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Food and DNA

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Food and DNA

Postby michyd » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:25 am

I am not fully educated about DNA and genetics, however i am in that process. My question is to anyone that knows, is some of DNAs components are proteins, does that mean if i eat lots of protein ill have good healthy DNA and therefore healthy body????
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Postby biohazard » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:12 pm

The amount of DNA you eat has nothing to do with health and healthy body, and the vast amount of protein people eat is not related to DNA in any way (though they were encoded by DNA, of course). That is, if you eat for example meat, most of the protein are contractile components of a muscle, namely actin, myosin and such, which are not directly associated with DNA.

DNA itself typically contains certain structural proteins such as histones and some enzymes, but when eaten these do not affect one's health whatsoever.

The health effects of eating protein (or other nutrients like sugars and fat) affect DNA only indirectly by changing gene expression patterns (up- or downregulation), but they do not affect the DNA sequence itself or it's "health". It is possible that some things we ingest may cause epigenetic changes (i.e. long-lasting, possibly inheritable changes in the expression of genes), but again, this is not related to the amount or quality of DNA that gets into our digestive tracts from food. Foreign DNA in our bodies gets degraded by the digestive system and various related enzymes.

Environmental pollutants, carcinogens and other chemicals may directly affect DNA and thus our health, but it's another story.
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