Holistic Horsekeeping Newsletter September 2020

September 2020

Five Amazing Facts About Epigenetics

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse.
Volume 25, Number 9


In This Issue:

1. Five Amazing Facts About Epigenetics
2. Mentoring Program at Holistic Horsekeeping



1. Five Amazing Facts About Epigenetics
Epigenetics is the study of how external influences like diet affect the activity and expression of genes in the DNA. In reading a recent article, by W. Jean Dodds, DVM, I came away with five amazing facts about epigenetics. These facts are what actually makes up a genome, what metabolic programming is, how diet affects gene expression, that diet needs to be tailored to the individual’s genome, and how nutrients can trigger auto immune reactions. Wow! Lots to take in.

Fact # 1 – A genome is made of genes and the epigenome.
The genome is the complete set of hereditary factors. Genetics is the study of the nature of genes and how they affect heredity but genes only make up 2% of the total genome. Epigenetics is the study of the other 98% of factors that affect how our genes are expressed.

Fact # 2 – Metabolic programming determines health.
Environment, including diet, early in life can be “genomically” imprinted and affect health and behavior later in life. Not only does the diet in this life make a difference but the food a mother eats can affect the genetic expression of her young for 2 generations. Think about this. Twenty years ago it was common to feed horses large amounts of sweet feed. Could the increase in insulin resistance seen in horses now be the result of sweet feeds that were fed to mares 20 years ago?

Fact # 3 – Diet affects gene expression.
Nutrients relay signals to a sensory system in specific cells in the body. The cell then interprets this information about the dietary environment and makes changes in the gene expression and metabolic function accordingly. This means that different diets bring about different patterns of health and well-being.

Fact # 4 – Individuals need diets tailored to their genome.
The good news is if only 2% of the genome is actually made up of preprogrammed genes then we can affect the other 98% in the manifestation of health and disease. Diet that is designed with the individual genome in mind can prevent, mitigate and cure chronic disease. My Five Element horse temperament typing system includes recommendations of feeding programs that best serve certain temperaments. Epigenetics confirms the truth behind matching diet to temperament.

Fact # 5 – Nutrients can trigger autoimmune disease.
There is a phenomenon of immunological mistaken identity or molecular mimicry. If a nutrient has a similar protein makeup to a tissue in the body it can trigger the immune system to mistakenly attack healthy tissue. For this to happen, the nutrient would have to enter the bloodstream without being adequately digested. Normally protein based nutrients are broken down into individual amino acids before entering the blood stream but damage to the gut wall can allow partially digested proteins to pass through. This “leaky gut” syndrome can be devastating as the immune system is unable to differentiate potential harmful substances from healthy tissue.

In this article Dr. Dodds does not make the distinction between whole foods and processed foods but other articles have stated that the ability to influence the epigenome is limited to whole foods and natural substances. Epigenetics has helped me understand why a tsp of a nutrient dense, functional food, such as algae, nutritional mushrooms, herbs and sprouted grains can have profound effects on the health of a 1000 pound horse. These five amazing facts about epigenetics make me even more committed to promoting individual diets based on Five Element temperament typing.

2. Mentoring Program at Holistic Horsekeeping
Ever wished you could have the opportunity to pick Madalyn’s brain and get all the answers you’ve ever wanted to your holistic horse health questions? Now you can! With the Mentoring Program you can stick to studying one area or a combination. It’s your time with Dr. Ward and your program geared to meet your needs.

Through her websites at www.holistichorsekeeping.com and www.horsetemperament.com, Dr. Ward has presented lots of information on holistic horse care, nutrition, and five element temperament typing over the years to educate horse owners and those who work with horses. Now you have the opportunity to take this education to a whole new level with the Mentoring Program at Holistic Horsekeeping. This program offers a six month intensive training on a one on one basis with Madalyn Ward, DVM. in one of the following areas or a combination of both.

  • Homeopathy Mentoring Course – Beyond Arnica
  • Horse Nutrition Mentoring Course – Using foods to heal

And if you are interested in learning more about horse temperament typing, you can now work with one of our typing consultants or take the online course

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