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Can you change your genetic expression based on what you eat? Conversely, if you are one of those people that are chronically deficient in say, Iron or Vitamin D, are your genes to blame? And what can you do about it?

How can this apply to factors that affect Autism/ADHD symptoms?

In this episode, Amanda Archibald, a pioneer in genomic nutrition, explains to us how – not only do genes affect how you can process food, but you can actually fine-tune the food you eat to optimize your genes?

Whether you need help with Omega-3 supplementation, or whether you need to USE Omega-3s to modulate some “slacker” genes, nutrigenomics is the field you have been waiting for.

You can find Amanda Archibald at www.genomickitchen.com

In the meantime, we are using nutrigenomics practically in our 5-day dosa challenge. Sign up at www.functionalnutritionforkids.com/dosa to find out how to make a dosa over 5 days and why a Dosa is a perfect breakfast for your child.

 

 

Audio Transcript:

Vaish:

Can you change your genetic expression based on what you eat? Conversely, if you are one of those people that are chronically deficient in, say, iron or vitamin D, are you struggling? And what can you do about it? Welcome to functional nutrition and learning for kids. I’m your host version, my job is to make it easier for you to understand why food affects your child’s focus, energy, and regulation, and what you can do about it. Today’s conversation with Amanda Archibald is in the area of nutrigenomics, which is the world of optimizing genetic expression through the food you eat. Now, this is a fascinating field, the very fact that you can manipulate the expression of a gene based on the food you eat itself is mind-blowing.

My guest, Amanda Archibald is widely recognized as among the foremost leaders in Translational Genomics, connecting genomic science to everyday health, and a global pioneer in genomic nutrition. She’s also an author, educator, consultant, and public health advocate. She founded the genomic kitchen in 2017, to showcase the relationship between genes food, and health, dedicated to making nutritional genomics more widely understood, Amanda teaches and mentors clinicians globally in the practice of Nutrigenetics, and nutrigenomics. Additionally, she guides individuals with complex health challenges on a journey to wellness, using genomics as the reference blueprint. Amanda is a native of the UK and currently resides in the western high desert mountains of Colorado. Let’s dig deep. Listen on. Hi, Amanda. Welcome to functional nutrition and learning for kids. Thank you for joining us here.

Amanda:

I’m glad to be with you. And I’m even happier that you based in Portland, Oregon, because it’s one of my favorite cities ever.

Vaish:

Awesome. Yeah, I am going to maybe dwell directly into the language. So you work with nutrigenomics. But there’s also Nutrigenetics, I think I don’t know if nutritional genetics is different. But are we talking about genes influencing the nutritional status of our bodies are nutritionally intimate influencing genetic expression?

Amanda:

Are both? Yes, I work in both. And it’s interesting because I trained clinicians around the world. And your question is one that I have to make sure they completely understand too because they work. They’re United via nutrition, right? So I work with Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics. So if any of your audience has seen a, quote, genetic test, the type I work with, it will be a Nutri genetic test. So what does that mean? So Nutrigenetics looks at how changes how a gene or changes in a gene will influence how you utilize so absorbing your body uses specific information from your diet, aka nutrients. So I always think of Nutrigenetics as after the chain, how does the gene or their genotype data your phenotype you and the genes you’ve inherited?

How does that influence what you do with information from food, right, so that’s, so for example, let’s give an example? Some people may need some help with Omega three supplementation, for example, because of the food sources of Omega three, if you’re not eating seafood, for example, you’re gonna have a harder time new to Gillette, genetically, getting that omega-three fatty acid in the right form. So that’s it. And we can look at some other examples of Nutrigenetics. So nutrigenomics is the brilliant art and science of the world I work in, which is where we can use information from food. It could be something like, again, omega three fatty acid, it could be something that we call a bioactive, which is a resident molecule of food, to target genes to get them up and get them to do their job, which is great. So I think this is before the genes.

This is prodding the gene or creating a workaround, because as I say, the gene is a slacker, in some cases, it hasn’t shown up at all. So what are you going to do? So we literally can write recipes, and we can talk to individuals like yourself, your clients, or the public at large about how to harness the power of food based on their genetic profile? It’s brilliant, don’t you think? It’s just like, Wow, a whole new set of tools? The weekend just

Vaish:

case you’re using the foods to optimize genetic expression, right? Correct.

Amanda:

Yeah, to optimize and like in some cases, you know, we all nobody has a perfect set of genes. We all have, you know, those who are really really eager to do the job and those who haven’t shown up, and those who were just like slacking. So as I like to say like they need a kick in the pants. sometimes to do their job say that the gene, so you said phenotypes of the gene are there, but it’s not x, is that the correct language? Or it’s not expressed?

Amanda:

Yeah, so, so genotype is a set. This is interesting not to kind of get folks confused because it is confusing. So your genotype is like your human genes. It’s like the genes you inherit your phenotype is basically how the world we live in including food stress diet, well, diet, right exercise, is influencing or changing our gene blueprint, if you will. So you get, let’s say, you come up with a perfect set of genes, like human genes, which were each a little different, based on the genes we inherit, but also how the environment we live in washes over us. And that kind of changes our genotype, it becomes who you are, which is, you know, it’s a human right at our evolve over our lives. So, but nutrigenomics think of that as before the chain-like Nutrigenetics, how that chain influences? You know, how you respond to exercise or sir or the food you eat or not, you know, nutrigenomics is like, it’s sort of like the art of how we dial-in information to optimize Yes, not necessarily change your optimize gene expression will be a better way. Good point.

Vaish:

Yeah, it’s definitely a fascinating field. And I’m curious about to what extent you can do this optimization. So one of the questions I have, and I’m going to get this out before, so we can go into more specifics later, is that a lot of times people will say, so, you know, like, the functional nutrition functional medicine world is very centered around a paleo style diet. A very, what I would think it’s a very European centric diet, which isn’t necessarily what ancestral populations have had in other countries for ages. Yeah. So I’m, so a lot of times, you know, you hear language like this that? Well, my, you know, genetically, you can maybe eat grains, but I can, so is that even accurate? So, what do you think?

Amanda:

Yeah, so let’s kind of dial that back. So I grew up in Europe. And growing up in England, I grew up with so many different cultures, which was fabulous, you know, I just loved it, like to be seen England on national dishes, Indian and all the different areas. It is it was just absolutely amazing to live and work there. But to come back to your question, one of the criticisms of the human genome project is that it was very white, if you will, very European-centric. And of course, we’re, and that’s just the nature of how that project evolves. So the human genome project basically, is an international project, it wasn’t just an American or European international project, that basically gave scientists the map of how the human body is built, genetically. So it was brilliant. But if you’ve looked at a lot of the research, it did kind of like the Mediterranean diet, it did veer more towards kind of white and all Caucasian and European populations.

However, what we now see is so much more research that speaks to the phenotypes or the genetic predispositions of Southeast Asians, for example, or Africans are absolutely amazing what we’re seeing, for example, then I want to give you a very specific example of exactly what you’re talking about. So for example, the Inuit, so the Eskimo population, they, if we look genetically, at their ability to produce their own forms of Omega three, a very, very important fatty acid, as you know, they literally kind of don’t need the gene because they’re the diet is, you know, or what traditionally was full of omega-three fatty acids.

If you look and I just saw this recently, so I should see that send you this research. If you look at the same gene, so it’s fats one and fat to the chain in South East Asian populations, your gene and this isn’t a general observation, you are predisposed to be able to take plant sources of Omega three Alpha Linna clinic acid and produce EPA and DHA, whereas the Eskimos can they, In other words, you cannot give an Eskimo illness and I’m talking very general terms a plant-based diet, right, right. It can’t they don’t have the gene Where is the Southeast Asian pocket that’s a huge population, right.

Vaish:

I think it was very specific to Indians but sub-classifications right. In the Indian population, you can automatically eat a plant-based diet So, um, get through omega threes. That is so interesting. That makes so much sense. Yeah, right. So it. Yeah, yeah.

Amanda:

So to your point, there’s been a lot of generalizations in genetics that now we know, like, depending on the individuals around the world, they have different predispositions dietarily If you don’t eat, I don’t know on exercise. But on diet, we can’t make the same assumptions for everyone. And so let me give you an example of that. So my husband is Greek by birth. So he was adopted at birth by American parents, his American and French is a beautiful story. But it took us a long time to figure out you have migraines for a long, long time. Migraine is such a horrible thing to live with, for any person. And getting to the bottom of it is a real journey.

