Gene activities can be modulated: Deepak Chopra

The next time someone attributes high blood pressure or diabetes to family history, think again! Are genes really responsible for ailments? Perhaps, no according to physician author Deepak Chopra.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 28, 2014, 16:24 PM IST

New Delhi: The next time someone attributes high blood pressure or diabetes to family history, think again! Are genes really responsible for ailments? Perhaps, no according to physician author Deepak Chopra.

According to common definition, a gene is a unit of heredity transferred from parent to offspring. However, Chopra says most genes are the effect of our lifestyle and not what we have inherited.

"Only 5 per cent of what are called disease related gene mutation are fully penetrant, which means we inherit them, and you can't prevent those. But 95 per cent of disease related gene mutation are influenced by many factors like food and the quality of our emotions," says Chopra.

The Indian-born physician and a pioneer of mind-body medicine was here recently to deliver a lecture "The Future of Well Being" organised by non profit organisation Health Care Foundation of India.

Chopra, uses metaphors to explain that "DNA is the alphabet of life and genes is like the word".

"You have alphabets, then you have the words, then you have sentences, then you have paragraphs and then you have the stories. Your body is much more complex than your DNA. You cannot change the alphabet but you can change the way the alphabet influences the word and then you can change the sequence of the word.

"And the onset of that is never too late. You can get the changes at any age. It's all done by lifestyle, no medicine required," says Chopra.

The 66-year-old prominent alternative-medicine advocate, points out that microbes in the human body responds to activities on the basis of which genes react.

"The population of microbes in the body of any biological organism is mostly found in the gut and in the skin. Oral cavity, eyes, skin, hair follicle, stomach, intestine, blood houses the micro biomes. The human body has 600 trillion cells, only 10 per cent are human. So all our biological science has been about 10 per cent of who we are."

"The microbes respond not only to what you eat but to almost every experience you have. Eating is of course a very important aspect because when you put food in your mouth, it goes to your stomach and to your intestine and the first thing it interacts with are the microbes.