Advances in genomic medicine demonstrate that many diseases are caused by disturbances at the DNA level. Our health destiny is intricately linked to how our genes behave in response to our environments and lifestyles.
Which DNA form is most responsible for ageing? B-Form Minor Groove or Major Groove? A-Form Nucleic Acid? Z-Form DNA? Most individuals who are not molecular biologists are not aware that our DNA can occur in three primary configurations. Each of these configurations, located within the control center or nucleus of each cell of our body, can experience damage through errors to its ongoing structure sequence reproduction. B-Form and A-Form DNA are versions of the double helix linear strand structure. Z-Form has an irregular structure not based on the double helix linear strand of B-Form and A-Form DNA.
Considering the fact that our bodies possess between 30 and 100 trillion cells and cells in the body divide about 2 trillion times per day, any DNA damage that does not get corrected by the body’s innate damage control system can lead to a transcription or copying error during replication and division. These changes to the cellular genome translate into confused signaling in cellular function. Unfortunately correction of damaged cell DNA by the body is not 100% efficient and this damage and the cells with un-repaired DNA can accumulate and contribute to the ageing process and other mutagenic changes.
These genomic mutations can be carried over into daughter generations of cells if the mutation is not repaired prior to mitosis. Once cells lose their ability to effectively repair damaged DNA, through different multiple repair processes at the DNA genome sequence level, cells can respond in three possible ways. The first is that the cell may become senescent (irreversibly dormant). For example cancer cells in vivo can experience this mitosis and prevent the cell from evolving further. A second response is that the cell may become apoptopic causing a biochemical cascade of events leading to programmed cell death.
The third response…the most challenging to health… is that the cell may become malignant and develop immortal characteristics and begin uncontrolled division.
Damaging events to DNA are generated by both external and internal metabolic processes. For many years it was thought that these damaging events were only related to external influences experienced in everyday life. UV radiation produces covalent bonds that crosslink between base pairs in the coiled DNA strands. Many electromagnetic forces (coming from microwaves, computer screens) or airborne contaminants (pollution) can cause these assaults and challenge DNA integrity. Commonly used X-rays (ionizing radiation) initiate DNA mutations by generating free radicals and causing breaks in the double helix structure. Chemical mutagens can cause alkylation (ie, free radicals or other chemical groups) and methylation or tags that attach through chemical bonding to the DNA structure. Certain chemically inert precursors (toxins)…also known as precarcinogens… can be metabolically converted into highly reactive carcinogens.
The best approach to overcoming these different types of oxidative stress, which generate free radicals at a higher rate as one grows older, is to eat organic foods, ensure regular hydration, stop consuming overcooked or processed foods and avoid sugar in any form (honey does not cause chronic inflammation like sugar). Increasing consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits and brightly colored vegetables, including red wine (not in excess) can help.
Many dietary supplements, phytonutrient botanicals, vitamins, minerals and select herbs can help to offer powerful antioxidants to help against oxidative stress and support critical areas of health. Those nutrients which can support the neutralization of free radicals and support cellular health, immunity, gene integrity and vital energy for cell normalization should include daily ingestion of vitamins C and E, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
Ageing and serious mutagenic health challenges can be slowed or even prevented with reduced DNA damage and challenge!