A new study sheds light on why I find it difficult to tell people with any certainty that a certain course of action will definitively keep them healthy. This is a result of apparent contradictions I read about all the time. It seems that some people who engage in unhealthy behaviors are healthier than others who swear by a healthy lifestyle. It's like the old philosophical religious question of why do bad things happen to good people? It turns out there is a reason when it comes to health.
One of the toughest questions for genetics researchers is not only how to identify which genes are responsible for causing a disease, but what turns these genes on or off? More simply put, why does one person get a disease while another with identical genes does not?
For example, the other twin of an identical pair whose sibling develops rheumatoid arthritis only has a twelve percent probability of developing the disease. Multiple studies support the notion that the presence of a gene does not always promise the manifestation of disease. That is why when it comes to health, we can not look at our parents, our siblings, or our children to know definitively what will happen to us.