You may have read already about the research showing that the diet of a mother can have an influence on a specific gene for at least two generations.
This study on mice looks at "epigenetic" changes made to DNA, involving genes that can be silenced or activated based on exposure to chemicals.
Half of the mice in the study were fed a nutrient-enriched diet, while the control group ate a standard diet. Exposure to those high amounts of nutrients in the womb changed the coats of the mice offspring from golden to dark brown fur, while the offspring of the control group remained unchanged.Not only that, but the children of the darker-coated mice were similarly affected; they also had dark brown fur.
When I was actively seeing patients it was very clear what my primary responsibility was -- to teach my patients to eat the way their ancestors ate. If I could facilitate that change alone and have them avoid processed foods, trans fats and the ridiculous excess of omega-6 fats nearly all consume, the vast majority of them would have radically improved health.
However, this information should not cause you to worry about the diets of ancestors. First of all, it is likely that they were eating far healthier than you, but even if they weren't your body has incredible, dynamic healing capacities that have the potential to reverse much of the damage.
Mirto from Carnation, Alabama commented in Vital Votes:
As far as genes go, I firmly believe that conventional wisdom imputes to them a far more exaggerated influence on your health than they really have. Fact is, genes are little more than information storage facilities that don't do much to influence your health. Rather, it's the expression of your genes, influenced by how you live your life, that weighs far more heavily on your health than anything else.
Dr. Gene Weber from Yakima, Washington also pointed out regarding that issue: