What causes disease; bad genes or bad environment (diet, exercise etc.)? This has been the age-old question that has actually already been answered. The answer is, "both." The more nuanced perspective questions the relative influence of both of those variables. We all know that genes don't change; that is basic biology. However, the expression of those genes is known to be modifiable.
A recent study suggests that fruits and vegetables may actually play a significant role in modifying the expression of a genetic profile that promotes heart disease. When a group of people with that high risk genotype ate lots of raw fruits and vegetables, they had a much lower risk of having a heart attack. In fact, the people (with the same high risk genotype) who did not eats lots of produce had 2 times the risk of having a heart attack. This article in TIME magazine reviews the research and states,
That suggests that diet can make a real difference in heart disease risk, even when that risk is genetically based. "It means that perhaps our family history, or genetic risk, is modifiable," says Anand (one of the co-authors of the study) "Despite not being able to change our genetics, if we are able to modify the effect or expression of our genes. That's exciting."
It is great to see science validating the effects of a healthy diet. A healthy diet has the real potential to modify the expression of your genes. I wonder what a bad diet does to the expression of those hazardous genes.