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The theory is well accepted in areas of medicine that have been the subject of intense research to find the real cause of disease. For example, spina bifida and anencephaly, both neural tube defects, although once argued to be genetic defects have since been discovered to be evidence of epigenetics, of a change in the expression of genes effected by a deficiency of one of the 90 essential nutrients, folic acid. Women given between 400 and 800 micrograms of folic acid in dietary supplement form before they become pregnant ordinarily experience a significant reduction in the risk of a neural tube defect birth.
Chapter 11 Page 3
Cystic Fibrosis in China: Further Debunking the Gene Theory of Disease
Rejecting the genetic theory of disease, Wallach is a proponent of epigenetics. “Epi” is a Greek term which means in this context “outside of.” Thus, epigenetics is the study of changes outside of genetics. This science evaluates how non-genetic factors cause genes to express themselves differently. British biologist, paleontologist, embryologist, and philosopher C. H. Waddington invented the term in 1942. Wallach has given it new life in 2014 with the publication of his book (co-authored with Dr. Ma Lan and Dr. Gerhard N. Schrauzer), Epigenetics: The Death of the Genetic Theory of Disease Transmission.
He has done so at the apex of popularity of the genetic theory of disease and as billions are spent by governments and industry on mapping the human genome in the quest to find what genes are associated with which human characteristics. The ultimate aim is to then establish a field of medicine that “treats” disease by replacing or correcting defective genes.
As Wallach sees it, this costly exercise is doomed to fail. He takes the position that it is non-genetic factors such as dietary deficiencies which alter the expression of genes in deleterious ways. It is not that the nucleotide sequence in DNA has been changed (a defect in genes themselves), but, rather, it is the absence of one or more key nutrients that cause genes to express themselves in ways that cause harm. Ensure the needed nutrient and the disease will not appear or, if it has appeared, may well enter a state of remission or be completely reversed.