You Have the BRCA Gene – Are You Doomed?

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Despite what we often hear from the national media and even Western medicine at times, your genes are not your destiny.  Having the BRCA gene does increase your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, but it’s not a written in stone unavoidable end result.  The BRCA gene just means you have a genetic predisposition to developing these types of cancers, but what’s more important is that your diet and lifestyle have a huge impact as to whether these genes, like the BRCA gene, get turned on or off.  Research is now showing that it’s our epigenetics that are a much bigger factor as to whether we develop cancer or not.

 

Epigenetics is the study of how our genes can be activated or deactivated by the foods we eat, the nutrients we take in, the toxins we’re exposed to, and how we manage stress and our emotions.  All of these environmental exposures can turn on or off our genes without changing the structure of our DNA, so what scientists once believed about how our genetics were fixed and could not be influenced by outside forces has been proven to be completely in correct.  It’s all about your lifestyle and how you live your life that makes the real difference.  And, this is great news because you have control over many of these lifestyle factors.

 

What we know about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are that they play a central role in DNA repair.  That means DNA repair will not occur after the DNA in a cell is damaged instead this unrepaired DNA will become hypersensitive to agents that can damage DNA.  This means it’s critical for you to reduce your toxic load and avoid substances that can damage DNA like carcinogens (which we’ll talk more about) and poor quality foods like unhealthy vegetable oils and conventionally raised animal meats.  We’ll go into great detail about all of these factors in the next few nutrition sessions so that we can reduce your risk of this BRCA gene from being turned on.  We’ll also want to look at your other genetic markers and assess your toxic exposure over the next few months.  And then we’ll develop a plan to provide your body with the food and nutrients to really support an anti-cancerous terrain like adding selenium which can normalize chromosomal breakage caused by BRCA1 and can balance the genetic damage caused by this mutation.  So all is not lost, there is much we can do with nutrition therapy to help reduce the risk of you developing breast or ovarian cancer despite you having the BRCA gene.

 

References:

  1. Graham, Gray, Deborah Kesten, and Larry Scherwitz. Pottenger’sProphecy: How Food Resets Genes for Wellness or Illness. Amherst, MA: White River Press, 2010.
  2. Hanahan, Douglas, and Robert A. Weinberg. “Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation.” Cell 144, no. 5 (2011): 646-74. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2011.02.013.
  3. Chen KL, Jung P, Kulkoyluoglu E, Liguori C, Lumibao J, et al. (2017) “Impact of Diet and Nutrition on Cancer Hallmarks.” J Cancer Prev Curr Res 7(4): 00240. DOI: 15406/jcpcr.2017.07.00240.
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