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Effects of a Diet and Lifestyle Intervention on Biological Age, Implications for Mental Health

On Demand
1.5 CE Hour

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  • On Demand
    Sessions will be available On-Demand

The regulation of the human genome by the epigenome is now regarded as a cornerstone, heritable, physiologic process, playing a key role in the phenotypic expression of health and disease. DNA methylation is a well-researched, primary epigenetic process that has been used to establish biological age assessments, namely DNA methylation “clocks,” which act as possible surrogate markers of age-related morbidity and mortality risk. The potential to slow biological age as measured by these clocks is just beginning to be explored. Yet emerging research suggests that it is possible to do just that. This has profound implications for the growing health-related economic and social challenges of our rapidly aging population. A 2021 Nature Aging paper states that a slowdown in aging that results in one year of increased lifespan would save 38 trillion dollars in health care spending, and deceleration by ten years would save 367 trillion dollars. Additionally, “biological embedding” is the description of the mechanism by which stress, PTSD, trauma, depression, and possibly addiction can be translated into epigenetic marks that influence gene expression in the individual and may be heritable. The outcome of biological embedding may increase vulnerability to the chronic diseases of aging as well as depression and other mental health concerns, including addiction. While more research is needed into how to identify and address biological embedded patterns, the concept may help explain familial patterns and treatment-resistant presentations.

Target Audience
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Addiction Counselors
Educational Goal:

Participants will learn an overview of epigenetics and how it may be impacted by diet and lifestyle.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define epigenetics
  • Summarize the basics of the current research landscape on DNA methylation and biological aging
  • Identify 3 diet and lifestyle interventions that may favorably impact DNA methylation and biological aging
  • List 3 potential impacts of diet and lifestyle on trauma and mental health

Trusted Provider Network, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0220.

This presentation has been approved for 1.5 CE clock hours by the Louisiana Counseling Association as authorized by the Louisiana Professional Counselor Licensing Board of Examiners.

Social Workers, #1766, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 03/31/2022 – 03/31/2025. Social workers completing this course receive 1.5 continuing education credits.

Trusted Provider Network, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0654.

Psychologists is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Addiction Counselors

This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #198061, is responsible for all aspects of the programming. Counselor Skill Group: Legal, Ethical and Professional Development.

CE Policy
This educator has disclosed the following potential conflict of interest: Please note that the references listed for this program include books authored by Kara Fitzgerald, the instructor of the program. Participants are not required to purchase books authored by Kara Fitzgerald. However, if participants do purchase these books, Kara Fitzgerald will receive financial compensation for such purchases. This course is fiscally sponsored by High Watch Recovery Center. There may be potential biases or conflicts of interest inherent to this relationship, and it must be disclosed to participants. These conflicts of interest have no bearing on the course content and have been resolved.
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald

Kara Fitzgerald, ND, IFMCP, is the first-ever recipient of the Emerging Leadership Award from the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute in recognition of her work on DNA methylation. She received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine, she lectures globally on functional medicine, is on the faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), and is an IFM Certified Practitioner with a clinical practice in Newtown, Connecticut. She runs a Functional Medicine Clinic Immersion program for professionals and hosts the podcast New Frontiers in Functional Medicine. Dr. Fitzgerald is also actively engaged in clinical research on the DNA methylome using a diet and lifestyle intervention developed in her practice. Her first study was published in the journal Aging. She lives with her daughter in Connecticut.

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