Love and Genes Can Beat Poverty

Love and genes can overcome even the most abject poverty, according to a study into the effects of environmental factors on child development. Children in the study experienced more than just poverty as measured by family income level. Living in the poorest neighborhoods, their homes were rated as being overcrowded, damp or in disrepair. The study differentiated between twins sharing all the same genes and those sharing only half. It showed that genetic makeup does play a role in the ability of children to rise above their poverty and not suffer behavioral or cognitive setbacks, but it was not the whole answer. The warmth, mental stimulation and interest that parents pay toward their young children can make a big difference in their children's lives.

Dr. Bruce Lipton is a molecular biologist who has been preaching this powerful message. With the completion of the human genome project the vast majority of scientists believe that genetics hold the key to our future health. But our genes are merely dumb storage facilities that do very little to influence our health. The reality is that the EXPRESSION of our genes is the most important influence and their expression is altered by our emotional influences. This study is a powerful confirmation of this concept. The expression can be positive as in this study or, as is far more common in disease, quite negative. The ultimate manifestation of this process is the woman who believes she will die from breast cancer because "her relatives did" and eventually is able to manifest her intention through emotional influence on the expression of her genetic makeup.

Child Development May-June 2004;75(3):651-68

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