I touched on this briefly the other day. The study of microRNA is brand new, and actually took scientists by surprise when they discovered microRNA for what it is.

Quoting from the recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, the study of microRNA has revolutionized how gene function is regulated. There are currently thousands of studies under way to understand microRNA and unlock the role(s) these tiny genetic strands play in identifying, treating, and possibly preventing diseases.

What is microRNA? Let’s first look at what we’re more familiar with; DNA. All cell types, whether it be brain, gut, bone, muscle, etc., contain exactly the same gene sequence, called DNA. Each and every cell was derived from the same DNA, even though they have different functions.

Assisting in the diversification of all these cells is ribonucleic acid (RNA), of which there are several types. One type is messenger RNA, which is a copy of your DNA gene blueprint used to construct protein building blocks for cells. MicroRNA is a newly discovered type of RNA, and is a game changer in cell behavior. There are different microRNAs in each tissue in your body. For instance, what makes brain cells unique is their expression of a particular microRNA that influences which protein is produced.

MicroRNA may have roles in: heart failure, Alzheimer’s, hepatitis C virus, Schizophrenia, and cancers. Folks, I know that this sounds a bit scientific, and there’s still much to be learned. The hope is that these efforts might eventually lead to improved diagnosis, more accurate predictions of disease outcomes, and new medication and therapy options that have fewer side effects. I’ll keep you posted.

It appears that the current recommendations of vitamin D for kids may be too low. Researchers have updated the amount from 400 IU’s to 800 IU’s daily. Vitamin D is important for bone and immune system function. Adults should aim for at least 2000 IU’s/day.

I had one of those days today where I couldn’t exercise at my preferred morning time. It is hard for me to gear up for a late-in-the-day workout; too many things come up. But I try to practice what I preach; may time whenever you can. I read this statement a long time ago-I don’t remember where I saw it but I put it on my desk: “You find a difficult purpose that requires you to grow stronger. You would rather be a force of nature than a victim of life, acted on by other forces of nature.” I really like that. End result; I did my exercise…….

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.