Have You Ever Wished For A Blueprint For Your Body? Take A Look At Your Epigenetics!

The word Epigenetics may sound science-y and overwhelming, but I promise you, understanding this concept will leave you with a sense of empowerment. Many of my patients share that doing an epigenetic study felt like finding a missing puzzle piece in their understanding of their bodies and their health journey. In this blog post, you’ll learn about what exactly epigenetics are, why they are so exciting, and I’ll provide some examples of common epigenetic hiccups I see in my patients, and how they guide us on their health journey:

Like finding a missing puzzel piece in their understanding of their bodies and their health journey.

What Are Epigenetics?

Let’s jump in with some science, and hang with me here because I promise it’s worth understanding: Epigenetics refers to the study of changes in gene expression that do not involve alterations to the underlying DNA sequence—a layer of regulation that sits “on top of” genetics, hence the prefix “epi-” which means above or over. These epigenetic changes can influence the activity of genes, turning them on or off, increasing or decreasing their normal activity, all without changing the DNA sequence itself. This means that while our genetic code (the DNA sequence) provides the blueprint for our bodies, epigenetics can modify how that blueprint is read and expressed in different cells and under different conditions.


Unlike our DNA sequence, which is largely fixed from the moment of conception, epigenetic changes are dynamic and can be influenced by a variety of factors including our environment, lifestyle, and even our experiences. Factors such as nutrition, stress, physical activity, exposure to toxins, and aging can all lead to epigenetic modifications that can affect our health and how our genes are expressed.

Why Are Epigenetics So Exciting?

If you’re on any kind of healing journey, understanding that your gene expression can be influenced should be a very exciting revelation – because it gives us control back. We can change the way our genes express themselves by controlling things like nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle etcetera. And not just that, but knowing our epigenetics is kind of like having a cheat sheet for our bodies – if we know we have certain epigenetics, we might know that we are more prone to adverse effects from certain medications… This is important information to have!

Epigenetics & The Terrain-Based Approach to Health

Here at Zuza’s Way we practice a terrain-based approach to health, which considers the body’s internal environment or ‘terrain’ as being a key factor in determining our health. This translates to accepting that your dis-ease was probably not just bad luck. This might feel like a gut punch, but hang with me here. If it wasn’t just bad luck, that means that there were reasons for your disease manifesting. And if there are reasons, there are specific things we can target to return your terrain to one that fosters health.

This concept aligns perfectly with epigenetic science, as it emphasizes the importance of nurturing a healthy terrain through lifestyle and environmental choices to promote optimal gene expression. By focusing on creating a balanced and supportive internal environment, we can potentially mitigate the risks of developing various health conditions, including cancer.

Let’s Take A Look At Some Real Life Examples Of Some Epigenetic SNPs I Frequently See In My Patients:


The PON1 gene codes for an enzyme that plays a crucial role in breaking down certain toxins, including pesticides like glyphosate. Individuals with variations in the PON1 gene have a reduced ability to detoxify glyphosate, leading to an accumulation of toxins in the body. Research shows that individuals with a PON1 mutation have an 82% higher risk of organophosphate toxicity compared to people without it – and if you are Caucasian – your risk of toxicity jumps up by 148%! This accumulation can contribute to various health issues – including cancer. 


However, if you know that you have a mutation in your PON1 gene, you can take action. Quercetin has been shown to increase PON1 function by as much as 200%.  Quercetin is not safe with every chemotherapy treatment so make sure you check with me on your 1:1 time before starting this supplement if you are in active treatment.



The MTHFR gene is critical for a process known as methylation, which is essential for DNA repair, neurotransmitter synthesis, and detoxification. You can probably see why a mutation in this gene would be relevant in a cancer diagnosis. Individuals with certain MTHFR variations also experience higher rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, as well as trouble trying to conceive. 


What I really want to stress here is that knowledge is power, because there are ways in which we can encourage the body to methylate more efficiently, meaning that we can increase our ability to methylate, repair DNA, and detoxify! 


However, if we don’t have this information about our epigenetic makeup, we can’t do anything about it… And that would be a real shame!



The COMT gene is involved in the breakdown of estrogen and other catecholamines. Individuals with certain COMT gene variations may have a slower metabolism of estrogen, leading to an accumulation of harmful estrogen metabolites. This can increase the risk of estrogen dominance, characterized by symptoms such as weight gain, mood swings, and, in more severe cases, hormonal cancers like breast cancer.


Individuals with specific COMT variations should be cautious with hormone replacement therapies, including birth control and bio-identical hormones, as they won’t be able to metabolize them efficiently. 


For those with COMT mutations, avoiding xenoestrogens, which are found in many plastics, personal care products, and pesticides, becomes extra crucial for maintaining hormonal balance.


Remember, that the study of epigenetics is all about gene expression. Understanding this puts the ultimate power back in your hands because what this means is that it’s not just bad luck – there are actual factors that you have the power to influence that determine your health. When you are aware of your unique epigenetic makeup, you can influence the way your genes are expressed through things like reducing your toxin exposure, lifestyle modifications, nutrition, and key supplements. Epigenetics guide our every step with our patients at Zuza’s Way.

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