No, don't take that the wrong way ...when we ask you whether you
are a mutant, we aren't asking if you are some kind of freak or
are from Mars. We just refer to the fact that the average rate of
human DNA mutation is roughly 100-200 new mutations per
generation (from mother to daughter, for instance--read more at
That sounds like a lot of mutation, but scientists have
identified that a lot of these mutations are harmless. So don't
lose too much sleep over this number. In addition, the normal
processes of the human body can and do "repair" mutations in the
DNA, both between generations in the family, and during your
Causes of Human Genetic Mutation
Obviously, you can't change the mutations that occur in
translation from your parents' DNA to your own. These errors in
replication occurred during the very early parts of your life,
during conception and gestation. But what about now? What about
your life from now moving forward? Can you reduce the amount of
genetic mutation that occurs?
Why are we so certain? Well, consider some of the more ordinary
causes of genetic mutation:
If these sound like factors that you feel like you can control,
then you can affect the health of your genetic material. Sounds
pretty right? Do some meditation, cut down on stress, eat
healthier, reduce your exposure to environmental toxins ... you
get the picture, right?
- physical trauma
- environmental agents and toxins
- poor nutrition
Let's Add More to the Picture
We personally know that you can affect genetic material because
we have seen it in our lives. We also have read studies that show
that better nutrition, for instance, can turn certain genes on or
It's well known in the scientific community that the juvenile
diabetes (type I) gene is turned on in children who frequently
drink cow's milk or eat foods high in MSG. Yet children who eat a
healthy diet high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and trace
minerals tend not to get juvenile diabetes.
At the other end of the spectrum, research shows that the
development of cancer is the result of many genes being switched
on over a period of time, making older people more likely to
develop cancer. Phytochemicals, the colored pigments in plants
that protect them from the harmful effects of UV radiation, have
been shown to inhibit the activation of cancer genes or by
preventing the cancer gene's instructions from reaching its
For instance, one kind of cancer gene may send instructions to
certain enzymes to produce a special protein that will promote
the growth of cancer. In the presence of phytochemicals, however,
those instructions never reach their destination, the special
protein is not formed, and cancer never occurs.
A Story About a Cat ...
And here we feel the need to add an anecdotal story about genetic
change being affected by nutrition. True, this is a story about a
cat and not a person, but the story is so startling that we felt
we had to include it here. We had a friend who bred hairless
cats. The "hairless" trait in cats was bred-in, capitalizing on a
specific genetic change that produced cats with no body hair.
This friend heard about the health benefits of supplements like
blue-green algae, so she began feeding her cats this supplement.
Lo and behold ... her prize-winning hairless cats got healthier.
The only problem? They ALL started growing hair!
Does that tell you something about one's ability to affect one's
genetic material? Read more about the effect of blue-green algae
on genetics here.
Stem Cells Play a Role, Too
Then there are stem cells. Stem cells are the undifferentiated
cells our bodies produce that can replace any cell in the body.
Recently Deepak Chopra and other scientists like Dr. Rudi Tanzi
(see a preview here) have been discussing
the importance of one's own stem cells in developing the super
brain. It turns out, according to their research, that when brain
damage occurs, repair can happen when the body has enough access
to stem cells. Taking certain supplements can increase our own
production of stem cells by up to 70%. Sounds pretty good for
supporting our body's natural inclination to heal or replace
damaged or mutated cells! Learn more here.
So ... want to avoid being a mutant? Just kidding ... but you can
definitely affect the factors that cause cellular mutation. We've
given you some tips in this article, and you can read more by
looking up studies on the super brain and other research by
scientists in this field. Mutation is part of being human, but it
doesn't have to affect your health!