What we finally discovered is that he cannot tolerate casein, so he’s not lactose intolerant. It’s casein intolerance. So the protein from cow’s milk, specifically cow’s milk in us, well, he’s Greek, his DNA is Greek on Greek islands, they don’t have cows. They have goats, so he can tolerate sheep and goat milk on products, which makes sense, right? Of course, coconut, but which is not native to the Greek cuisine at all. shouldn’t be there. They don’t grow that well. Maybe they do on an island, and I missed it. Maybe it’s in the southern islands. But that’s the point, right? That you cannot broad brushstroke things and our genes literally reflect our culture and our heritage period.

Vaish:

I wonder what that says about the, you know, the broad application, we’re talking about broad strokes of the Paleo-ish diet. So there’s like 20 diets that have spawned off the Paleo movement, which have obviously been enormously successful for, for people with, you know, Caucasians, basically European because many of them aren’t, it seems like more and more people are unable to digest grains. But, it’s so widely thought of as the template for a healthy diet. Yeah. And then you have coconuts in there, which I’m guessing don’t go and like you said, probably don’t go anywhere in Europe, so and we’re heavily relying on coconut products, even then the Paleo diet. It’s interesting how all of those things have kind of like layered into, like a mishmash of why we think it’s healthy. Yes.

Amanda:

And well, yeah. And to me, so it’s interesting working in genetics, I mean, that is my practice, that’s my work. I assume nothing about anyone person coming in none of this shit. So when I look at genetics or somebody’s blueprint, all I’m seeing, I’m seeing code and I’m seeing genes and I look for patterns. So I don’t actually know where somebody’s coming from, until I actually see you know, meet you, for example. And it’s a pattern that tells me where the disruption can be in the biochemistry where there are efficiencies and inefficiencies. So there’s no such thing as paleo or keto, or any diet for any of my clients until I see what the issues are, you know, or the inefficiencies are. So you know, paleo or keto, if somebody has a disruption in their mitochondrial membranes, and they can’t transport fat efficiently across those membranes, it doesn’t matter what the diet is, we have to fix what the inefficiency is, and that is oftentimes Carnot 10, right? So or now in this world of technology, it’s amazing that we can now use continuous glucose monitors to kind of look inside and see what’s going on with someone with certain gene patterns.

Some people just don’t do well with fasting over a certain period of time they don’t the body then flips and says it almost to like Paleolithic you know, and okay, we don’t know when our next meal is coming from if you will, or hunter-gatherer and your body starts producing proteins, you know, is the goat excuse me, they access proteins for sugar so gluconeogenesis as you know, chemistry right?

Vaish:

And that bumps of blood sugar SAP so to me that’s me. I mean, I have ridiculous crashes when I try too fast so yeah, yeah. Now there are ways

Amanda:

we can play with that we know that besides we can find our specific facts that your genes to change the fat object depends on what you know what your gym blueprint looks like, but there is no such thing as a one size fits all. I certainly understand keto and paleo keto more than paleo right. But you are right that these almost become these go-to diets was quote, they work for everyone. They do not they don’t you know, one person’s needs. And once a person’s optimal diet is another person’s like a trashy diet in some cases. So I’m right with you and genetics. It tells me and tells me exactly what to eat. It tells me how I need to work with you to get the right balance of foods type of foods form of foods to optimize and get your genes to work efficiently.

Vaish:

Do you see any overarching patterns that you would say, Okay, this is definitely a healthy diet so that if I knew nothing about you, this is maybe something I could tell you to do?

Amanda:

Yeah, and yeah, absolutely. And I think we know this, it doesn’t matter what culture we’re working with around the world, with the exception of, you know, traditional, traditional societies, if you will, something we don’t know anything about. Something, Eskimo, or that can be some very specific tribes or, you know, traditional people like an Amazon we don’t know anything about. But what we do know, whether we’re talking about Southeast Asian Australian, or wherever or North America, there’s no doubt that eating fruits and vegetables are important, you know, type of human vegetable can be more important.

The reason is, that everything starts in your gut, right? You know, you are what you absorb. But you are what you feed your microbiome, the bacteria in your gut. And so the best way to feed your gut is to give them the fiber and the information those bacteria need. And so if you kind of push that out into science, what we know, and maybe I can send you probably looking at the papers anyway, I can send you over a couple of papers where we kind of know that about 600 grams, which sounds a bit bizarre, isn’t it, but 600 grams of raw material from ice vegetable first, and fruit would be consistent with firing up your microbiome to do its job, but also provide the random amount of polyphenols.

