Visit our Re-post guidelines
Discussion: Deeper Implications of the Study
As part of the fascinating new fields of epigenetics and nutrigenomics, this new study's findings promise to expand the relevance of food in the practice of medicine and the prevention of disease. We have crossed a critical threshold in the past few decades where food can no longer considered simply as a source of caloric content, minerals and vitamins, and building blocks for the body-machine. [Learn more by taking the author's E-Course] Rather, food carries very specific forms of biologically meaningful information (literally 'to put form into'), without which our genetic and epigenetic infrastructure cannot function according to its intelligent design.
The discovery of plant-dervied exosome-mediated modulation of fundamental mammalian cellular pathways, lends powerful support to the concept that ancestral nutritional practices handed down for countless generations are critical in maintaining our health. With the advent of the post-industrial diet, based largely on 'food-like' synthesized nutrition, and the novel introduction of grain-based nutrition in only the past 500 generations, our present diet suffers from a series of profoundly biological incompatible foods.
Millions of years of co-evolutionary processes have generated a wide range of interspecies, cross-kingdom co-dependencies. For instance, mammals and angiosperms (which comprise about 250,000 species and include most of the flowering plants that provide the modern world its diet) co-evolved for at least 200 million years together, and are today two of the most dominant forms of life on the planet. The very molecular and informational fabric of our bodies evolved to intimately depend on the presence of various key food components in the human diet, and the absence of others which may be detrimental to our health. Food components like exosomes may be as important to our health as vitamins and other classically defined 'nutrients,' and may even be more important in modulating a wide range of complex genetic- and epigenetic-mediated cellular processes within the body. This may also explain the mystery of how certain fruits, such as pomegranate, have been found to replace the function of the mammalian ovary in an ovariectomy induced models of premature aging. While pomegranate is one of nature's most concentrated source of bioidentical estrone, exosomes may be the 'missing link' as to how a plant food can support complex hormonal processes within the animal body, along with exerting such a wide range of additional therapeutic health effects. This is all the more evidence with plants like turmeric, which have over 600 health benefits and has been found to modulate the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously.
We believe that taken together, the recent discoveries that 1) microRNA's within foods like rice can enter into our blood and tissue and regulate gene expression 2) that double-stranded RNAs within a wide range of commonly consumed foods have molecular homology with thousands of human RNAs (and are therefore capable of silencing them) 3) that lectins also can directly activate nuclear machinery within certain cells, the addition of exosome-mediated gene modulation, lends further support to the concept that the quality and types of food we consume carry as much relevance in terms of 'biological destiny' as the DNA within our genome.
With exciting research now available, the famous quote attributed to Thomas Edison rings truer today than ever:
"The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
 Lin Zhang Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA Cell Research (2012) 22:107–126. doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158; published online 20 September 2011
 Qi Zhou1, et al Immune-related MicroRNAs are Abundant in Breast Milk Exosomes Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(1):118-123. doi:10.7150/ijbs.8.118
 Sreenivasan S, Thirumalai K, Danda R, Krishnakumar S. Effect of curcumin on miRNA expression in human Y79 retinoblastoma cells. Curr Eye Res. 2012 May;37(5):421-8. doi: 10.3109/02713683.2011.647224. PubMed PMID: 22510010.