It has long been observed that our food choices affect our health. Ancient Greek doctor and physician Hippocrates was the first who formulated the thesis: You are what you eat. Switching to a healthy diet can be a guarantee of a long and quality life.
UK scientists confirmed the well-known saying of the Greek physician. They have proven the fact that we are what we eat.
We are what we eat
Yes, we are what we eat, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change. Our cells are dying and being replaced all the time. A change in a diet will inevitably improve the quality of the newly made cells.
Researchers from the University of Oxford, UK, found that the composition of food has a direct impact on the organism’s DNA.
The author of the report Dr. Stephen Kelly says that the DNA is built from the elements it receives from food.
The researchers examined two kinds of parasites, which developed from a common ancestor. But in the course of time, they used to live in different organisms and had different diets.
The first type of a parasite ate less nitrogen but more sugar. The second parasite consumed large amounts of nitrogen and protein. Consequently, the DNA of the first parasite was less dependent on nitrogen levels.
As a result, these protozoa have significant differences regarding their DNA-sequence.
The researches concluded that the food can change the sequence of the genome, that is, to make changes in the body at the cellular level.
This confirms a formerly unknown relationship between cellular metabolism and evolution, Science Daily reports.
Another co-author of the study, Emily Seward, notes that it was not clear why some congenerous organisms have differences in their genetic code. The new finding sheds light on the cause of these dissimilarities.
Moreover, scientists are now able to determine the type of food the organism ate simply by analyzing its DNA composition.
Researchers continue their work and plan to test their theory in more complex organisms.