Vaish:

Or information on your 600 grams of vegetables and fruits is Yeah.

Amanda:

Now when I say that, everyone’s like, Oh my gosh, you know, what? It’s not definitive or whatever. But listen, how food speaks to your genes is through information from plants. Okay? bioactive. However, you need the vitamins and minerals that come from your other foods as well, whether it’s seafood or, or animal products, that depends, you know, on your culture and your values, what have you. But if you’re talking about diet, what I’m talking about is you’re gonna get the most out of the information you need from plants. So you think plants first and I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, I eat you know, from a wide variety of foods, so variety, and think 600 grams. And I’m not a reductionist thinking thinker. But because I’ve worked with so many individuals, one of the first things we have to do is make sure they understand what 600 grams look like. So it’s about 1.3 pounds a day of a variety of fruits and vegetables. That’s what you need to strive for, whether they’re cooked or raw with the best of both, that’s in your mind is where we have to get to.

Vaish:

Right. Yeah, and I’m sure a number of people are immediately thinking, Should I measure them cook? Should I measure them, bro? My guess is that your answer is probably just to get started.

Amanda:

Just get started. So it’s interesting because this is something I work with a specific gut-based protocol. It was designed in Australia and is absolutely fantastic. We’re using nutrigenomics for manipulating genes if you will. But one of the things we have to do is see God and so we started talking about okay, what’s in science? What’s the optimal amount of food, right? And then I the first thing I said, Well, what does 600 grams I’d like so I’m actually creating, I’ve asked my clinicians in a group I work with to take photographs of what 600 grams looks like because we have no clue, you know, so yeah, it’s useful for people to measure it.

Now. I don’t myself own a digital scale. Not anymore, because I don’t really bake but fellow clinician stupid if anyone’s listening, and you have a scale measuring out either 1.3 pounds of what lettuce looks like is a lot of lettuce. Right? So here, it’s on there. But it’s very interesting. You know that you know, two collard leaves could be a couple of 100 grams, you know, okay, yeah, yeah. Yeah, they can. They’re big and heavy, Nico, take the stock out. But yeah, it’s just like, we have no idea what that looks like.

Vaish:

So that is a research base number so interesting. And that is the number that it takes to produce a change to actually have a meaningful conversation with your genes.

Amanda:

And well, yeah, we don’t want to look at it like that. It’s more part of a protocol we’re looking at but when you look at the research, you know, we’ve asked in nutrition science for exactly how do we know what to eat and how much so this would be I got need to pull the paper for you. This was looking more specifically at cancer, I believe or cancer, chemoprotection, but you can’t see Okay, if you read this, you won’t get cancer if you’re looking at, you know, in a laboratory setting or in research or epidemiologically.

We can look at this through research called genome-wide association studies where we’re looking at people who live to be over the age of 100, for example, what are consistent facets in their diet? For example? No, I’m not saying it’s 600 grams there. But you’re going to specify that you’re going to see a consistently higher level of plants. And then when you reduce it down to exactly how much the research I’m looking at was more specific to chemoprotection, which of course, is you know, that’s what we would strive for, for anyone. Right.

Vaish:

Which is interesting, which is a nice segue into my next question, which is that? Can you target specific areas of intervention? Are you using this field of nutrigenomics? Mike, I know from your website that you’re starting with genetic tests, correct?

Amanda:

That’s yeah, yeah. You don’t work? Niboshi unless you start with that because to me, it’s the gateway. It’s like it is you. It’s, I’m unpacking you, there’s no guesswork.

Vaish:

Right. So you start there, and then you understand what their nutritional needs are? Can you now further tailor it, let’s say, to the audience that we’re speaking to right now, can we tailor it towards attention span, maybe hyperactivity? Maybe neuroinflammation is a general term, but we’ll take that or seizure activity or something like that.

Amanda:

Yeah. And you know, genetic tests continue to evolve. So some of these areas are really specialty areas, and we don’t look at genes on tests unless they have clinical validity, right. And scientists, if you can’t use them, and I can’t advise you, we can’t look at those genes.

Vaish:

So go to the bottom line is to know that that gene has, you know, you can influence it, and it has an impact in the XYZ area.

