Skip to comments.You Are What You Eat: Genetically Modified Foods Include “Information”
Posted on 02/04/2012 4:00:27 PM PST by opentalk
Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in our foods, we expect. But information?
According to recent research from Chinas Nanjing University, when people eat rice, tiny sequences of microRNA from the plant-based food can survive the bodys digestive process and end up absorbed in human tissue where and heres the reason why we need to know about this study plant microRNA may actually affect how our cells behave and function. In the study, Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA, published in the Journal Cell Research, the genetic material from rice showed up in human liver cells where it appeared to influence cells uptake of cholesterol from the blood.
First discovered only a decade ago, microRNA is a short, single-stranded RNA molecule that plays a pivotal role in how genes express themselves. For example, as Maverick of Medicine Ray Kurzweil explains, short RNA fragments produced by the human body do things like, tell the heart cells that only the certain genes which should be expressed in a heart cell are expressed. The Chinese study is ground breaking because it shows that plant microRNA introduced through diet may have a similar influence over human DNA
....Dont expect the GMO food industry itself to begin looking for answers to these questions anytime soon. As food writer Ari LeVaux observes, the Monsanto website currently states that, "There is no need to test the safety of DNA introduced into GM crops. DNA (and resulting RNA) is present in almost all foods. DNA is non-toxic and the presence of DNA, in and of itself, presents no hazard. They have no more incentive to look for bad news about GMO foods than the cigarette companies had to look for negative health effects of smoking cigarettes
(Excerpt) Read more at smart-publications.com ...
“Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Smith. You have a healthy baby with all his fingers and toes, and a prehensile tail.”
Well wouldn’t we be absorbing micro-DNA from non GM food too? In fact genetically engineered crops could be designed to make the foods safer.
So if I eat the brains and liver of a person, say someone I beat in a fight, I get that person’s smarts and strength? Same concept but with rice.
Personally, I think that would be pretty cool, except for the tailoring bills.
The good news?
Some experts speculate that the ability of plant microRNA to affect human cellular behavior might be a way to partially explain the effectiveness of herbal medicine. Beyond vitamin, minerals, and other components of herbs, might it be possible that genetic information in the plant comes preprogrammed to tell certain cells how to initiate healing? In the Nanjing University study, for example, researchers noted that rice microRNA consistently ended up in human liver cells where it interacted with cell DNA to change how cells used cholesterol.
...Dr. Garry Gordon, another pioneer interviewed in Mavericks of Medicine, thinks discoveries about microRNA may someday lead to diets and food choices that can target risk for specific diseases. We can make foods that will actually lower your risk of ever getting Alzheimer's even if both your mother and fathers side had the disease...Knowledge is the gene testing, and we can modulate genes by getting appropriate natural products like RNA foods.
But the not good news?
According to the article in The Atlantic entitled, "The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods", the study may inadvertently reveal a pathway by which genetically modified (GM or GMO) foods influence human health. In other words, if we eat corn that has genetic information telling it to act as its own pesticide, how will this plants microRNA behave in the human body? What about other examples of frankenfoods: vegetables with scorpion genes; tomatoes with flounder genes; and potatoes with jellyfish genes that glow when they need to be watered? What kind of microRNA do these GMO foods contain and how will these affect our genes?
i ma not a wuss.
"Tastes like chicken. Pretty much..."
Reminds me of the study of flat worms and electric shocks.
Platyhelminthese (its been 50 years not sure of the spelling:) were subjected to light and then an electric shock. After a period of time the worms braced for a shock whenever the light came on. The worms were then ground up and fed to other flat worms which had not been subjected to the light/shock routine. When the light came on, they braced for a shock. Cool huh:) Remember that next time you eat flat worms.
We are screwing with the primordial forces of nature with all the arrogance of a god (small g). We do not know what we do not know. No good will come of this.
The Chinese research provides the first in vivo example of ingested plant miRNA surviving digestion and influencing human cell function in this way.
Should the research survive scientific scrutiny -- a serious hurdle -- it could prove a game changer in many fields. It would mean that we're eating not just vitamins, protein, and fuel, but gene regulators as well.
They may have been designed by God, but man has modified them an endless number of times over the past thousands of years.
