45: Epigenetics and Your Genome
Transcript of Episode 45: Epigenetics and Your Genome
With Dr. Daniel Pompa, D.PSc and David Asarnow.
David: This is David Asarnow, and I’m here with Dr. Pompa. We are here for Cellular Healing TV, Episode 46. Dr. Pompa, can you believe it’s been 46 episodes of Cellular Healing TV?
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. It’s hard to be believe. I’m going to get closer to my camera. Yeah. It is hard to believe. And here I am in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Let’s see if we can show some of the pictures.
David: I can see the moose. I can see the moose lantern behind you.
Dr. Pompa: Yeah, exactly. [0:00:33]. Yeah. This is cowboy town. I mean, you can just tell by these magazines sitting there, Cowboys and Indians. Of course, it’s a ski town, right? I mean, SKI, and so I’m here for business, and well, always a little pleasure, but, yeah. No. Here we are in Jackson Hole, WY, and always amazing snow, and amazing animals, the moose and elk. But we’re here for an amazing show and an amazing topic, David, in my mind.
David: And no better place to talk about epigenetics than Jackson Hole.
Dr. Pompa: Why is that?
David: I have no idea. It just came out. Because you’re there, I’m here, and that’s the topic for today. So why don’t we talk a little bit about epigenetics, and I know that some of our viewers know what it is. And some people are saying, epigenetics, I’ve heard of it. It’s been in the news recently, or it’s been a trending topic of conversation. So what is epigenetics?
Dr. Pompa: Well, look. Epigenetics, think of it as how you’re—what your genes are expressing. Meaning that—here’s what you have to understand. Humans are 99.9.99% the same DNA. I know that sounds hard to believe. Meaning that, David, we all have basically the same genes. That’s why we don’t look like rabbits, or we don’t look like moose, right? Like the moose you see behind me or elk, so we actually have 99% of the same gene.
So then, you would say then, “Yeah, but why are we all so different within the human race?” Well, that brings up a good point, and that’s the point of epigenetics, meaning that, really, it is our epigenome. I’m going to give you an understanding. Now this may help some of you and not others. Think of your genes that we get as humans as your hard drive. We get that from our parents. That is our hard drive, like a hard drive in the computer. The epigenome is your software. Okay, so really, that’s where all the changes come from, right?
That’s where we really—it makes us who we are. So, yeah, we inherit a certain set of genes, but really, it’s the epigenome. Certain things get turned on, and certain genes get turned off, and therefore, we sit here today as literally an expression of our genes. Now there’s two major things that do this. Basically, our environment, like our habitat so to speak, right? And obviously, things that we do, our lifestyle. So we’ll say our environment and our lifestyle. Our habitat, where we live, whether you live in Jackson [0:03:19] the East Coast, whether you live in a polluted environment or a clean environment, whether you live in stressful environment, a non-stressful environment, or whether you eat bad, good, exercise a lot and exercise a little. All of these things determine who you are because they change your genome for good or for bad.
Therefore, David, if you eat good, you express good genes or things good from your genes. You get the best of your genetics. If you eat bad, you get the worse from your genetics. So that’s what the epigenetic is. Epi means on top, so literally, it’s this covering of the gene that is really what changes the hard drive down in the gene. And your genes are either expressing good stuff or bad, David. So I don’t know. I mean, you probably have ten questions there. Let’s get them to understand that before I move on.
David: So you’re right. You can see me writing questions based upon what you’re talking about. One of the things you mentioned was turning on—genes turn on and turn off. Now I know that we’ve had this conversation before in previous episodes of Cellular Healing TV, and yet, someone may be tuning in for the very first time today. What does that mean? So how by changing your environment, changing how you exercise, how does that give the ability to turn on or turn off certain gene expressions of how we’re showing health-wise, or weight loss?
Dr. Pompa: Well, okay. Let me give you—let me start with an example that we talked about before, and it was a study out of Stanford University where they took two groups of mice. They took—they were identical twins. They separated the identical twins. So that means they have identical DNA, and they put one set of brothers and sisters in one group. The other set in another group. They fed them identical. They exercised them on their little wheels identical. So they basically created the same environment habitat, right?
And then what they did is they exposed one group to a chemical. As a matter of fact, the chemical called BPA that we’re very familiar with. Most [0:05:34] we’re getting that from cosmetics, personal care products, things we rub on our skin. Of course, you can get it from plastic bottles [0:05:44], especially hot and Styrofoam. I’ve watched David do that once.