Amanda:

Correct. So to your point, yes, I’m able to see patterns in genes that explain why somebody may be feeling the way that you’re experiencing what they’re experiencing now. I can’t. So I think it’s important to go back and see genser, there are signposts for me there are signposts to talk to you about, you know, what are your questions? What are you looking for, you know, what solutions are you after? What’s your health history? When I know that, I can look at changes and say, here’s where I feel the disruption is, and here’s where I think we need to work to find some solutions or advice for you.

So what’s interesting about working that way, is I assume nothing. And what I often found is the root cause is somebody’s challenges are far removed from what they thought they are, you know, so let’s say, you know, somebody has cancer, you traditionally might say, Okay, well, it’s because of a, b, c, d? Well, I don’t know, because I’m not specifically working with any diagnosis because genetics tells me where to look. But what I can see is, that a disruption in how you handle folate, for example, could be the root cause of why you have a disruption in your cells. And therefore that could be something we need to adjust, you know, or adapt nutritionally, so that we don’t have DNA strand breaks, for example, or a mutation.

So it’s a very interesting way of looking at this, or let’s say, somebody says, I have a lot of brain fog, or I can’t connect the dots, I might look and say, Well, I think based on your genes, and we genetic, you’ve had some inefficiency, in userland utilizing or absorbing a utilizing B 12. Really important for methylation. Therefore, you know, the brain fog issues may be fixed and may be associated with the gut, right, and methylation. And the methylation cycle requires multiple nutrients. So it’s so interesting that sometimes we’re like, Okay, well, this is my diagnosis, one and living with, therefore, I need to fix x. And I say, well, that’s not actually the issue, I’m seeing the issue meet me at, you know, how to utilize B, vitamin D, for example, I’m just sort of being extraneous here. But genetics takes us out of thinking has to be something and makes us think, no, I think the disruption is somewhere else. So yes.

Vaish:

And I’m, perhaps there would be a question. I mean, why can I just like a lot of parents that are doing maybe functional medicine or seeing Biomed doctor might already be doing betrayal tests, organic acid tests, and so on. And the difference that I am seeing is that it’s a snapshot of what is going on in your body right now. Whereas when you do the genetic testing, you’re seeing what your overall tendency is. And so you already know that regardless of what your test is, let’s say the B 12. The story is that your might always have to be dealing with a beat 12 possibility.

Amanda:

Yes, very, very important point what you just said that any lab testing, organic functional one Abra conventional, is a reflection of you right now. But it can be in the last 24 hours, right? What you eat can show up in your labs in serum. With some tests, it’s tissue, right? So you can see a tendency over the last three months. So, which is really, really useful. So in genetics, we work the other way around, you know, I’m not saying okay, this is you, therefore, this is what your issue takes this supplements, genetics, actually, a lot of times when I’m reading it, I, I will form an impression say, I want to validate this through lab testing and about 95% of the time I’m right, then you know, you’re working from your you’ve set up plans, it’s building you, as opposed to Okay, well, this is you today, therefore, you have an iron issue, or vitamin D, or B 12, or B six or take this supplement.

I’m not saying that’s how we practice functionally. But the functional community is fantastic, brilliant practitioners. But we’ve relied very, very heavily, of course, on our knowledge as practitioners and Dunlap testing. Genetics removes any of that to say, I start with jeans to tell the story of who you are, and answer your questions. But before we can intervene, I’m, I might want to validate through lab testing. So we’re using lab testing that way to confirm an impression before we have you take this, do this, change that, etc. So this is your tendency. Are you actually manifesting that tendency? So let’s try that.

Amanda:

Yeah, there’s no guesswork. You know you can’t, you know, she, you know, neurologically, we can’t afford to make any mistakes. I would never recommend a certain supplement to anyone with any individual I am because they come in different forms. It’s so easy to overload someone to overload a biochemical system that has a knock-on effect, right, we can cause imbalances, just by a good supplement. Right. And so my work is where the inefficiencies can we use food, to support those inefficiencies, get your genes back up to efficiency, again, sometimes we will always use spirit, that’s how the body operates. But that also tells us what we may need to supplement how long what form if we need to get their genes to do the best job they can for you.

