Myth: nature or nurture? – Q&A with Lykon
We all have that one school friend who’s good at everything, and it’s easy to write-off their skills as pure luck. But there’s another factor at work here – a biological one.
Our genes contribute to our levels of intelligence, athletic abilities, appearance, fashion sense and sport performance. Our interests, abilities and skills lie within our genetic makeup. DNA is the foundation of all living beings, and contains all our genetic information, including how our cells form.
But does this mean that we are preprogrammed by our DNA? Or do we determine how long we live, how fit we are and how healthy we become?
In recent years, scientists have acquired more knowledge about the role of our genes. New fields of research have emerged and specific areas of our DNA have been scrutinized.
In order to understand how the blueprint of our body actually works and what control we have over it, we spoke to the CEO of Lykon, a Berlin start-up that uses blood and DNA tests to develop personalized health strategies.
Tobias Teuber, founder and CEO of Lykon, took the time to shed some light on some of these eternal questions. The business economist and health expert has been digitizing the field of laboratory medicine for five years now, enabling everyone to benefit from medical knowledge and the latest health technologies.
In our Live Session on Monday, September 07, 6.30pm Tobias Teuber will be available to answer your questions via Instagram! Ask all your questions about genes, exercise and nutrition via our Instagram account.
First, we’ll clarify the 3 most common myths about genetics.
Myth 1 – Man is at the mercy of his genes
Although some traits such as blood group are strictly determined by our genes, that doesn’t mean they determine all our traits. Our bodies are also determined by the environment in which we live. For example, someone who leads an active and healthy life can minimize the risk of hereditary diseases.
Certain genes determine most of the external appearance characteristics in humans, such as size, eye and skin color. Recent research has even shown that almost 100 genes can influence skin color! Our skin color depends on the amount and type of colorant melanin we produce (either black, brown or reddish).
Myth 2 – All genetic changes are harmful
No way! Most changes or mutations that occur in our DNA are a result of natural shifts. Recent research suggests that every person will experience about 60 new mutations that do not occur in our parents. When mutations occur in a gene, this may not lead to a significant change and will probably go unnoticed.
Mutations may even be beneficial for us and make us resistant to certain diseases. People who carry mutations pass it on to their offspring which helps them adapt to environmental changes.
Myth 3 – We haven’t changed much since the stone age
When was the last time you cursed at another driver? Or sped up to overtake them? That’s your Stone Age gene coming out 😉
It used to be assumed that not much changed genetically during the transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer and cattle breeder.
What has changed?
- Body size
- The ability to digest lactose in adulthood
- Fatty acid metabolism
- Vitamin D level
- Skin pigmentation
- Eye color
- Immune system
Ultimately we still carry the genetics of the Stone and Bronze Ages. We are 30% hunters and gatherers, 30% early farmers and 40% herders.
Europeans are made up of a mixture of genetics that has shaped our appearance. They have blue eyes from the still dark-skinned hunters and gatherers, light skin from the early farmers and blond hair from herding.
Find out all about the athletic gene and how sports and nutrition relate to it in our live Instagram session.
Try it out!
With the help of Lykon’s blood and DNA tests you can put together your own individual sports and nutrition plan. Experience the health for yourself!
For our exclusive cooperation with Lykon we’re offering you a 20% discount off all Lykon products with the code USCLYKON20.*
*(excludes the Covid-19 antibody test). The discount code is valid until September 18, 2020 and can be redeemed once per customer. This discount is not valid in combination with cash payments or other coupon and discounts codes.