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