Do we consume DNA and proteins of other organisms?

When we eat raw meat, e.g. chicken or fish, we are actually consuming the DNA, proteins etc. which are present in their cells.

  1. Wouldn't this affect our cell functions as this DNA might enter our cells?

  2. It is known that we get energy by eating them. Is it glucose or ATP or some other form of energy that is produced from them?

Yes, we are eating the DNA and proteins of an organism when we consume and digest its cells.

However, consuming the "raw flesh of hen or fish" in your example would not cause harm strictly due to the consumption of their DNA.

DNA has two basic components - a structural 'backbone' of alternating phosphate molecules and sugar molecules (called deoxyribose) and a nitrogenous base (a group of atoms that includes nitrogen) on each backbone unit. These basic components of DNA are common to the all organisms that contain DNA, like the hen and fish in your example.

When you digest the DNA in your food, specialized molecules (in this case nuclease, which digests DNA) produced by your digestive system break down DNA into its components. These components can then be rearranged to create 'human' molecules, such as human DNA.

In other words, you don't integrate fish or hen DNA directly into your human DNA; you break it down and rearrange it into human DNA, then integrate it into your body.

To answer your second question, we get energy by breaking down the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats (known as macromolecules) of other organisms. Much like DNA, these three macromolecules are broken down into their singular components. For carbohydrates, this would be glucose.

These components are then further broken down into energy (as a force) which powers cellular machinery to 'recharge' ADP (the 'discharged' version of ATP) back into ATP, a specialized molecule which can 'bring energy' to other parts of the body to power your body's processes.

ATP is not energy per se - energy is defined as the "capacity to cause change" (Campbell Biology, pg. 160) and do work. Energy is therefore a property rather than a distinct molecule.


  • When we consume DNA of organisms, it does not inherently damage us as we break it down and rearrange it into completely 'humanized' molecules.
  • Glucose and ATP aren't energy per se - they are just molecules that contain lots of energy. ATP 'brings energy' to other parts of the body; glucose is broken down into energy to 'recharge' ATP. Energy is not a molecule - it is a property.

The second part of your question has been answered already, but you were right about your first point. I believe the previous answers are not completely correct concerning the total break down of nucleotide sequences.

It has been shown that RNA from ingested food (specifically rice miRNA) actually does enter mammalian cells and tissues and can influence gene expression [1]. A number of exogenous miRNAs from common foods where observed in Human blood plasma in this study [2].

I believe we still have to learn a lot about this kind of interaction with our food. It might be that miRNA is not the only component of our food that can survive digestion and influence human cells directly.

To add to adam's answer:

Protein and DNA molecules are simply too big to pass through cell membranes or through the wall of the gut.

In the process of digestion:

Proteins are broken down into amino acids.

Complex carbohydrates like starch are broken down into sugars.

Fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol.

These molecules are small enough to pass through the wall of the gut. These are essential food. Once through the wall of the gut, the body synthesizes "human" proteins, carbohydrates and fats from them.

DNA and RNA are broken down into nucleotides, which are small enough to pass through the wall of the gut. The mass of DNA is tiny compared to the mass of the above types of food. As far as I know nucleotides are not essential nutrients (that is to say, I believe our bodies can synthesize them from the above types of food.)

Incidentally one of the nucleotides of RNA, adenosine monophosphate (AMP) is the "discharged" form of ATP. According to all four of the nucleotides of RNA are used in monophosphate - triphosphate energy cycles, but the others are more specific.

It's important to remember that proteins, fats, sugars (and ATP) are not "energy" but simply molecules that are high in energy.

I would guess that there is far more of these RNA nucleotides free in the cell (involved in energetic pathways) than there is in the actual RNA used for protein transcription. And there is definitely more RNA than DNA.

DNA and the Environment: What Determines How Our Genes Work?

One of the hottest areas of research is the study of how the outside world – the air we breathe, the food and medications we consume, the experiences we have – affects the way our genes work.

