A potentially groundbreaking new pilot study, lead by Dr. Dean Ornish, president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, finds that lifestyle changes can alter your gene destiny. The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The research suggests that a strict diet, getting regular exercise, and regular stress reduction practices can change your genes. The changes seem to promote some genes that help fight cancer prostate and help turn off genes that promote the cancer.
“Intensive nutrition and lifestyle changes may modulate gene expression in the prostate. Understanding the prostate molecular response to comprehensive lifestyle changes may strengthen efforts to develop effective prevention and treatment. Larger clinical trials are warranted to confirm the results of this pilot study.” wrote Ornish
Earlier studies have found that prostate cancer is much lower in areas of the world where people eat a more plant-based, low-fat diet instead of the higher-fat, higher-protein diet common to United States.
The study enlisted, thirty men diagnosed with early prostate cancer with an average age of 62.3 years were enrolled in the study. All of the participants had slow growing tumors and had declined surgery or other treatment.
The men were put on a stick dietary and lifestyle regime over a three month period.
The men were put an a plant-based diet containing about 10 percent of calories from fat. To supplement the diet, the men were given soy, Vitamin E, vitamin C, fish oil, and selenium daily.
For exercise they were to walk for 30 minutes a day, six days a week. Participants also practiced stress management for 60 minutes a day. Stress management techniques included meditation, yoga stretching, breathing exercises, and guided imagery.
At the end of the study period, genetic expression samples from before the lifestyle changes were compared to those taken after the three months of changes. According to Dr, Ornish researchers found positive changes in more than 500 genes.
Dr. Ornish noted that that the positive changes occurred despite age and disease severity, indicating that it is never to late to make positive lifestyle changes when it comes to better health.