Helping women with chronic illnesses

Endometriosis Blog: What Is Epigenetics?? Can “Environment Become Heredity”??

I will not be able to post at my previous frequency anytime soon but wanted to post something new.

I came across a fascinating article today. It was of interest to me as an endometriosis patient. I think it is of particular interest to those patients who have also experienced infertility, cancer, and other issues that are often affected by environmental factors.

If you can get through some scientific terminology, this article is worth the effort. If you feel like you’re getting “stuck” in the more scientific terms, try to keep reading past them to get the main idea of the article. The notion that “environment can become heredity” is really an interesting concept.

According to an article called “Environment Becomes Heredity” by a science writer named Valerie Brown (Miller-McCune – Turning Research Into Solutions, August 24, 2008):

“Advances in the field of epigenetics show that environmental contaminants can turn genes “on” and “off,” triggering serious diseases that are handed down through generations. But there’s also a more heartening prospect: The same diseases may be treated by relatively simple changes in nourishment and lifestyle.”

Here’s the link to this interesting article “Environment Becomes Heredity“:

If you managed to wade through the scientific information in the above article and would like to learn more about epigenetics, see:

Look for more information on endocrine disruption (something mentioned briefly in this article and something of particular interest to endometriosis patients) in upcoming posts.

Finally, here is one more article on epigenetics. It’s not as recent as the article mentioned above but it is also interesting:

This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

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Reading: Endometriosis Blog: What Is Epigenetics?? Can “Environment Become Heredity”??


1 Mckay K { 08.27.08 at 6:56 am }

Hi Jeanne, This is a very interesting post. After reading it, I wondered if like the mouse in the study, I could tell if a man’s reproductive chemistry has been altered by the environment? And maybe that is …

Oh well just a thought. 🙂

Hope your days are getting better.

2 Jeanne { 08.27.08 at 5:50 pm }

Mckay k,

I really found the epigenetics article interesting because I have heard a fair amount about how genes can be expressed or not expressed depending on environmental factors — but have never really understood much about how that works.

It’s certainly still a bit confusing to me but I found this article helpful to at least give me a clue of how environment can affect whether a genetic predisposition will or will not become an illness in a particular individual.

I found it striking how many generations later can be affected! I had certainly heard about the effects of DES on the following generation but the information about several generations out being affected by various chemical exposures was remarkable to me.

With infertility so common nowadays, one has to wonder how much of an impact environmental factors are having. I found the article interesting on many levels.

I’m hanging in there. It’s going to take me some time to really get back into the swing of things and daily blogging like before is not foreseeable. Moderation is key. Thanks for the positive thoughts. 🙂


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