Unfortunately, it's also an area of science that is easily misunderstood. Take the recent reports suggesting that astronaut Scott Kelly's genes were changed by space travel, so much so that he and his identical twin were no longer identical. The authors of those articles confused genetics – our DNA – with epigenetics – the chemicals and proteins that surround our DNA and influence their work, as The Washington Post noted. Kelly's DNA was not changed. But the experience of living in space for almost a year had altered his epigenetics. 1

Of course, you do not need to leave Earth to experience changes to your epigenome. The epigenome describes the "chemical compounds and proteins that can attach to DNA" 2 and, like a bossy sibling, tell it how to do its work. Understanding epigenetics is crucial to understanding autism. "Given that neurodevelopment is influenced by genetic and epigenetic factors, it is important to study both processes to fully understand the basis of autism and related disorders," said Silvia De Rubeis, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment in New York.

DNA is a major force in the development of autism in a child, but it is certainly not the only one. Consider research on identical twins, who have identical genes. Usually, if one identical twin has autism, the other twin does too. 3-5 But not always. "Identical twins, who share the exact same DNA, don’t always both have autism, or have the same severity of autism. Two identical twins are known to be different in a number of illnesses and disorders," said psychologist Alycia Halladay, PhD, chief science officer at the Autism Science Foundation.

Epigenetic changes or environmental factors – such as twins' competing for nutrition in the womb or having different environmental exposures after birth – could help explain those differences. Scientists are only beginning to understand the complex interaction of our DNA, the environment, and epigenetics.

Do we consume DNA and proteins of other organisms? - Biology

How much DNA do plants share with humans? Over 99%?

This is a number which we need to be careful with.

First, there is only one type of DNA! ALL animals and plants share the same DNA which is basically a code of only 4 'letters' which code for the same amino acids from which all proteins are made. There is a complication that some amino acids have more than one code which specifies it - there are plenty of examples where a change of codes (eg a mutation) can result in NO CHANGE in the amino acid which is specified.

It is not surprising that all animals and plants have the majority of their GENES in common. The mechanism by which sugars are oxidised to release their energy (respiration) is almost universal. There are dozens of enzymes involved with this process alone. Each enzyme is a protein and each one needs to be coded for in DNA. There are many enzymes involved in the replication of DNA itself. Other processes are almost universal too.

On the other hand, some genes are very significant. There is, I believe, only one gene responsible for setting a human embryo on the road to maleness rather than femaleness. However, this gene acts as a switch and directs other genes to produce the huge range of differences between men and women.

Some genes are present, but never used (never switched on). There seems to be a huge amount of DNA which we have inherited from our past and this may no longer be useful, but has not been "weeded out". Some genes are interrupted by long stretches of "silent" DNA for which we do not know a function. We may have mapped the whole genome of a few organisms (humans, Aarabidopsis etc), but this is little more than a "road map" and we have yet to identify the "houses" and, more significantly, the "inhabitants" of those houses.

You will be aware that DNA fingerprinting can identify one individual from another. There are clearly stretches of DNA which we don't even share with our relatives (except identical twins) - the closer the relationship, the more 'bands' on our fingerprint we share. My children only share half my DNA fingerprint.

It is said that we share about 60% of our genes with a banana. But you can see that such a statement can be very misleading.

There have been some interesting studies of proteins which ALL organisms share. One of these is Cytochrome C which is involved with part of respiration. The number of different amino acids/mutations between man and other organisms has been extensively studied. Information like this can give a numerical difference between man and other species (including plants). However, these differences are not in the part of the molecule that matters - the part of the molecule which enables Cytochrome C to carry out its function. Such data is useful for studies to tell how closely organisms are related (and indeed tell us about the relationships within that tree), but they do not tell us how "different" we are, because the Cytochrome C works the SAME in ALL organisms!

