Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause
It was just an ordinary day in 2007. I had half an hour to spare and decided to check out a program playing on the PBS show Nova, “A Tale of Two Mice.”
The program introduced us to two mice that were genetically identical—but looked completely different. Both were from a strain that had a strong genetic potential for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Yet one of the mice was lean and healthy, while the other was massively overweight and vulnerable to disease. Although each had the genetic potential for major illness and excess weight, only one of them was actually unhealthy.
As I watched in astonishment, the researcher explained the “x factor”—the mysterious, powerful reason behind our ability to manipulate our genetic inheritance and create health rather than illness. The secret was methylation, a biochemical process that takes place within your body. By methylating certain genes, you can turn off your genetic tendency to obesity and disease.
And how had that amazing feat been accomplished in the mice presented on PBS? In that experiment, through diet alone. While the experimental mice were still in the womb, researchers had given some of the mothers methyl donors—nutrients that support the methylation process—while the control group received none. The right diet had turned off the mice’s “dirty genes” and reshaped their genetic destiny.
This process of turning genes on and off is known as epigenetics. What I have learned since that momentous day in 2007 is that we can transform our genetic destiny through a combination of diet, supplements, sleep, stress relief, and reduced exposure to environmental toxins (the toxins in our food, water, air, and products). With the right tools, we can transcend our inherited tendencies to disease—including anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), birth defects, cancer, dementia, depression, heart disease, insomnia, and obesity—to create new and healthy lives.
I still remember how amazed I was as the program drew to a close. I slammed my hand down on my desk. “That’s it!” I cried out. “That’s what I want to do!”
From that point on, I was obsessed. Contrary to what so many scientists and doctors believe, our genetic destiny isn’t fixed. It can be edited, rewritten, changed. We just need to know how.
And so it became my mission to identify our dirty genes and develop the protocol we need to scrub them clean, replacing disease with health and enabling us all to reach our genetic potential. I’m happy to tell you that after a decade of research, study, and successful treatment of clients around the world, I have developed and refined the Clean Genes Protocol, a program to optimize your health—and your life.
The Power of Epigenetics
I’ve always been fascinated by the ways our bodies want to be healthy, and I’ve spent most of my life learning how to help them get there. As an undergraduate, I studied cell and molecular biology. I then became a naturopathic physician—a science-based practitioner who relies on natural methods to restore balance and optimize health. As I worked with patients, I realized that I also needed to become a specialist in environmental medicine, discovering both how the chemicals in our environment undermine our health and what we can do to detoxify our bodies.
What made all my diverse studies come together was the field of epigenetics: the many, many factors that can influence how our genes are expressed. I had always understood how powerful genes can be. But wow, was I thrilled to discover that we don’t have to bow down and submit to our DNA. Instead, we can work with our genes to create optimal health—if only we know how.
One of the most important pieces of the genetic puzzle is a type of variation known as a SNP (pronounced “snip”), which is short for single-nucleotide polymorphism. So far, roughly ten million SNPs have been identified in the human genome, with each of us having over a million.
Most of those SNPs don’t seem to affect us very much. Yes, they represent a slight variation or abnormality in various genes, but so far as we know, those variations don’t seem to make much difference in the way our bodies function.
Some SNPs, however, can make a huge difference in our health—and in our personality, as well. For example, SNPs in the MTHFR gene can create a whole host of health problems—everything from irritability and obsessiveness to birth defects and cancer. (Note that I said can. They don’t have to—that’s what this book is all about!) SNPs in the COMT gene can lead to workaholism, sleep issues, PMS, problems with menopause, and again, cancer, along with boundless energy, enthusiasm, and good spirits. (Yes, many SNPs have an upside as well as a downside!)
Health issues that had puzzled my clients for years suddenly made sense when they discovered through our work together that their SNPs had at least partly created those issues. Problems that had seemed overwhelming—even dooming—became manageable as clients learned that they could use diet and lifestyle to reshape their genes’ behavior.
I experienced that kind of aha moment myself when I discovered that I have at least three significant SNPs. I finally understood something about why I’m so focused and determined—some might say obsessive! I also saw why I can suddenly become irritable at a moment’s notice, and why I react so intensely to certain chemicals and fumes. It was a relief to have this new understanding: things made sense to me in a way they never had before, plus I had some new solutions I could rely on. As you read this book, you’ll have the chance to make the same kind of exciting discoveries about yourself.
Most important, learning about my SNPs empowered me to take charge of my health. Finally, I could support my body and brain with the diet and lifestyle that they needed. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was working at the top of my potential.
I wanted my patients to have the same experience—heck, I wanted everybody to hit that high. So I began to develop a program for cleaning up our “dirty genes”: what we should eat, which supplements could help, and how to create a “clean genes” lifestyle. I wanted us to be like that epigenetically supported mouse, glowing and healthy, no matter which genes life has dealt us. I knew that if I could just delve deeply enough, I’d find the answers.
And now, ten years later, I’m proud to say that I have. Oh, there’s still a ton more I have to learn—the whole field of epigenetics is just getting started, and we’re making new discoveries every day. I spend a big portion of every week doing my own research, and another big chunk of time reading the studies that my colleagues turn out. It’s more than one person could ever keep up with—and that’s the good news. In another ten years, I’m fully confident, we’re going to have the power to take charge of our health in ways we can’t even imagine.
Still, you want to be healthy today, not in a year or two or ten. So besides my research and study, I’ve worked with thousands of clients and hundreds of doctors, learning how all that arcane science can be translated into a practical, accessible program that anybody—no matter how busy—can do. I speak at conferences, publish videos, and maintain a blog, reaching physicians, health professionals, scientists, and laypeople.
I’m proud to say I’ve become the go-to guy on epigenetics even for such nationally recognized doctors and bestselling authors as Chris Kresser, Izabella Wentz, Alan Christianson, Peter Osborne, and Kelly Brogan.
To be honest, I wish I wasn’t the primary source of information—I wish what I knew was commonplace and widespread, the basic approach available in every doctor’s office. That’s become my new goal, and it’s why I’ve written this book: to teach every single interested person how to clean up their genes and achieve a whole new level of health.
Are Your Dirty Genes Creating These Problems for You?
Brain and Mood Issues
■ Brain fog
■ Insomnia and sleep problems
■ Memory problems
■ Breast cancer
■ Ovarian cancer
■ Stomach cancer
■ Heart disease
■ Triglyceride elevation
Female Hormone Issues
■ Menopause difficulties
■ Menstrual challenges—cramps, excessive bleeding, mood and cognition difficulties
■ Menstrual migraines
Fertility and Pregnancy Issues
■ Difficulty getting pregnant
■ Difficulty carrying to term
■ Increased risk of birth defects
Gland and Organ Issues
■ Fatty liver and other liver dysfunction
■ Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
■ Thyroid dysfunction
■ Food cravings, especially for sweets and carbs
■ Obesity and weight gain
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