David: We did that last week, and you—that’s what you were talking about, BPA. Got it, now I get it.
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. Okay. So, yeah, I mean, BPA is a chemical that’s mostly found in plastic, but look. This could be any chemical, David. This study, they used that particular chemical. Heavy metals, same thing, they…
David: I had to have my coffee [0:06:10] so much last week, so there you go, my excuse.
Dr. Pompa: [0:06:15]. But I always say that’s an exception I don’t ever make. I’m not going to drink coffee out of Styrofoam and get all that styrene. Styrene’s another chemical that’s in, obviously, Styrofoam. That’s the word, right? [0:06:28] too can change genes on and off, okay. But chemicals like that, they turn good genes off, David, or genes that we have in us that keep us thin. We have genes in us that keep us healthy. Keep our insulin, our energy metabolism, our fat metabolism, running and working normal. When that gene gets turned off, now we don’t metabolize energy normally, and we can start to gain weight. We have genes that literally can express certain things, like obesity.
So back to the Stanford study, so the chemical turned on something called the agouti gene. The agouti gene is a gene that does in fact make you obese, as well as other factors. It predisposes you to heart disease, thyroid issues, other problems, okay? So when they turned on the gene, remember two groups of rats here, they turned on—actually mice, but they turned on the agouti gene in this group of mice by using a chemical. Fed the same, exercised the same. Gave them a chemical., it turned the gene on. They became fat and obese despite their diet, David. Despite how much or how little they exercised.
Now the bad part was is their next generation, even though they were not exposed to the chemical, they inherited the gene, the agouti gene, turned on. So guess what happened when they became little teenage mice? They became fat and obese with a predisposed [0:07:54]. Their hair became yellow, thyroid issues, you got it. So they inherited the gene turned on. They became obese without changing their diet. This is happening generation, after generation, after generation. These types of toxins that we’re exposed to, our parents were exposed to them, they affected our DNA. So now we wonder all of a sudden why, with just one more little stressor in our life, why all of a sudden now we have a certain condition like Hashimoto’s, a thyroid condition, or why we can’t lose weight. See, because that gene was turned on. Sometimes it just takes one more stress or stressor to trigger that gene even further and express another condition that we’re not happy with.
So that’s really how it is. Now, so, the best part, I think, about the study is is that they were able to turn off the gene, and then the next generation was born normal, right, and they weren’t born with that predisposed gene. See, David, look. In ninth grade, they weren’t going to let me on the wresting team because I had high blood pressure. Just like my mother. Okay? That was in ninth grade. Today, here I am. Much, much older, obviously, and I don’t have high blood pressure. Not on any medication. Unlike my mother who took medication for high blood pressure her whole life.
I would’ve went down [0:09:13]. So I’m older without high blood pressure. What changed? Well, the gene got turned off. But you know, it did take some time, David. I remember even eating healthy and still being slightly high on blood pressure, and it wasn’t until I did a certain amount of detox that I was able to turn that gene completely off, and have zero high blood pressure. So, I mean, that’s the point is that I had my mother’s gene. No doubt about it. Something turned it on, obviously, my lifestyle, and therefore, it wasn’t until I was able to turn that gene off that I actually got the blood pressure within normal range.
So, again, the nice thing is is we can change our environments. We can change our habitats. We can change our lifestyle. Change our level of toxicity, and what we’re going to talk about here in a little bit is changing other things like exercise, also, is something that helps a lot. David, there’s a product in that study, and I want to leave that study, but the Stanford study, they gave the mice—because I think our viewers are going to say, “Well, what did they do to turn it off?” They gave our mice something called methylation or methyl groups. There’s a product called MoRS, M-0-R-S, that is a methylation product, and this methylation product, we have in it the very same things that they used in that study. These methyl groups they gave to the mice in abundance, and it turned the gene off.
And basically, that’s exactly part of what we do today with very challenged people who have very challenging conditions, even weight loss resistance, which is very challenging, thyroid conditions, autoimmune conditions. But also, [0:11:00] diet, reducing stress, all of these things play into turning off your bad genes. So, David, the old dogma was we just got the genetics of our parents. If they got diabetes, we’re going to get it.
Dr. Pompa: Whatever they [0:11:13], right? I mean, think about it. I mean, didn’t at some point you believed that at certain point?
David: Of course, I mean, it’s—well, actually, I don’t believe that I believed it, but everyone always says, “Well, if so and so had this, tell me about your parents.” Well, I always tell the doctor, “It doesn’t matter what my parents had.” “Well, there’s hereditary things that will happen,” and obviously, there’s still a lot of people that believe that.
