How the Environment Influences Expression of Genes Throughout a Person’s Life
The environment has a profound influence on the expression of genes across the lifespan of an individual. From the womb to old age, the environment we are exposed to can have a significant effect on our genes and the way they are expressed. During the prenatal period, a mother’s exposure to environmental toxins, such as alcohol and smoking, can have a direct effect on a baby’s gene expression, leading to birth defects and genetic abnormalities (Serrano et al., 2018). In childhood, a person’s diet and physical activity can influence gene expression, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases (Garcia-Carmona et al., 2020). In adulthood, exposure to air pollution, sunlight, and other environmental conditions can cause gene expression to be altered, leading to increased risk of cancer and other illnesses (Foran et al., 2016). Finally, as we age, our genetic expression is affected by our lifestyle, environment, and diet, increasing our risk for age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease (Ricci et al., 2021). Cont….
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