate.

But we have tended to think in terms of “nature versus nurture” — with lifestyle and genetic influences on health as independent and potentially competing forces. This study, and others like it, ostensibly change the game. They suggest that lifestyle and genetics are not independent after all, but interact. Even our genes are influenced by lifestyle choices. We can, it seems, nurture nature.

To a Preventive Medicine specialist like me, this is of profound importance. Complacency and fatalism are enemies of disease prevention. For many people, the notion that their medical destiny is written in their genes is a disincentive to take matters into their own hands.

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August 21st, 2010

Heliocare is a groundbreaking capsule for sun protection made from the fern Polypodium leucotomos.  It offers a degree of additional whole body sun protection and prevents DNA damage.  You still need your sunscreen! But it may be worthwhile if you have fair skin, sun damage, lots of sun exposure, or a personal or family history of skin cancers.

Technically, Heliocare is dietary supplement with antioxidant properties which help maintain the skin’s ability to protect against sun-related effects and aging. It was discovered while scientists were looking for a treatment for vitiligo.

Fernblock™, the principal performance ingredient, works to protect skin structure, modulate immune response, and provide a daily defense against the UV photoaging process. Heliocare acts as a scavenger to mop up free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), particularly superoxide anions. It helps to repair damaged DNA in the skin. (I’m taking it on a daily basis, year-round.)

You can find scientific info on Polypodium leucotomos at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15583582 and webmd.com

We import Heliocare from New Zealand, and it’s available in our office.