Vaish:

Fantastic, yes, I love that. So if you had to give a little bit of parting advice to parents that are starting on a nutritional journey, or maybe they’ve been on a nutritional journey, and it hasn’t like given to them, a lot of times people will give up because, well, one of the most common things that you hear is oh, I went gluten-free, and I didn’t see anything. Or it might be more maybe they went on a GAPS diet or like a specific therapeutic diet. And they didn’t, they didn’t see the neurological change that we’re hoping to see. Right. So or the God change that we’re hoping to see. Actually, that’s probably more common than parents who have never been on a diet as parents have been on diets and kind of really had a hard time with it. But what, regardless, what do you have, like, any parting advice, three pieces, one piece of advice, whatever you’d like, how can people start? Restart?

Amanda:

It, you know, and it’s so interesting to me because I don’t do my work with actionetics anymore, because of exactly what you said, I don’t believe everyone should be gluten-free or dairy-free, you know, culturally doesn’t make sense. The challenge we’re dealing with right now, to put this in perspective, is we are at a collision course with our environment. And on a collision course with our environment, by the environment, I mean, our emotional environment, our relationship environments is the field of human social genomics, but also the sheer demand of our genes to deal with the toxins that are in our environment. So toxins are emotional, they’re physical in terms of exercise. And there is the environment we’re exposed to just by walking around, or what comes in BAM with our foods. So the reason I say that is that we’re asking our genes and our bodies physiologically to deal with things that they haven’t evolved to do.

They have not, we cannot, you know, we cannot possibly ask our bodies to work at the rate of the toxic environment we’re living in. So I say that because I think one of the things that we’re missing and all of this so parents listening in, is do a, even before you get to the food, which is how your body works. Make sure you evaluate the environment you’re living in, you know, what are your personal care products? You know, How clean is it? How local Can you buy your food, you know, is what’s possible for you? What is your environment? So the Environmental Working Group has a lot of different cool little assessment tools you can look at, one of the first things you can do is give your body a break by not reducing its exposure to what it has to deal with.

Period, you know, and I know that’s probably not the answer you were looking for, but because I’m looking at genetics or that time so many people have a disruption in their ability to detoxify information, whether it’s from meds, hormones you’re producing, or simply the toxins that are inbound with food or 10. Kinane issue, you’re saying, one of the best things you can do is evaluate, clean it up, and understand what’s coming in, around you. That takes a lot of burden off your body. And you know, that stops. Oh, you need to know gluten is an issue in the United States, because of how we’re growing it. For those of you who’ve traveled outside, if you’ve had gluten issues in the US, you may not have them outside the US. So that is environmental here. But don’t get on the bandwagon of okay, if I go gluten-free and or casein or dairy-free, I’m healed. Most of the time and genetics. I’m not seeing people have a predisposition to gluten intolerance or celiac, it’s actually I will say it’s rare, but I still see it very often.

Vaish:

Your gluten is more than an environmental factor. As you mentioned, it’s kind of a toxic environmental factor in the US that is just glyphosate, you know, so it’s a toxin.

Amanda:

Don’t you know, if you’re asking me this, from your diet, it can give you for some people, it really is an issue and you do feel totally bad. Don’t stop there that just removed the impetus that just removed the canary in the coal mine. Right. So what do you see a lot? What do we see a lot of people’s thyroid disruption, it cannot be that every single human being in the United States has thyroid issues, what has happened, it’s a canary in a coal mine, it means something is attacking your body or is found. And so we need to remove that. And then we need to get your biochemistry back on track. So your thyroid functions. For some people, it is gluten, but it’s not for the rest of your life. It just depends. Genetics tells us where the inefficiencies are. But to answer your question, even though I deal in nutrition and diet, I cannot tell you how important the environment is to do that first.

Vaish:

Yeah, I really liked that. Thank you. Thank you, Amanda, because I know you said you’re not a reductionist I am. So I like to bring things down to like a couple of things. And if I can see the patterns, here it is that definitely your genetics impact, your nutritional status, your maybe inflammatory status, all of your body systems, how they function together, etc. And what you may be experiencing. But if you’ve not dealt with the environmental effects yet then that is upstream of that yeah, I really liked that. Thank you. Thank you, Amanda, because I know you said you’re not a reductionist I am. So I like to bring things down to like a couple of things. And if I can see the patterns, here it is that definitely your genetics impact, your nutritional status, your maybe inflammatory status, all of your body systems, how they function together, etc. And what you may be experiencing. But if you’ve not dealt with the environmental effects yet then that is upstream of that It is upstream and isn’t emphasized enough.

