This week we do a literature review looking at epigenetics, exercise, time restricted feeding and the microbiome. We also look at Iron as a mineral of necessity. We finish with a recipe for Polish Beet Soup.
SPA Audiocast Newsletter Volume 12 Letters 10 and 12
In issue 10, we look at effort and resilience. We take a look at non nutritive sweeteners and the microbiome. And finally, sugar and the risk of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
In issue 12, we discuss trauma and the epigenetic realities that follow these events. We look at some new research related to type 1 Diabetes following Covid infection as well as the effects that Maternal Gestational Diabetes on newborn offspring.
Audiocast #40 – Epigenetics
Humans, like most organisms on earth, grow and maintain their biological systems through a complex interplay between the environment and their genes. Epigenetics is the study of the ability of environmental signals to silence or activate these genes, thus effecting cellular function and species survival. I was once given an analogy, by Dr. Randy Jirtle, that your genes are like a computer hard drive. They do nothing until the software inputs change activity. The environmental signals like food, chemicals, stress and much more are the putative software inputs for us. Good lifestyle inputs have been epidemiologically proven to reduce disease risk.
Audiocast #42 – Stress, Psychiatry and the Intestinal Microbiome
This week on the show, I sit down to put the first three maternal/child health podcasts into perspective. We take a more nuanced view of how these three experts are tied together. We examine the basic underpinnings of maternal health risks through the eyes of these thought leaders in preparation for the next three experts who will take us on a tour of human health from a microbiome and environmental perspective. This show is also a way for the folks that are on the go to get a summary of the podcasts for their benefit.
Dr. Randy Jirtle joins the show today to discuss his groundbreaking research that ushered in the era of epigenetics. Time Magazine nominated him for person of the year in 2007 and had this to say about him: “Dr. Jirtle’s pioneering work in epigenetics and genomic imprinting has uncovered a vast territory in which a gene represents less of an inexorable sentence and more of an access point for the environment to modify the genome. His trailblazing discoveries have produced a far more complete and useful understanding of human development and diseases” — Time Magazine. This interview is ground zero for the Women and Children First Podcast as we discuss the underpinnings or mechanisms of disease risk for all humans as it relates to the environmental inputs of our lives that are driving health or disease at both the pregnancy and post natal periods. We look specifically at how maternal nutrition and later chemical exposure directly affected the health of the agouti mouse offspring. This experiment was the first of its kind and paved the way for a complete shift in human disease understanding. For parents, this podcast is really the beginning of everything that I am trying to convey regarding a healthy pregnancy and childhood. Without this interview, the following interviews will be more difficult to understand. The picture becomes very clear once his research is cemented in our minds.
His biography is as follows: Professor of Epigenetics at the Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, and a Senior Scientist at McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. He was previously professor of radiation oncology and associate professor of pathology at Duke University, Durham, NC, where he had been a faculty member since 1977. He graduated with a B.S. degree in nuclear engineering in 1970 and a Ph.D. degree in radiation biology in 1976, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His awards list is long but the key to Dr. Jirtle is that he is a curious thinker and we are grateful for this.
Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Randy Jirtle,