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

The Gut Flora-Food Allergies Connection

on July 19, 2017 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

The prevalence of food allergies and intolerances has risen exponentially within the past decade. Emerging research indicates that alterations in the intestinal flora may play an important role in the development of these disorders. Read on to learn how a disrupted gut microbiome predisposes to food allergies and intolerances and how restoration of the microbiome may be beneficial in the treatment of these conditions.

Environmental Toxins, Drug Metabolism, and the Microbiome

on July 12, 2017 by Chris Kresser 0 comments

Environmental toxins are ubiquitous in our modern world, and high levels of exposure are associated with several chronic diseases. While we typically think of the liver as the primary site of detoxification, the gut and its associated microbes play an incredibly important role in determining the toxicity of compounds. Read on to learn how the gut influences toxin and drug absorption, metabolism, and more.

Two Reasons Conventional Medicine Will Never Solve Chronic Disease

on June 14, 2017 by Chris Kresser 8 comments

Chronic disease is shortening our lifespan, destroying our quality of life, bankrupting governments, and threatening the health of future generations. Unfortunately, conventional medicine has failed to adequately address this challenge, and the prevalence of most chronic health problems continues to rise. In this article I explore why that is and outline a new approach to healthcare that would much more effectively tackle the chronic disease challenge.

Research Studies: Why the Media So Often Gets Them Wrong

on May 30, 2017 by Chris Kresser 5 comments

Red meat on the chopping block again? While epidemiological research is useful for identifying potential associations between dietary and lifestyle factors and various health outcomes, it also has some major limitations. Read on to learn about the perils of observational epidemiology in this case study about red meat and diverticulitis.

Circadian rhythm and microbiome

The Gut–Circadian Rhythm Connection

on April 26, 2017 by Chris Kresser 6 comments

In past articles, I’ve covered the importance of the circadian rhythm to good health. I’ve also written a lot about the gut microbiome. But you may be surprised to learn that gut bacteria can directly influence your circadian rhythm. Imbalances in your gut can disrupt your circadian rhythm and affect your sleep, hormones, and immune system. Read on to learn more about how these two systems are interconnected and how you can keep your gut and “body clock” happy.

vitamin k2

Vitamin K2: Are You Consuming Enough?

on March 22, 2017 by Chris Kresser 13 comments

Did you know that vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 are different types of vitamin K? Before 2006, the USDA didn’t even distinguish K1 from K2 in foods, (1) but vitamin K2 plays important roles in our bodies—and you might not be getting enough. Read on to learn the difference between K1 and K2, the benefits of vitamin K2, and how to incorporate K2-rich foods into your diet.

paleo diet metabolic syndrome

The Benefits of a Paleo Diet on Lipid and Metabolic Markers

on March 9, 2017 by Chris Kresser 2 comments

Metabolic syndrome affects 34 percent of all U.S. adults and 50 percent of Americans age 60 or older. Because metabolic syndrome usually precedes type 2 diabetes and heart disease, reversing it is necessary for long-term health. Read on to find out how a Paleo diet can improve lipid markers and help patients with metabolic syndrome.

image of wheat

3 Reasons Gluten Intolerance May Be More Serious Than Celiac Disease

on October 6, 2016 by Chris Kresser 2 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”.

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