When it was first classified by biologists, the elephant shrew was placed with the bicolored shrew in a cladogram. Since then, additional evidence has been found that caused scientists to remove the elephant shrew from the shrew group and place it in a new

Hi, can someone check my answers asap. i am on a deadline!! 1. What doe the notation TT mean to geneticists? (1 point) two dominant alleles heterozygous alleles at least one dominant allele one dominant and one recessive allele 2. An organisms genotype

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

“Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame.

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal.

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun . Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D . Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms.

Get checked for the VDR mutation . A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101 . Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients.

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

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Transgenes in genetically modified food are safe for human consumption

So, you’ve bought a new pair of jeans and you love them. You wear them every single day…you even sleep in them. They were made with transgenic cotton, so your skin, the largest organ in your body, is in constant contact with the transgenic fibers of the cotton. Should you be worried that you’ll absorb the bollworm toxin from the cotton through your skin and be poisoned by it? The answer is no, and here’s why:

  1. The cotton is dead plant tissue. Its cells are no longer expressing genes, including that toxic transgene.
  2. The transgene was toxic to bollworm larvae, not to mammals.

Okay, so the transgenic cotton you wear cannot harm you. But what about the transgenic food we eat, like tomatoes, soy, or corn? Most of the corn and soy grown in the US is transgenic. Why shouldn’t we worry about eating transgenic (versus non-transgenic) plants?

  1. As with cotton, the food plant DNA and the transgenes in it are in the plant cells, which are dead by the time they reach your table, much less enter your digestive system. They do not have the ability to express themselves, and the proteins those genes make are not harmful to mammals.
  2. Your body absorbs nutrients (vitamins, minerals) and sugars from food in the intestine. The plant matter itself, including the DNA, stays on the “outside” of your body, because the digestive system is basically just a long tube that runs through your body but never connects to the inside. It only has two openings, the mouth and anus, and both of those go to the outside of the body.

DNA Facts: 21-25

21. If someone undergoes bone marrow transplant, the recipient may or may not have DNA of the donor. In most cases the recipient will not have foreign DNA.

22. Orbiting our Earth is a memory device that is known as ‘Immortal Drive’. The device is actually inside the International Space Station and it contains digitalized DNA sequence of Lance Armstrong, Stephen Colbert, Stephen Hawking and others. It is actually an attempt to preserve human race in event of a global catastrophe.

23. Earth did not have phosphates. Meteors were responsible for bringing reduced phosphorus to earth which then oxidized to form phosphates and thereby creating the mechanism that generates RNA and DNA.

24. DNA is capable of replicating or duplicating itself, i.e., it is capable of making an identical copy of itself and this is essential during cell division.

25. In point 14 we mentioned genome. A genome is nothing but the entire DNA sequence of an organism. One genome is estimated to have 3,000,000,000 DNA bases. Now a ‘base’ is nothing but a unit of DNA. To simplify even further, a base is a building block of DNA and there are 4 such building blocks as mentioned in the first point. These bases in turn pair up together to form genetic codes.

Exceptions to the Code

Many organisms use slightly modified versions of the main genetic code. For example, in humans, and all other vertebrates, an organelle called the mitochondria has a few genes of its own, outside of the cell's main genes in the nucleus. The mitochondrial genes of vertebrates have a few exceptions to the standard code, including substituting a codon that normally codes for amino acids for a stop codon. Bacteria and some related microorganisms called the Archeans have exceptions to the standard genetic code, but the bulk of their genetic code is the same one as humans.

Why is DNA called the blueprint of life?

DNA is called the blueprint of life because it contains the instructions needed for an organism to grow, develop, survive and reproduce. DNA does this by controlling protein synthesis. Proteins do most of the work in cells, and are the basic unit of structure and function in the cells of organisms.

To call DNA the Blueprint of Life is an analogy. Blueprints direct the construction of Buildings, DNA directs the " construction" of cells and organisms.


