Are you really what your mother ate, drank or got stressed about? The simple answer is “no”, but not in the way you think. We are products of nature via nurture. Our genes and environments interact. And “environment” can be what we are experiencing now or at any time during our life. An overwhelming body of evidence, from both humans and other animals, has shown that the environment we experience in the first 1,000 days of life influences our risk of chronic diseases: conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, psychiatric disorders and some cancers. Changes to epigenetics – molecules that lie literally “on top of genes” – have been implicated as a possible mechanism by which early environment (nurture) can leave a long-term change in the risk for chronic disease.
– Jeffrey Craig