Protect Against DNA Damage and Genetic Mutations

March is National Health Month, Protect your DNA

Free radicals break down the lipids in our cell and mitochondrial membranes, reducing their ability to transfer and create energy and protect the contents of the cell.  When the walls of our mitochondria are attacked by free radicals, mitochondrial DNA and proteins become susceptible to oxidative stress that can cause alterations of the DNA. These genetic defects can promote disease expression and can worsen diseases already present.

Antioxidant supplements have been shown to protect the body against the oxidative reactions produced by free radicals by neutralizing their effects before they can attack cells, mitochondrial and DNA. When the lipids in cell and mitochondrial membranes are healthy, the cells can efficiently produce and transfer energy for the rest of your body’s processes.

You can also protect your body cells with everyday choices. Eating antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains rich in nutrients provides your body with the necessary fuel to create usable energy for your body. Exercise burns calories helping to maintain a healthy body weight, excess weight can put stress on your body systems that creates additional free radicals. Exercising with weights helps to build muscle; healthy muscle tone enhances the muscles function and efficiency. Daily exercise has also been shown to maintain healthy cells by enhancing the body’s natural detoxification process that rids the cells of other harmful reaction byproducts. Exercise increases the cells’ natural process of autophagy that uses waste produced by reactions taking place in the cell and transfers it into a usable energy form. Recently, exercise induced stimulation of mitochondrial DNA has proven effective for maintaining the structure and function of DNA. A recent study showed benefits for DNA maintenance after a single 20 minute work out! In order to measure results, study participants volunteered to have a portion of their quadriceps muscle biopsied before and after the short workout; those who exercised the hardest showed the highest levels of DNA demethylation. Demethylation of DNA is a process that facilities the transcriptions of certain genes, in this case those involved in energy metabolism, which increases their genes activity and enhances cell function and detoxification.

Learn More About the Benefits of Exercise for your DNA:

To make time for beneficial daily exercise, Time Magazine shows a great way to maximize the hours in your day. Walk While You Work:,32068,3344526001_1862574,00.html