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. Right and it’s really not true. I mean, listen. We do get that hard drive. However, again, it’s whether you turn them on or turn those genes off, and the great part is is you can turn them off. But doctors don’t understand this. This is a new science. You hear me talk, David, about there’s this massive gap between what’s happening in this exciting world of research, and this is one of these exciting worlds in my mind is the study of epigenetics is amazing right now. There’s Human Genome Project. I think it was in 2012, and I mean, just brought out absolute amazing science, and yet, the treatment world, the doctor world, however you want to look at it, they’re not doing anything with this information.
I believe we’re trying to close down that gap of what’s happening in science and what’s happening in the treatment world, because this is exciting stuff. I mean, but yet, doctors still believe that you’ve got a disease, you’ve got cancer, because you’re parents got cancer, so few diseases are purely genetic in nature. When you look at a complete chromosome error, that’s a genetic disease, right? I mean, that’s something completely different here, but everything that we’re talking about and dealing with here, whether it’s thyroid, diabetes, weight gain, weight loss, I mean, this is all epigenetics. I mean, all epigenetics. Whether that gene is turned on, we need to turn these genes off. That’s the discussion we need to be having.
David: So what is the first step. So if we look at—someone’s watching today saying, okay. The challenge that we have is we live in an instant gratification society. People want what they want when they want it, and they want instantaneous results. And as you said, it took a lifetime and possibly even generations to get the gene the way it is. What is the first step that someone should take to get their health back?
Dr. Pompa: First, your grandparents because it wasn’t their genes, it was what they ate and what they did. It’s true. I mean, it is inherited [0:13:38], but no, we need to change, obviously, for our next generation. David, the first thing we do is we definitely want to change our environments. We want to be in a toxic-free, stress-free environments because when we look at these studies where they take identical twins and we realize why does one get cancer and the other not, it’s typically their environment. It’s typically how they live their life. Putting yourself in stress-free environments, well, most people are going, “Well, crap. I can’t change that,” right? Okay. So let’s talk about what you can do today.
David: How can you deal with the stress so that way it doesn’t affect you negatively?
Dr. Pompa: Absolutely, here’s the irony. I talked about that product MoRS. Methylation, being properly methylated, that’s important because we need these methyl groups to actually turn on how we adapt to stress. So we needed to activate our stress response. So if you’re properly methylated, you respond normal to stress and you adapt. I said on the show last week, all disease really boils down to the ability or the inability to adapt to a stress. When you don’t adapt, now you’re developing disease. Let’s be more specific. Now you’re turning on bad genes, right? So that’s really a continuation of last weeks’ product.
I said this. Everyone—think about this folks. We all have different sized buckets genetically of being able to tolerate stress. A lot of it is how blessed we are with our methylation ability, but let’s imagine us all having these stress buckets, okay? So I’ll pick this up as my example. So this is a cup of organic coffee that I got here in Jackson Hole, but look. So this is our stress bucket. All of our stressors go into that, David, right? So here, we’re going to put all of our emotional stressors in there.
Now emotional stressors can go away, right? But all of our chemical stressors, they tend to bioaccumulate and fill this bucket up, stress, stress, stress. Now some of the emotional stressors, they don’t go away, and it goes up even further, and then it goes up even further, and now it’s right near—and just a little bit of stress if I—I almost spilled it. See, because the line is right here, and when that overflows, now we have a problem, right? Now it’s overflowing. So let’s empty it down to here. Let’s say the fluid line was here. Now I could stress it a lot more and not overflow. We want to empty our stress buckets. That stress [0:16:00] to turn off our DNA. So taking methyl groups helps because it helps us adapt to the stressors, even the chemical stressors, and it starts to empty that bucket.
Detox, cellular detox, something that I’m a fan of, helps empty the chemical stressors out of this bucket, and therefore, we can adapt to greater stress. We can start to turn off those genes. So when this bucket overflows with any type of stressor—remember your body reacts the same physiologically to every stressor. I have an alarm going off, so I apologize. Hopefully, it goes off. So David, when this bucket overflows, we start to develop disease.
David: So you were talking this morning about a magazine.
Dr. Pompa: [0:16:46]
David: Can you hear me?
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. Okay.
David: You were speaking this morning about an article in regards to epigenetics. What is in that article? I’m curious.
