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Slipping on New Genes

Slipping on New Genes

Sure, getting in shape is a great way to look hot on the beach this summer, but new research shows that getting down and dirty with fitness may also help you change your genes. Those thunder thighs from mom don't have to be your destiny!

The findings are based on a small study that followed 30 men with low-risk prostate cancer who had decided against surgery or radiation to treat the disease. The guys endured three months of dramatic lifestyle changes, including moderate daily exercise, a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products and an hour of daily stress management.

Researchers noticed the participants' overall health improved (and they even lost some weight), but they were surprised to see some huge changes when comparing the prostate biopsies taken before and after the lifestyle changes. After three months, 500 genes had changed; 44 were turned on and 453 genes were turned off.

Dean Ornish, M.D., author of the groundbreaking Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease, led this study and though he's long promoted major lifestyle changes for better health, he's excited by the results. “So often people say, ’Oh, it’s all in my genes, what can I do?’ Well, it turns out you may be able to do a lot," Ornish says in an interview with Reuters.

If a solid workout plan and healthy diet is all it takes to wipe out the “It’s all in my genes” argument, well, then, we’ll take it! [MSNBC]

Posted: 6/18/08