The Genetics of Health with Dr. Sharad Paul Part 1

What does it mean that our genes are our biological stars? Why is it important to understand our genetic makeup? How can we use our understanding of genetics to take charge of our health? Skin cancer surgeon Dr. Sharad Paul talks about the genetics of health and the importance of understanding the connection between our evolutionary past and our future wellbeing.

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Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • Why we need to make evolution personal and how we can do that efficaciously

  • What we know about genetic health and why it matters

  • The sluggish gene and what happens to our brain when we don’t move

  • The relevance of dopamine and other key hormones to our behaviours

  • The impact of what we’re eating on our genes and what we feel

  • The procrastination gene, the anxiety gene, and why procrastinators are higher achievers

Key Takeaways:

  • When it comes to our health and wellbeing, we can think of genes as our blueprint, but they’re not our destiny. We are in charge of our blueprint and we can actually modify it.

  • One in every five people carries a variant of the GstD1 gene, which means they don’t metabolize vitamin C properly. The impact is so gradual that, for these people, you wouldn’t think anything is wrong until they are in their 40s and they’ve got pre-diabetes or they’re overweight or they’ve got a high blood pressure. These health issues could have been easily prevented if they knew they carried such a gene and ate more foods rich in vitamin C from when they were younger.

  • The most important reason for the body to move is because the brain evolved for movement. Not moving increases the risk of dementia, high blood pressure, and a host of other health issues.

  • People who have the sluggish gene respond well to endurance exercises.

Action Steps:

  • Get a genetic test and know your basic gene profile for wellness. Then you can actually tailor your diet and lifestyle for you to be fit and healthy.

  • Move your body! Don’t be stationary for too long periods of time.

Dr. Sharad Paul said:

“With the internet and things like that, we have democratized many other areas where people are able to take charge and do their own thing. But when it comes to health, you get lost in this quagmire of somebody decides what’s best for you…”

“With our diets becoming more dopaminergic… what you find is that actually makes you not only pleasure-seeking but you also become more grandiose, so you are more likely to believe in something outlandish. So you can actually see… how what we eat shapes how we become.”

Thanks for listening!

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Links to things we discuss in the show:

  • The Genetics of Health by Sharad P. Paul – Get the chance to win a copy of this book by leaving a review of this episode in iTunes! Don’t forget to mention the title of the book in your review.

More from Dr. Sharad Paul:

Dr. Sharad Paul’s Website

Dr. Sharad Paul’s Facebook

Dr. Sharad Paul’s Twitter (@DrSharadPaul)

Dr. Sharad Paul’s Instagram (@drsharadpaul)

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