You Are What You Eat - Literally

Sometime ago I took a course called "The Science of Natural Healing".  In the course, the professor likened the human being to a tree with branches and leaves, a trunk and roots.  Her focus was on how you best develop a healthy tree with visibly vibrant leaves, strong branches, a solid trunk, good stability and the likelihood of withstanding much of what nature throws at you.   

This same analogy can be applied to animals.  The vibrancy of the leaves tells you about the health and suppleness of the system. The trunk represents the organism's genetic makeup -- effectively what it was handed at birth.  For most of us, we've believed that this is our destiny and we got what we got and can't do anything about that. 

The tree is rooted in soil which is the environment where it lives.  The professor said:  "think about what makes up your soil because what determines whether you have healthy or sick fruit (leaves) is based on a very special interaction between your genes and your environment, the soil in which you live".  

Science has discovered a great deal about genetics over the past two decades.  It turns out that a human (or animal) has a great deal more control over its genes than was previously thought and the impact is truly amazing.  The study of the science of epigenetics the study of how genes can be changed and what changes them.  In short, diet and exercise are at the top of the list and interestingly changes that are made to a gene in one generation can carry forward to the next generation.  Think of this now as a piece of artwork that you are creating.  

So more than ever, the phrase "you are what you eat" really matters and there is an emerging field of study called "nutrigenomics" which studies the relationship between genes and nutrition.  The bottom line is that this means knowing not only what you are feeding your animal matters but the source of the food can materially impact your animal's health.  When you realize that you can actually impact the animals health by what it is eating, you start to become very diligent about asking questions about where the ingredient came from.  The label might not tell the whole story.  

Our "Labs in the Lab" blog is where we'll post our insights.  These are the things that we're researching for ourselves, the questions we're asking and the things we're finding out.  We are passionate about nutrition and health for our pets and we'll pass along what we find -- sometimes in an idea, sometimes in a recipe, sometimes a web resource.  We hope you find it helpful.  .