Amanda:

And we’re not given enough tools, but you know, environments or it’s or switches for your genes to you can put you can eat the perfect diet but live in a toxic environment or relationship. And all this law, it’s not all this loss, you’re pushing upstream, you’re pushing that which you have working against.

Vaish:

Yeah, working. So interestingly, because I never think about that you said, Did you say emotional social genomics or something like that?

Amanda:

Yeah, human social genomics is one of the most incredible dynamic fields I’ve ever been exposed to. And the research leaves me spellbound, but it explains so much you know, that you cannot live with trauma. So let’s take this to where we are right now and think about what’s happening in Ukraine, and not to kind of take, you know, to, to sort of end on a sad note or anything here. But what we know and through research, so human social genomics looks at the impact more of the social environment, emotional environment, on genes and half. And so we know through research, for example, and looking at taking this to Ukraine, because it’s very relevant if we can’t live in this world and not be exposed to what’s going on there.

So why is it after World War Two, and this was a Dutch famine study? So after World War Two, researchers were able to study the offspring, so of women, so it would be women, of course, because we give birth, who were exposed to famine and severe deprivation, during World War Two, which millions of people work around the world, but it just happened to be a Dutch family study. And what was interesting is the offspring, even though they were raised with great, you know, better food, obviously than during the war had a predisposition to obesity or diabetes.

Vaish:

Why is it right, and what it is what they actually found out was that it epigenetics to see the impact of the stress and trauma on the genes In utero. So children that happened in one generation.

Amanda:

In one generation that happened, we see the same trauma with our Native Americans like why are they predisposed to trauma and stress or have much higher rates of diabetes, for example, than the general population. And a part of that is history in a collision course with food after World War Two, but then that’s found in studies. Super, super interesting. So if we take that to the modern world, why is it that children who have grown up in socioeconomically deprived environments may have higher rates of asthma or diabetes, than those who, and they’re eating the same food and live in the same neighborhoods have kids who, you know, their family unit may be intact, or what have you. And it is that the environment can change the inflammatory response. So it can turn on genes, it can turn on the inflammatory responses from genes, and it could turn down the antiviral response.

Put that, yes, that’s amazing. Put that in the context of COVID. So COVID, you know, millions of people around the world experience COVID. But if we look at the United States, and we start to tease out some of the data, the people who suffered the most would be people from low-income socio-economically deprived, or stressed communities, right? If you look at the data, so right, because they’re immune to it, you know, that not only Genet they don’t know enough, genetically yet. But we know, their immune function will probably have been weakened, just by the world and environment that we’re living in, right. You know, if you’re struggling to put food on the table, working three jobs, the kids are like, you know, struggling themselves, you know, when kids looking after another, you know, it’s a stressful situation.

That’s why we saw, you know, this kind of slant towards people who are trying to struggle in those environments and their ability to survive COVID or get it, you know, so now we would go over to Ukraine, and I think of World War Two, and we think of, it’s a lot of women right now, you know, they’re separated from their, their husbands don’t even know, or their partners don’t even know they’re still alive, they now have to flee a country if they’re pregnant. We don’t know yet. The impact of that sheer trauma forces us to see the environment, the social stress environment, on those women and their offspring, we don’t know, but I suspect we will see. So this is human social genomics, that really explains why do some people you know, why don’t you get why would a kid this playing basketball, you know, out and super energetic? Why would they get asthma versus another kid in an inner-city setting? So that’s just an example. So that’s human social genomics is brilliant.

Vaish:

It is fascinating, and it’s definitely something that I want to study more of all Yeah, I’ll chat with you after the podcast. But how can parents read How can parents reach you?

Amanda:

At www.genomickitchen.com Yeah, yeah. Yes, we’re busy. We’re super busy. But you know if if you know my work is something you’re interested in.

Vaish:

They can work with you by going to your website if they want to just reach out and if I’m not able to work directly, we can train and work with a lot of clinicians who probably can so it’s amazing to work.

Vaish:

All right. Thank you so much for you know, really opening our minds to a lot of this science and information around food and nutrition because I think it’s been so one track for a long time. I’m really happy to hear this. Thanks, Amanda.

Amanda:

Thank you.

Vaish:

Thanks for listening everyone, as a reminder to everyone that those a challenge is live in one day. And you can sign up to the 60s or figure out how to make a dosa step by step at functionalnutritionforkids.com/dosa. Talk about getting nutrigenomics in action. Looking forward. See you in a week on episode 95.