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. No. Great topic because in this—this is becoming a great exciting topic, right? And there was an article in New York Times this week, and if I could just show you, but it was a great article. I lost it again, but anyways, I’ll find it. But anyways, the article, I wanted to read you the topic. Here. It’ll come up in a second. Right here, New York Times and the article states that—well, I had it and then I lost it. Oh, right here, How Exercise Can Change Your DNA. Let me see. There. See if you can read that.
How Exercise Can Change Your DNA, and then there’s a picture of people exercising on the bike. So the thing about the article, David, I think, that was neat is, obviously, we understand that if we do certain types of exercise we get a great benefit for weight loss, especially high-intensity exercise. Well, one of the reasons now, we understand that this type of exercise can actually turn certain genes on. As a matter of fact, it affects the epigenome in a place called enhancer genes. Okay. And the thing in this study that they found was that it had enhanced genes involving carbohydrate metabolism, or insulin, and all these things to do with how our muscles use energy, aka burn fat. Okay? So we know that when we exercise, we can turn on genes, and make us more efficient fat burners. We can turn on metabolism and also better use of insulin. So that’s telling us that that’s why exercise affects diabetes. We really didn’t understand why exercise, especially high-intensity exercise, affects diabetes for the positive, but now we know because we know that it turns on these very specific genes that have to do with how we metabolize energy, and how we utilize insulin, and how we breakdown fat for energy.
So David, here’s what they did in the study I thought was interesting because the reason exercise—this has been difficult to study is because so many things affect our genes, our epigenetics, right? So before that we even say, “Well, how do we know if it was exercise, this exercise, that exercise?” Because look at their diet. We couldn’t control their diet. What if it was this? What if it was that? So what they did in the study is they exercised one leg of this group of people. So they got them on a bike, and they only exercised one leg, whether it was the left leg or right leg. They were able to see the genetic change in the left leg, for example, versus the right leg, and then they were able to isolate what genes weren’t actually turned on and what genes were because they only exercised one part of the body, pretty cool.
David: Very cool.
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. This opened the door to see this is what this type of exercise actually does, pretty neat.
David: Wow. That is very cool. So what—let’s talk a little bit about the best kind of exercise that if—I mean, we’re going into the time of year right now that people start thinking about exercising, and especially during the holidays. I mean, I’ve read that people eat thousands upon thousands of calories on the holidays, whether it’s Christmas, whether it’s Thanksgiving. What type of exercise is best? You mentioned it a little bit, but can you go a little bit deeper?
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. I mean, I recommend just spinning with one leg on a bicycle, just one leg.
David: I don’t know if I can do that, so what else can I do?
Dr. Pompa: [0:20:42] if we want to emulate that study. No. I’m joking, obviously. That did come out in New York Times, but that was just released in epigenetics, which is an amazing review. But anyway, so the scientific study is out there if you want to read it. You could just google epigenetics, and I’m sure you’ll come to their site or New York Times. You’ll see the article if you google New York Times. It was out this week.
Anyways, David, what type of exercise? High-intensity exercise definitely turns more of those genes on that we look at as far as weight loss. So if we want to lose weight and turn more of the genes, the good genes, on that help us become better fat burners, utilize insulin more, studies show that the high-intensity, you’re going to activate more of those genes. So therefore, it’s going to have a better effect on diabetes. It’s going to have a better effect on weight loss. So high-intensity means—if you watch my articles on burst training, read those articles, watch those videos. Burst training, that’s where we get our heart rate up to at least 80% of our maximum. We go hard for at least 30 seconds. It could be two to three minutes, and then we take two to three minutes off. Recover. Go high-intensity again.
Because when you go that high-intensity, you just can’t keep going, right? So it’s called interval training, high-intensity training, where we do intervals of high-intensity and rest, intervals of high-intensity and rest. I’m a strong believer—look. I’m a cyclist. I love endurance racing, and there is some benefit there too, but as far as weight loss, diabetes, [0:22:21], the high-intensity works better. It turns on the genes better.
And then, David, obviously, when we’re looking at what we can do, yeah, we can increase our methylation. That’s the MoRS. Detox, cellular detox. Watch our past shows because, really, the whole cellular core that I write about, my 5R’s, R1-R5, that is true detox. Fixing the cell, that’s key, and in a future show, I want to talk more about that because we haven’t in a while, David. So please write that down because I want to really show some people what we’re doing at the cellular level to really—what true cellular detox looks like because there’s so much confusion that I did this colon cleanse, or I did this cleanse last week. Every one of those cleanses, typically a colon cleanse, not there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not true detox or the method that we use in cellular detox. Again, the more you [0:23:19] the more you get to see that, but we will do. Obviously, stay tuned for that. That is going to change your DNA.