The last to paragraphs of this tripe from its vitamin commercial filled website:
“But where is the FDA in all this? Aren’t they watching out for our safety with respect to GMO foods? Well, in a word: no. They aren’t working for you or any of the other 99% of Americans. The FDA is working for Monsanto itself along with a collection of the other most wealthy corporations in the world. This is why I gave one of my recent blogs the title: Occupy FDA: Smart Publications Alternative Heath Solutions Threatened. I make the modest proposal that the FDA should be working for us the 99% or it should be immediately de-funded.
If more studies like this one come to light, its likely that perception about GMO food safety will also change. In the meantime, as we begin to understand just how complex the relationship between food and our health really is, keeping GMO foods out of our kitchens and gardens is more important than ever.”
How about this keep the government out of it all together. I am an adult and I can pick my own foods with out anyone’s help. Since we do not have anything in our food chain that is not genetically modified I am not concerned.
By the way have you read about how viruses invade our DNA?
well said, we are losing the option to choose what we eat
That's how the microRNA gets into your blood stream.
We can only assume they are carrying out the instructions of their Galactic Overlords who are plotting to take over the Earth and turn us all into heads of cabbage.
So, when I eat rice I pick up its DNA?? Wow, my cells are rice cells! Who knew?!
We should single out really strong and smart people and eat them! Think about it. One person was strong and smart but 100 people could be once they eat them.
People againt GMF are Luddites.
I don’t think you understand “GMO”. (It ain’t cross-pollenization, for instance.)
What's not to like ~ corn bread and fewer bites.
You could sell this stuff.
Gotta be a reason eh.
“First discovered only a decade ago, microRNA is a short, single-stranded RNA molecule that plays a pivotal role in how genes express themselves.”
This is critical, and part of how far we have come in understanding how incomplete early (and some still) understandings of HOW AND WHY a gene (a code that provides instruction to produce a certain protein) does, or doesn’t actually EXPRESS the instruction it is capable of.
There are other insights that demonstrate that “influences” from the environment a gene is in have a role in determining its “expression” (will it or will it not direct the production of the protein it would “normally” provide the instruction for).
RNA and microRNA are only some of the influences that can cause a gene that is present to be active or not.
The “genes” alone are not running the show. Imagine that!!???
This is confirmation of what we have been learning in so many areas of science in the last century. We reach a great new understanding or insight and as we explore it we find it opened a window showing us that we have gained more questions in this area than we even knew to ask before.
Since it happens with food whether GMO or not who cares. Just stupid luddite panic.
Are you talking about fasting? It’d be quite a stretch to construe that as “Avoid grains because they’re unsafe.”
Obama has appointed former Monsanto VP, as a senior adviser to the FDA
We’ve been screwing with those forces for thousands of years. We used to do it through the large stick of selective breeding (grow more of that it tasted good), then the slightly smaller stick of cross breeding (let’s see what happens when we fertilize the tastes good with the pollen from the produces a lot), and now surgically with GMO (this is the gene that makes it taste good, this is the one that makes it produce). You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. And there’s only one way to find out what you don’t know.
I ate so much rice growing up in Louisiana I should be the RiceGirl superhero by now if this had any relation to reality.
If this kind of absorption occurs, then yes--we would be absorbing micro-RNA from all the food we eat.
The presence of viruses in our genome is well established. As far as I know, there is no evidence of plant nucleic acids in our genome. I am highly skeptical of this claim, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, rice is cooked. In the lab, cooking for prolonged periods at high temperatures is a method of killing nucleic acids. The other reason is that RNA is exquisitely unstable, far more than DNA. Working with RNA is a real pain, because of all the precautions necessary to keep it from being destroyed. Your mouth, hands, and bodily fluids all contain RNA destroying agents. I question how any RNA could survive the digestive and circulatory systems to even have an effect on cells.
One possibility here is simple contamination, where the researchers were not careful with their samples, and the samples got mixed. So, where they thought they were detecting rice microRNAs in human liver tissue, they were actually detecting cross-contamination between samples. This could happen from something as simple as forgetting to change a pipette tip between samples, or from accidentally grabbing the wrong tube.
Apparently not a new process as humans have been eating pretty much everything they can keep down for a very long time.
