Ancestral Health & Medicine

Optimizing the Exposome with Ancestral Wisdom

Our genes account for only about 10% of human disease. So if our genes are not causing disease, what is?

The exposome.

The “exposome” refers to the sum of all non-genetic exposures in an individual lifetime, starting from the moment of conception. It starts with the food we eat. With an ancestral perspective, we gain the ideal starting place for the optimal healthy diet. We call this a Paleo template.

But optimizing the exposome also encompasses everything from the water we drink and the air we breathe to the social interactions we have, the lifestyle choices we make, and the health of our parents at the time of our conception.

In short, it’s the word scientists are using to describe the full range of environmental exposures that influence our health.

Environmental Mismatch

Like all living organisms, humans are adapted to survive and thrive in a particular environment. When that environment changes faster than the organism can adapt, mismatch occurs. This mismatch—between our genes and our diet and lifestyle—is the driving factor behind the modern epidemic of chronic disease. This ancestral perspective:

  • Asks better questions. It’s a critical component to the trends that will define the future of healthcare.
  • Provides new insight. It deeply informs our understanding of diet, physical activity, stress management, sleep, and other lifestyle factors.
  • Realigns genome and exposome. It provides the key to offering customized nutrition and lifestyle plans for your patients.

Ancestral Health & Medicine Articles

image of wheat

3 Reasons Gluten Intolerance May Be More Serious Than Celiac Disease

on October 6, 2016 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

Recent news stories have downplayed the significance of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, even going as far as suggesting that it doesn’t exist. But a growing body of evidence has proven that gluten intolerance is not only real, but is potentially a much larger problem than celiac disease.

RHR

RHR: Pioneering Researcher Alessio Fasano M.D. on Gluten, Autoimmunity & Leaky Gut

on September 29, 2016 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

It’s an honor to welcome Dr. Alessio Fasano as a guest on the show. Dr. Fasano is globally recognized for his pioneering research in the fields of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. In 2003, he published the groundbreaking study in the Annals of Medicine that established the prevalence rate of celiac disease at one in 133 people in the U.S – a rate nearly 100 times greater than the previous estimate. He also headed up a team that discovered (in 2000) the ancient molecule zonulin, which regulates the permeability of the intestine and is know known to be a major player in the condition known colloquially as “leaky gut”.

coffee

Coffee Is Good for You—Unless It’s Not!

on August 30, 2016 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

Numerous studies have linked drinking coffee with positive health effects like reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. However, recent research suggests that the effects of coffee on health aren’t the same for everyone, and may depend on genetics and other factors.

kid in kitchen

Mercury Toxicity, Kids & Fish Consumption

on August 23, 2016 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

Recent research suggests that kids may be more sensitive to mercury than adults and that toxic effects may occur at blood levels that are significantly lower than the conventional upper limit. But does that mean kids shouldn’t eat fish at all?

is organic meat better

Is Organic Meat Better?

on August 16, 2016 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

Several recent scientific reviews have examined the nutritional differences between organic and conventional meat. Read on to learn what the researchers found, if organic meat is really better, and what other factors should be considered.

genes-destiny

Why Your Genes Aren’t Your Destiny

on July 28, 2016 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

At one time scientists believed our DNA held the key to preventing and reversing disease. But we now know that our environment—not our genes—is the primary driver of health and longevity.

RHR

RHR: Why You Need to Eat More Vegetables—and How To Do It, with Dr. Tom Cowan

on July 12, 2016 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

Did you know that many traditional hunter-gatherer societies ate as many as 100 different species of plants? For several years, I’ve known that the biggest difference between my diet and the ancestral diet was not the meat that I was eating, or the eggs, or even the nuts and seeds, but that it was the vegetables—specifically, the lack of diversity in the plant foods I was eating. This lack of diversity not only affects our phytonutrient intake, but it also affects our microbiome because different types of gut microbes prefer different types of nutrients. Today I’m talking with Dr. Thomas Cowan about his unique solution to adding more plant phytonutrients to every meal.

food-cravings

Do Gut Microbes Control Your Food Cravings?

on July 7, 2016 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

Recent research on the gut-brain axis suggests that gut microbes could strongly influence food choices. Read on to learn how gut microbes can manipulate behavior and, in turn, how you might manipulate gut microbes to curb food cravings.

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