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How Nutrition Impacts Your Genes and What You Can Do

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Leptin, PPAR-gamma, and curcumin. Do you know about these three terms? They are linked actually. We are working on understanding exactly how all of these terms are connected. And we may be getting much closer with our understanding of how Leptin influences PPAR-Gamma receptors. This story is important for everyone as we all need to understand how nutrition interacts with our genes to influence our individual health.

Leptin is a fat hormone. Literally. It is communicated from fat cells to the brain helping to define our appetite centers. When working properly, leptin is released and travels to our brain and tells our brain, you feel full, stop eating. This is particularly important at times of stress when food is scarce. And much of how our brain is wired is actually to help us in times of stress.

The difficult part about this is that, for the most part, we do not have food emergencies right now. In fact, we have quite the opposite—we have an abundant food supply and we tend to eat whenever we want. And so we tend to “mess up” our leptin regulation. This is a bad thing because when we misuse our leptin, we will gain weight and also start to mismanage our immune system. This will lead to a host of other unintended consequences.

This is an up and coming player in the world of metabolism, hormones, and health. When we are able to bind the PPAR-gamma receptors, we will set off a host of beneficial physiological events including lowering leptin, reducing oxidative stress and decreasing overall inflammation. So there is a race, if you will, to figure how best to bind these types of physiologic receptors.

Two weeks ago, a scientific paper was released revealing that binding PPAR-gamma receptors leads to a decrease in inflammatory bowel disease (crohn’s, ulcerative colitis). We also know that binding this receptor leads to better insulin regulation, better lipid profiles, and overall increase VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) which is responsible for delivering oxygen to tissues. So there are a lot of really good reasons to help with PPAR-gamma.

You are likely familiar with this spice as it relates to turmeric. Curcumin is also an up and coming player in the world of health and well-being as it provides outstanding anti-oxidant capacities, which have shown to be beneficial in helping to prevent Alzheimer’s Dementia among others. Curcumin is one of the few phytonutrients that is worth getting every single day due to its protection of the cell membrane from free radical damage.

Maybe we are just in the beginning of this story, maybe we are in the middle—I am not sure. But I am certain that adding more turmeric, resveratrol and conjugated linoleic acid to lower leptin will dramatically affect your health in a positive way. The pharmaceutical companies are racing to find a drug to do this, but I think it is always better to work with nature.

Originally published on Tonic


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