This is from the study. Note this comment: “Food-derived miRNAs may serve as a novel essential nutrient”
Cell Research (2012) 22:107126. doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158; published online 20 September 2011
Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA
Food-derived miRNAs may serve as a novel essential nutrient
It has been widely reported that downregulation of LDLRAP1 increases plasma LDL level35,36. In the present study, direct reduction of LDLRAP1 in mouse liver by RNAi significantly elevated plasma LDL level (Supplementary information, Figure S6A-S6C), confirming that LDLRAP1 is a gene candidate responsible for plasma LDL removal. Interestingly, an elevated level of MIR168a but a decreased LDLRAP1 in mouse liver were detected after just 6 h of rice feeding (Figures 2C and 5B), indicating that exogenous plant MIR168a from food intake can quickly change mouse liver LDLRAP1 level. Continuous downregulation of mouse liver LDLRAP1 level by MIR168a through rice feeding (Figure 6E and 6F) resulted in an elevation of the plasma LDL-cholesterol level after 3 days (Figure 6G), implicating a physiological relevance of food-derived plant MIR168a. Rice feeding-induced reduction of LDLRAP1 protein and elevation of plasma LDL-cholesterol level could be largely reversed by anti-MIR168a ASO (Figure 6I-6K), confirming that the rice feeding-mediated physiological alteration is specifically due to the targeting of mouse liver LDLRAP1 by MIR168a.
This conclusion is also supported by the observation that chow diet with addition of mature MIR168a significantly enhanced the levels of mouse liver MIR168a (Figure 6N) and plasma LDL-cholesterol (Figure 6Q) but decreased mouse liver LDLRAP1 protein level (Figure 6O and 6P). Interestingly, food intake, possibly via intestinal epithelia of GI track, may represent a general pathway for uptake of food-derived or food-associated miRNAs. As shown in Supplementary information, Figure S7F-S7H, we added miR-150, an endogenous mammalian miRNA, into chow diet and fed mice with miR-150-enriched chow diet and normal chow diet, respectively. We found that miR-150 could also enter mouse liver and downregulate its target gene, c-Myb. Given that exogenous miRNAs in food or miRNAs that are ‘added’ into the food can enter the circulation and various organs of animals and play a role in regulating the physiological or pathophysiological conditions, food-derived exogenous miRNAs may be qualified as a novel nutrient component, like vitamins and minerals.
Previous studies have reported that the transfer of genetic material from one species to another may modulate the cellular functions of the recipient species50,51. Such examples include human miRNAs targeting viral genes50 and the translocation of host plant mRNAs into dodder (a parasitic plant)51. However, to our knowledge, it was still unknown whether plant miRNAs could enter mammals and modulate mammalian cell functions. By illustrating that plant miRNAs, such as MIR168a, can be delivered into animal serum and tissues through food intake and digestion and that exogenous MIR168a can target mammalian liver-specific LDLRAP1 in vitro and in vivo, the present study significantly extends our understanding of the role of miRNAs. With their robust stability and highly conserved sequences, secretory miRNAs can act not only in a cross-species, but also a cross-kingdom fashion.
In this sense, miRNAs may represent a novel class of universal modulators that play an important role in mediating animal-plant interactions at the molecular level. Like vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients derived from food sources, plant miRNAs may serve as a novel functional component of food and make a critical contribution to maintaining and shaping animal body structure and function. Extending from this concept, the intake of certain plant miRNAs generation after generation through a particular food source may leave an imprint on the genetic map of the human race.
In conclusion, the discovery of plant miRNAs and their roles in the biology of mammalian cells and animal organs represents the first evidence of cross-kingdom transfer of functionally active miRNAs and opens a new avenue to explore miRNA-mediated animal-plant interactions.
The anti GM food crowd will little comfort in this study. It shows their fears are self inflicted.
too much rice in Chinese diet induces chronic constipation and therefore “microRNA” from plant can transfect chinese organs(liver....). And as a free “microRNA” in the cell, induces the expression of some non coded genes.....
Gosh, I never herd such a stupid thing!
Assume for a moment that God knows all about microDNA!
All of this would have been difficult to understand even 10 years ago to say nothing of 3,500 years ago.
Maybe there's a short period of avoidance that short circuits the microDNA hold on your genepool.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume you’re entirely correct. So then...I wonder what instructions Monsanto will issue with the foods they’re “designing”?
Or are you suggesting theirs are just as safe as His?
Me too! And I’m reminded of a limerick but gee, I dunno ...
Did you know the Microsoft Office Suite I am using still does not have a spell check for EPIGENETICS, nor for microRNA or even "betcha".
Things are happening fast ~
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