Mirko Beljanski and epigenetic
Genetics—the direction of cell activity by genes—has dominated all biological research for over half a century. During Mirko Beljanski’s lifetime, the idea that a molecule could modify the behavior of genes by stimulating or blocking them was not widely accepted. Dr. Beljanski was one of the first scientists to show the impact of non-mutagenic substances on the development or inhibition of cancer. Because of this, he was put down and criticized.
Yet today, everyone knows about the effects of pollution on our health and its direct impact on the growing number of degenerative diseases and cancer cases.
The president of Environmental Health in the US, Devra Davis, wrote the preface for the recent reissue of Mirko Beljanski’s book “The Regulation of DNA Replication and Transcription” (originally published in 1983). In her text, she rightly emphasizes the important role—positive or negative—of epigenetic mechanisms (e.g. those that alter gene expression without altering the genes of the cell). She also pays tribute to Dr. Beljanski’s pioneering role in the field.
Epigenetics is now taking on an even more important role given that environmental pollution has caused a considerable increase in degenerative diseases and cancers.
Vitamine D and Cancer
A recent example comes from Boston University. Researchers conducted a study that showed the influence of vitamin D in the development of cancer, autoimmune, infectious, and even cardiovascular diseases. A group of 22,500 genes were studied before and after the intake of vitamin D. Results showed without a doubt that large enough doses of vitamin D could significantly improve immunity and reduce the risk of various heart diseases and cancers, in addition to its well-known effect on bone strength.
But here again I must warn my readers against synthetic vitamins that do not have the same bioavailability as natural vitamins. By continually forcing our bodies to break down synthetic molecules, our system revolts. These molecules disrupt the course of a cell’s normal life, which is a fragile equilibrium that must be kept in balance. This, combined with the harmful chemicals prevalent in our environment, was the driving factor for the birth of the organic and natural movement.