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Does smoking change your DNA?

Does smoking change your DNA?

It is a known fact that smoking is bad for your health and can damage a lot of organs in your body but do you know that smoking also changes your DNA? Well, it does. We are not talking about altering genetic code or genetic modification that will give you some special abilities; we are talking about the genetic damage that will increase your chance of developing cancer and other variety of dreadful diseases.

Generally, smoking alters thousands of genes in the body, while some of this genetic damage may fade over time_ years after quitting; some genes alteration takes decades to recover if the damages are not permanent.

Although it was once believed that we were born with a fixed set of genes and these genes cannot be altered but According to a recent study made by scientist, DNA changes has been identified in our body through a process called Methylation. Methylation is one of the mechanisms that are responsible for how our genes are expressed and how those genes expressions affect our health.

This genetic Methylation is responsible for some development of health conditions. Environment and live style are part of the factors that always impact the way genes Methylation occur, in some cases, Methylation can turn on or off some genes which as a result have health implications on the body and will effectively change how the body responds to the change.

Smoking Affects DNA Methylation

Researchers now found that smoking changes DNA Methylation. According to Dr. Stephanie London research on DNA methylation, they found that smokers had a pattern of DNA methylation changes which affects thousands of genes. Methylation can turn on, or off some genes and alter how they function and their expression. Some of these changes in the genes expression from methylation have been linked to both the development of cancers, cardiovascular disease and other forms of smoking related diseases.

According to the study, some of these changes in the DNA caused by smoking will disappear within the period of five years after quitting but some DNA Methylation effect can last for decades. Effect of DNA Methylation on gene like TIAM2 which is associated with lymphoma can persist for 30 years or more.

Smoking can also affect DNA Methylation of a child if exposure prenatally to a cigarette. The effect of this DNA methylation always surface has the child grows to adulthood. Although, smoking during pregnancy has been well known to affect the baby, but the recent study shows that prenatal cigarette exposure also has long-term health conditions for the baby due to the genetic alteration from the exposure. Child postnatal exposure to cigarette can increase their risk of behavioral and developmental problems.

Dr. Stephanie London research is able to uncover the fact that Smoking Changes Your DNA and Increases Your Risk of Disease, but further study is ongoing in DNA methylation and the research are focused on understanding the amount of damage and the level of consequences the damage to the DNA can have on the body.

Can Smoking Damage your DNA?

Can Smoking Damage your DNA?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that cigarette smoking is responsible for about half a million deaths in the United States every year. The figure rises to an astonishing six million people annually if the entire planet is considered. Smoking has been implicated in many diseases of the human body, and its effects leave no cell of the body unscathed. New information gleaned from conducting scientific research on the effects of smoking have revealed that smoking has a long arm that can reach DNA, the hallowed genetic code that holds the secret to all life on earth.

The scientific study was conducted by scientists and researchers led by Roby Joehanese, a research scientist at Harvard Medical School and the Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research. In their study, which examined blood samples from about sixteen thousand people, signatures in DNA resulting from tobacco use were identified and contributed to diseases such as heart disease and lung cancer.

The area of focus that the study was limited to was in DNA methylation and its effects in inducing cancer and other diseases in the body. DNA methylation is important because it is one of the ways in which the gene expression is controlled. Gene expression can be likened to military orders issued to field commanders from army headquarters. If gene expression is altered, cells that should have stopped growing and multiplying may continue to do so, thus triggering neoplasia. Neoplasia is the mechanism behind the development and spread of cancer in human beings.

By interfering with DNA methylation, smoking predisposes the individual to developing smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer. The study discovered that about one-third of known genes in smokers were altered in some way related to alterations in DNA methylation. What is even more surprising is the fact that most of these genes would retain these changes for at least five years. Other genes, for instance, the TIAM2 gene that has been associated with lymphoma (a cancerous disease of the lymph nodes and bone marrow that interferes with blood cell production) take as long as thirty years in order to return to normal.

As one of the biggest causes of preventable death all over the world, smoking has direct effects on multiple organs and organ systems in the human body. In the brain, cigarette smoking causes nicotine addiction, which is the principal reason why many people are unable to shake off their smoking habit. Tobacco use can lead to loss of hearing, loss of vision and oral problems such as sores and ulcers that will negatively affect your oral hygiene goals. By increasing cholesterol levels in blood, smoking will also cause undue pressure and stress on the heart, leading to increased blood pressure as well as coronary artery disease (itself a leading cause of death the world over).

The silver lining in the study that confirmed smoking’s effect on DNA is that the affected genes can be targeted for preventive and curative therapies for smoking-related diseases.