R2, folks, read my article in R2, and R2 is regenerating your cell membranes. We know that it’s the cell membrane that actually turns the genes on and off. By the way, it’s the cell membrane is where they say it holds the intelligence. The cell membrane is what looks at your environment. It communicates with your environment and says good or bad, and then it changes the genome. So I know that that’s very complicated, but all I’m telling you is this. On every cell, there is the membrane that surrounds it, and then there’s all these receptors, hormone receptors, but think of these things as the antennas. They go, ooh , toxins or good stuff, right? And they communicate with the environment, and then they change the genome in the nucleus of the cell. So now it can turn it on for good, or it can turn it off for bad, or turn it on for bad. [0:24:25] for good. You get my point.
So it is the cell membrane that you need to pay attention to. Read those 5R articles. My 5R’s is a roadmap of how to fix them. You have [0:24:38] 5R articles. So really, taking the cellular core, which is what I call—that’s the core. I mean, we have a lot of different products for each R and how to fix the cell, but that’s the core. Read them. You’ll understand how to fix your genome because that is really what it’s about. The cellular core is about changing epigenetics for good, and that’s the point of the show.
David: And for everyone to watch—to view the articles, go to www.drpompa.com, drpompa.com. Dr. Pompa, any final thoughts that you would like to leave our viewers with today?
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. No. I mean, I think that the—we know why exercise works, but it’s not just exercise. It’s not just diet. It’s not just our environment, our habitat, and our lifestyle. We sit here, you watch this show right now as you view it, as an expression of your DNA. Bottom line, it’s either good or it’s either bad. The best news is you can change it, but you have to change your environments. You have to change—that means the toxins, the stressors. Empty your stress buckets, emotionally, physically, chemically. You will start to adapt better to every stress.
You will eventually start to change that DNA, but take control of what you can change now. Exercise, start doing it, make it a goal in January. Eating better, everything that we say, taking the cellular products, that eventually will change the expression of your genes, and then you will sit here a year from now, I promise you, expressing differently, expressing better, and not expressing thyroid conditions, weight problems, etc., etc. That’s a choice. Believe it. Some of it perhaps isn’t. I mean, certain stressors you can’t avoid. Change the ones you can.
David: I love the message that, basically, you have control of your life. You have control of your health. Change the food that’s coming in. Excuse me. And you can—a year from now, you’ll be a different person. I love it.
Dr. Pompa: [0:26:47]
Dr. Pompa: [0:26:48] When we first met—I want to use you as an example that when we first met, you were taking some bad stuff from your DNA. You were overweight. I mean, you had things we’ll just say. There were things going on, but that was an expression of your DNA. As you change, as you hung out with us longer, you started changing your lifestyle, right?
Dr. Pompa: Changing what you put in your mouth, and changed how you exercised. Am I right on all of that? You changed it all.
David: Well, yeah. I mean, in fact, I was a vegetarian when we—I did a year and a half of vegetarian when we met, and I thought grains was fine because they were vegetarian. And I was gaining weight.
Dr. Pompa: Yeah. I mean, exactly, and you were expressing a lot of bad stuff, and that would’ve continued. But you changed and now you’re expressing thinness. You’re expressing fit. You’re expressing, I mean, more energy, more brain power. I mean, that really is an expression of what’s coming out of your DNA. Pretty cool stuff, but listen, I mean it does start with changing what we put in our mouth, changing our lifestyle.
David: It’s a commitment. It’s a commitment.
Dr. Pompa: Absolutely, absolutely, but exciting science, we’ll keep—I’ll keep you abreast on the science, but that article out this week [0:28:11]exercise can change, especially [0:28:17]. See you next week, and oh, by the way, next week. I want to preview the show.
I think we’re going to have a patient on of mine. Well, I call him a client. I call all my people clients. He had Stage 4. I mean, he literally was the worst pancreatic cancer. Listen, folks. He’s not only a survivor, which doesn’t happen, he’s thriving. Wait ‘til you hear this story. Pancreatic cancer is a death sentence. They gave him a death sentence. Wait to you hear this epigenetic story. That’s going to be next week.
David: Awesome, thanks, Dr. Pompa. Thank you, everyone, for tuning in. We’ll see you next time, 10 a.m., Eastern Time, Friday morning.. Thank you.
Dr. Pompa: See ya.