How much do we suffer/gain from our ancestors and their behaviour?

31 Aug 2005
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United Kingdom
Allo chaps and a happy friday to you all.

Now just seen Bodds post about 'looking after our health' and made me think, some people might just have a head start here.

Which got me thinking, how much do we owe to our to all our contributors to who we are, ie our parents, their parents etc.

For example say my grandparents drunk themselves stupid, all their lives, did that have an effect in turn the quality of DNA passed down to me?

You see where im coming from? Could that have triggered a random blip in the DNA replication which in turned handed down to me causes a weakness or poor build quality of my heart valves a poor digestive balance whatever.

So when some people decide to get fitter be stronger eat healthier, their bodies respond better absorb nutrients better, fight illness better, not thanks to what they've done right now, but actually a cumulative effect of all your ancestors just being well behaved eating the right foods exercising and looking after their DNA tree for you.

My stepfather for example i watched him smoked 30/40day of Rothmans and he used to cough his guts up every morning for years, until he stopped in his 50's. For some reason i just know he's not going to die of Lung cancer, could be wrong, he just seems resilient and since he's stopped never coughs and has no breathing related issues.

After typing this i did google the thought and found this. An interesting read, some v clever people on here i know, anyone with a bit of insight here welcome your thoughts.
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From Quora: a nice summary of the relationships between DNA, chromosomes, genes, and proteins.

"DNA is the physical molecule that makes up both chromosomes and genes. DNA is typically found as one of the major parts of chromosomes. Chromosomes are larger, sometimes microscopically visible, structures in cells made of DNA and a few proteins. Genes are much smaller sections of the chromosomes, made of DNA, that specifically code for how to make proteins or RNA needed by the cell.

Physically it’s sort of like, DNA is the cloth, a chromosome is the shirt, genes are the collar, the pockets, the sleeve cuffs, the tail, etc.

A better functional analogy is a culinary travelogue. (travel book with recipes)

The dishes produced by the recipes in the book would represent the proteins made by the DNA/chromosomes/genes, like brown hair or eyes, or five fingers, or feathers, or melanin, or digestive enzymes, or muscles, etc.

The genes would be represented by the recipes in the book. Each contains the information to make some dish. Some recipes might even allow a chef to be able to make different variations of that dish as it appears some genes can do.

A chromosome is well represented by the whole book. Like the chromosome, the book contains all the physical material to allow the book to function, ink and paper, cover, binding, glue, stitching, etc. The chromosome, and actual cookbook, are where everything is put together and organized in some pattern so the cell - in the case of a chromosome - or a chef - in the case of a cookbook - can actually use it. Both can be “opened” and used or put away and unused, or even moved around from one place to another.

The best match for the DNA would be the ink actually organized into the images on the pages of the book. Some of it would form an actual recipe. Just like some DNA makes up genes. However, much of the ink might have nothing to do with the recipe. It might just be stories from the author’s past or interesting sidebars, just as much of the DNA in many chromosomes has nothing to do with making the protein product but may be interesting and have information from the past or other ancillary trivia. In fact a travel book with recipes may have a 1,000 pages but only 30 - 50 of the pages actually contain recipes, very much like some DNA/chromosomes/genes.

Finally, like the ink in the book the actual physical material of the DNA means nothing until it is put into some form of order or “language” that makes sense."
Add to the above, epigenetic changes to your DNA: these are reversible changes to your DNA, and can be caused by behaviours, or environmental factors (like stress, famine, etc).

Lastly, there are non-reversible changes to your DNA, such as might be caused by natural mutation, radiation, poisons or toxins (like cigarette smoke).

I think!
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I know three borderline alcoholics. It may be a coincidence but all three of them each had an actual alcoholic for a father.
It's quite rare for someone who has a close relative who is, an alcoholic for example, not to follow the same pathway to some degree or another.
There are the odd occasions where they do go the opposite way, though whether this is intentionally or not is not generally known.
I know three borderline alcoholics. It may be a coincidence but all three of them each had an actual alcoholic for a father.

I knew 4 borderline alcoholics... they were banned from all the pubs in SW Essex.. so they had to drink in Hertfordshire.
My brother makes out he's an alcoholic, as an excuse for his mental health problems.
Having a close family member as an alcoholic and another that is a frequent pub goer (my own parents), means I'm positioned to see this theory from my unswerving point of view.

Correct - children of alcoholics are vulnerable but not all siblings are built the same. Plus you have to factor in intelligence and reason.
When you say close family member, could it be you with double vision?
You either live in the Isles of Scilly or abroad coz no one frequents pub in this country.
Notch. Try it for a couple of years. Then let us know how you get on....... Please.
You either live in the Isles of Scilly or abroad coz no one frequents pub in this country.
The closure of pubs does not mean alcoholics go home and find something else to do, sadly. Please don't make yourself look anymore of a tit, in this thread.
My parents don't drink, yet I drink regularly, and above government guidelines.
As does a sibling.
Another drinks to excess, but infrequently.

Maternal grandparents were publicans.
Paternal grandparents - one, a coal mine who like a drunk and died young of stomach cancer, gran didn't drink at all.

Your path through life is not set in your genes.
Mrs Mottie transcribes for a liver consultant. She’s always quoting me government guidelines and generally acting the wine Nazi. I’ve had a bit of a free reign over the Christmas period but now we are back on to just two bottles a week to be drunk between Thursday night and Sunday lunchtime. She always examines the bottles to see the unit content. Bloody boring!
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