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Functional Medicine®

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Functional Medicine Explained

Healthcare professionals commonly give nutritional recommendations based on an entire population, only sometimes changing these according to age, sex, and pregnancy. Over the last 20 years, however, an increase in research studies has demonstrated that epigenetics can ultimately affect nutrition and even increase the risk of developing a variety of health issues, including oxidative stress and inflammation. Recent advances in technology are also currently being used to help healthcare professionals understand how nutrigenomics can affect an individual’s overall health and wellness.


Several research studies have also demonstrated that single nucleotide polymorphisms can explain the risk for individual complex disease traits. A single-nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, is a substitution of a nucleotide that happens in the genome. Moreover, further research studies can be utilized to explain the variation in health issue risk based on nutrition and genome. The purpose of the following article is to discuss recent developments in the field of epigenetics and personalized nutrition as well as to consider the contribution of research studies to nutritional recommendations.


Understanding Nutrigenomics


Epigenetics is a collection of changes that affect chromatin structure, without altering our DNA sequence, while allowing transcriptional regulation over a range of timescales. Common epigenetic processes include histone modification, non-coding RNAs, and DNA methylation. Many research studies on how epigenetics affects personalized nutrition focus on DNA methylation, however, research findings have demonstrated other epigenetic marks. DNA methylation inside a dinucleotide is a well-known modification in the genome of a variety of mammals in DNA replication and cell division.


Methylation of dinucleotides is shown by DNA methyltransferases, or Dnmts, and is regulated by mitosis. DNA methylation can trigger transcriptional silencing by blocking and/or promoting the connection of transcription factors in the methyl CpG-binding protein MeCP2 which activates histone-modifying complexes to the DNA. MeCP2 activates what is frequently referred to as histone deacetylases, or HDACs, and histone methyltransferases, or HMTs, resulting in a closed chromatin structure and transcriptional silencing. These have been demonstrated to be associated with various health issues.


Dnmt1 is activated by HDACs and HMTs which suggests that chromatin structure may also affect the status of DNA methylation in the regulation of genes associated with nutrition. According to healthcare professionals, epigenetic marks are essentially maintained throughout an individual’s life. However, recent research findings show that epigenetic plasticity can be affected in early development, including in stages of increased physiological changes, such as puberty and aging. This ultimately suggests the possibility that epigenotypes associated with the increased risk of developing health issues can change.


Epigenetics, Personalized Nutrition, and Origins of Health Issues


Research studies have demonstrated that our early life environment can affect our epigenetic process and the origins of health issues. Healthcare professionals also believe that nutrition in our early life can affect our epigeno- and phenotype in the future. Pregnant rat groups given a diet with corn oil resulted in hypermethylation and decreased gene expression in the offspring, causing mature osteoblasts. This is the first research study to find how maternal diet affects epigenetic processes by altering morphogenesis and changing non-imprinted gene expression in pregnant rat groups.


Pregnant rat groups given a diet with an undisclosed type of fat had increased fetal blood glucose concentration and increased mRNA expression of gluconeogenic genes in the fetal liver. A recent research study found that the amount of fat in the maternal diet was one of the major factors resulting in epigenetic changes in the offspring of pregnant rat groups. The diets given to the pregnant rat groups including fat derived from safflower oil, butter, hydrogenated soybean oil, or fish oil caused hypermethylation in the offspring compared with those where pregnant rat groups were only given 7 percent fat.


Furthermore, one research study found that pregnant rat groups given a protein-restricted, or PR, diet developed epigenetic silencing in both histone modifications and DNA methylation which was followed by progressive transcriptional suppression as the offspring aged. The research findings suggest that nutrition during early development can ultimately cause long-term changes in phenotype. Pregnant rat groups given a PR diet also developed hypomethylation of specific dinucleotides in the adipose tissue leptin promoter and in the heart PPARa promoter in adult offspring.


For more information regarding how epigenetics affects personalized nutrition, please review this article:

Epigenetics: Are There Implications for Personalised Nutrition?



Healthcare professionals have demonstrated that we can change gene expression and improve the risk of developing a variety of health issues, including oxidative stress and inflammation which can cause chronic pain, by controlling the food we eat. Starting in the kitchen and then taking it to the genes, if we follow a balanced nutrition, we will see a considerable change in our overall health and wellness. We have the ability to assess your specific genetic factors and what dietary guidelines are best for you to follow. One test we use is from DNA life called DNA Diet. A sample of this report is shown below: 




Research studies have demonstrated how epigenetics affect personalized nutrition. The same research studies have also demonstrated that a balanced nutrition can change our gene expression to improve how good food affects our overall health and wellness. While following a proper diet can help improve the risk of developing a variety of health issues, including oxidative stress and inflammation associated with chronic pain, eating good food may be difficult for some people. That’s why drinking smoothies or juices can be easy ways to include the balanced nutrition we need to promote our well-being. In the section below, I’ve provided a smoothie recipe so you can take your health and wellness from the kitchen to your genes. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights




Sea Green Smoothie

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 handful of kale or spinach
• 1 handful of Swiss chard
• 1/4 avocado
• 2 teaspoons spirulina powder
• 1 cup water
• 3 or more ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until completely smooth and enjoy!



The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.


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Dr. Alex Jimenez

Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, posture control, health Instruction, functional fitness, and structural conditioning. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility.

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