Must your genes dictate your destiny? A new book suggests not | books | reviews | Hindustan Times
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Must your genes dictate your destiny? A new book suggests not

Biologist and naturopath Ben Lynch argues that chronic conditions can be prevented, and reversed.

books Updated: Mar 03, 2018 20:47 IST
Rhythma Kaul
(Pixabay)
DIRTY GENES
  • Author: Ben Lynch
  • Publisher: HarperOne
  • Cost: ₹899 (Hardcover)

Can you treat the root cause of illness by altering the behaviour of your genes? It may sound like science-fiction, but a new book by cellular and molecular biologist and naturopath Ben Lynch says it’s possible.

Lynch is a pioneer in the field of epigenetics — the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression — and his new book, Dirty Genes, claims to offer a personalisable guide to preventing and reversing chronic illness.

Some genes are “born dirty,” he says. These are our genetic predispositions. Others “act dirty” in response to environment or lifestyle.

“What I have learned… is that we can transform our genetic destiny through a combination of diet, supplements, sleep, stress relief, and reduced exposure to environmental toxins (the toxins in our food, water, air, and products). With the right tools, we can transcend our inherent tendencies to disease… to create new and healthy life,” Lynch says.

The book is written in layman-friendly language and divided into three parts — ‘Can you control your genes?’, ‘Meet your dirty genes’, ‘Your clean genes protocol’, with an introduction that promises ‘your genes are not your destiny’.

“Remember, every moment of everyday, your genes are working on that document about your health. They can write it in a way you like or a way you don’t like — but they are always writing. And whether you know it or not, so are you,” he says.

The book also offers lists of issues, conditions, symptoms and targeted plans such as nutrition guides and recipes, sleep schedule, and lifestyle advice to improve overall physical and mental health.

A word of caution, though — the book offers much theory and prescribes practices that could be difficult to adopt. It also frequently states that the theory can hold good but “doesn’t have to”.

All in all, an interesting skim if you’d like an introduction to the principles of epigenetics.