DNA is an informational code that directs the development and function of cells and organisms. Segments of DNA called genes code for the formation of specific proteins. The complex information in the DNA regulates which proteins are made at which time and in what quantity. DNA determines to a large degree what a person will be like.

A blue print is an informational map that directs the construction of a building. The blueprint describes which material is to be used at which points and in what amounts in the construction of a building.
By looking at a blue prints it is possible to determine what the building will look at when it is completed.

The Analogy is not exactly accurate but it provides an idea of what DNA does.

Are We What We Eat?

The world is full of different cuisines and thousands of different meals. Yet when we reduce them to their essence, there are just a handful of ingredients that our bodies absolutely need to survive. These basic molecules come in a series of groups we’re all familiar with — carbohydrates, fat, protein — each class of molecule is very important for the way our bodies work. So, what to choose?

Our physical and mental well-being is directly linked to what we eat and drink. The nutritional content of what we eat determines the composition of our cell membranes, bone marrow, blood, hormones, tissue, organs, skin, and hair. Our bodies are replacing billions of cells every day — and using the foods we consume as the source.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have demonstrated that the diets of organisms can even affect the composition of their genes. Since organisms construct their DNA using building blocks they get from food, Dr. Steven Kelly, of Oxford’s Department of Plant Sciences, and his colleagues hypothesized that the composition of food could alter an organism’s DNA. The results revealed a previously hidden relationship between cellular metabolism and evolution, and provided new insights into how DNA sequences can be influenced by adaptation to different diets. The team also found it is possible to predict the diets of related organisms by analyzing the DNA sequence of their genes.

A well-balanced diet not only results in better health and overall body composition, but because of the “brain-gut connection” — can also make us feel great. Eating well is part of the strategy that can reduce our risk of any chronic disease and even improve the condition of our very genes. There is not “one rule fits all” when it comes to eating well. Applying the commonly accepted recommendations such as low sugar, low salt, and a good variety of nutrients might be the most advisable for all of us.

Paying attention to how much we are eating is another very important aspect of healthy nutrition — that naturally concerns us all. What we eat and how much we eat is critical, but how we process it is perhaps even more important. Through thousands of little sensors, the gut has the immense task of managing all the information contained in the food we intake. Food alone will not promise a thriving gut.

If you are eating a nutritious and delicious meal with a friend, but all of a sudden you start to fight with each other — your stomach is going to shut off, and you’ll probably experience indigestion, pain, or nausea. Even when eating by ourselves, most of us have an ongoing internal dialogue going on in our brains. We are filled with countless thoughts and emotions that distract all our attention from the food in front of us. We also eat while on the phone, with the TV on, and at our desk. There is reason to believe that eating while we’re emotional, confused, or simply distracted may slow down or stop digestion.

When we feel an emotion intensely, such as stress or anxiety, our regular, mechanical, digestive process in the gut — which mostly works independently — will be influenced and altered. Stress hormones, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol, will interact with the cells in our gut, making us alert and ready for fight or flight. By paying attention to our mental state when eating, we can improve our food processing. All of our body parts are connected to our emotions, but the gut sends the strongest signaling to our brain’s emotional centers.

It can be as simple as becoming more aware of the act of eating itself — including seeing, smelling, chewing, and swallowing. We can also extend our attentiveness to the influence the food has on our bodies and mood. Going even further, we can be considerate of the earth, which provides us with this driving force we call food. In fact, researchers have found that teaching such “mindful eating” skills can change bad eating patterns. Trials using the mindful eating approach have shown that participants significantly reduced compulsive eating habits, improved self-control, diminished depressive symptoms, lost weight, and maintained their weight loss for long periods of time.

By paying attention to all the details and layers of information involved in our eating, we can also awaken our gut senses — in turn helping us make better choices of the things we eat, and the amounts we eat in the future.

This article was first published in Brain World Magazine’s Winter 2018 issue.

Watch the video: mr i explains: Making Genetic Comparisons using Proteins (December 2021).