Review of Dirty Genes by Ben Lynch

A look at the book Dirty Genes, which explains how you can treat your illnesses through understanding more about your genetic makeup. One for the science geeks, like me. 

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So, as everyone here knows, I have psoriasis, and have had it most of my life, since I was in my early teens. I'm the only one in my family now that has it, although my Mum reckons it might have been passed down from my Dad's dad (my late grandad), who had it on his arms and elbows. So I've always wondered if it's genetic. 

It was about the time that I received an email asking me if I'd like a review copy of the book Dirty Genes, that I went to visit the Natural History Museum in London, by myself, to go and see the exhibition they have on about Neanderthals and even earlier human evolution. I saw something there that mentioned that modern autoimmune disease is most likely thought to have been accidentally created as a result of Neanderthal and other ancient-human breeding. A chink in the genes, or a biological programming error where two species crossed. And it's multiplied and multiplied and been passed down through tens of thousands of years. Surrounded by all sorts of different shapes of skulls, Cheddar Man and full-size models of what Neanderthals would have really looked like, I was fascinated

Did I want to read a book about health and how our genes could be involved? 

HECK yes. 

First of all, Dirty Genes is written in a down to earth, friendly, chatty way. It seems to give you a lot of scientific knowledge without you really knowing it's going into your brain. I love that. Which of course makes it very readable. I couldn't put it down. 

Also, rather than tell you to go and get your genes tested and come back with the results, it helps you delve into the mysteries of your own genes straight away. You can troubleshoot your own gene health - finding out which genes were already dirty when you were born and which are just acting dirty due to lifestyle. A huge part of the book is taken up with this fact finding, and it's eye opening stuff. Did you know that even your personality can be affected by dirty genes? Amazing! 

One of the great things I took away from reading Dirty Genes is that no matter how dirty your genes actually are, you can clean them up. Factors such as diet, lifestyle, use of plastics, smoking, alcohol, over-eating (yes, seriously) or even the use of fabric conditioner in your washing machine all contribute, Dr Ben Lynch says, to the health of your genes. Those of us with chronic health issues are often told, like I was, that we've just had bad genetic luck, that we'll always have this disease, but it can be managed with prescriptions. The angle of this book is that you have complete control over your health and you can help it by cleaning up your genes. Empowering, definitely.

As well as troubleshooting, there are recipes. You can even select these depending on which genes you've discovered might need cleaning up, a kind of personalised genetic nutrition. 

I've only ever read a few books that I'd describe as life changing, and this is definitely one of them. I've added what I've learned to my arsenal against that last patch of psoriasis that still itches from time to time and it is improving. 

The subtitle of this book is 'A Breakthrough Program to treat the root cause of illness and optimise your health.' Well, you don't get any deeper or 'root cause' than your genes. Makes perfect sense. Definitely recommend you have a read. 

Have you read the book Dirty Genes? Let me know what you thought of it below, in the comments. 


  1. Thank you so much for sharing and summarising. I couldn't catch it all!


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