Following on from last months blog, when we said that epigenetic maladaption is proof of the physical transmission of the generational sins, dysfunctions, and traumas of our parents and grandparents, at a molecular level what is happening?
The process principally involves methylation of cystocine. What on earth does that mean? It is relatively simply so don’t give up reading!
There are four bases that make up the DNA strand that form your genetic code. These are Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine. AGCT are the letters of the code. These letters, in various combinations, make up genes. These letter combinations code for the production of proteins. The letters are a template for making proteins. For instance,1500 of these bases in a row, in a specific order, will code for a small but specific protein. Proteins are important in every aspect of cell function and each cell has 1000s of them, all different. eg ACCTAGATCCTCAGG…(1500 in total) will form a protein consisting of 500 Amino Acids. Enzymes are proteins, and enzymes are crucial in catalysing almost all biological reactions.
When a methyl group (a carbon atom with three hydrogen atoms attached) attaches to the any of the bases, but particularly cytosine, it has ability to alter the expression of the genes, but NOT THE ACTUAL CODE itself, and turn off the production particular proteins and enzymes. This often involves shutting down the production of functional enzymes, such as dopamine.
In other words, if your parents or grandparents had a particularly traumatic childhood; famine, war, domestic violence, etc., and the ‘feel good’ hormone dopamine is turned off as a consequence of methylation, there is a heightened chance of depression and anxiety in the offspring. Studies with holocaust survivors confirm this trend.
But it is a lot more subtle than that. Suppose you were a binge drinker in your late teens and stopped in your early 20s, and were responsible with alcohol thereafter, got married, and had children. Your sperm will be affected for the rest of your life, and your children will have a susceptibility to alcohol abuse because of the methylation that occurs affecting a range of enzyme functions. If you are female, your eggs are already formed and unaffected by your teen binging, but when you conceive, the eggs of your daughter will be affected, and these will be passed down to your grand daughter.
“Be not deceived your God is not mocked, what you sow is what you reap.”