The science of epigenetics is turning what we’ve long held true about biological destiny upside down. Although it remains true that our DNA—our genetic code—provides the blueprint for our physiological makeup, researchers have discovered that there’s something extra controlling our genes—and food and herbs may in fact be the most important factors in our genetic well-being.

That extra “something” controlling our genes is the epigenome, the cellular material that sits on top of the genome (the complete set of genetic material present in a cell or organism). While epigenomes do not alter the genetic code, they direct genes to switch on (becoming active) or off (becoming dormant) through a variety of biological mechanisms. This intriguing finding means that your genetic heritage is not the primary determinant of your health, disease risk, or longevity.


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I believe zinc deficiency might be the number one overlooked health concern facing our aging population. Zinc is an essential trace element found in every cell of your body, where it plays an important role in cellular structure, function, and metabolism. A multi-tasking mineral, zinc is required for metabolic health, immune response, reproductive health, and numerous biochemical functions. Zinc also helps preserve DNA integrity, is vital for more than 2000 transcription factors, is necessary for the production of brain neurotransmitters, and functions as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.


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First discovered in 1929, vitamin K has long been recognized as necessary for healthy blood clotting. This, of course, is a critical function—without sufficient vitamin K, we would bleed to death from even a minor wound. But in the past decade, vitamin K has been shown to play a much greater role in health than was previously recognized.

Research shows that vitamin K, in synergy with vitamin D, is an essential nutrient for building strong bones. Vitamin K also supports cardiovascular health, promotes an appropriate inflammatory response, ensures healthy cellular function, and provides redox/antioxidant activity.


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On January 16th, 2017, MLK (Martin Luther King) day, the ten-piece band I play in, “Souliverse” (Souliverse.com), will be celebrating and performing at a mid-day event at the historic Ashland Armory in downtown Ashland, Oregon. If you’re in the area, please join us for this celebration. (Souliverse just released a live DVD/CD from the Mederi Benefit Concert from this past August.)


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Our family enjoys sweet treats (in moderation, of course). I feel good about providing my kids with treats that not only taste great, but are healthy, too. These chocolate chip cookies are a brand new recipe of mine and are quickly becoming one of our favorites. They’re crispy and delicious and get more flavorful by the day. As well, they’re packed with healthful ingredients like rolled oats, fresh Kamut flour (see my blog on the health benefits of Kamut), coconut, and dark chocolate. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!


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