Most people have This particular basic understanding of genetics: You inherit genes through your parents, in addition to their DNA combines to create your unique genetic makeup. This particular can include more obvious traits such as eye shade in addition to height nevertheless also more complex traits in which may involve multiple genes, such as risk of diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity in addition to cancer, as well as all aspects of metabolism.
The Human Genome Project — an international 13-year collaboration in which mapped out all of the genes in humans — discovered approximately 50,000 variances (differences from the individual DNA code) in our genetic code in which can make a difference in how your body functions.
What many people may not realize is actually in which there is actually a significant interaction between your environment in addition to your genes, in addition to your diet is actually one of the most basic in addition to potentially modifiable components of your environment.
This particular interaction has led to a field called nutrigenetics, which looks at how our genes determine our response to nutrients in food in addition to beverages. By better understanding an individual’s response to specific nutrients, health-care practitioners could deliver more precise in addition to effective nutrition recommendations.
While an overall healthy diet in which includes a large variety of foods can help mitigate many of these individual genetic variations, some of the controversy over what constitutes a healthy diet may be due, in part, to individual genetic variances.
One interesting example involves a nutrient in which doesn’t get a lot of attention: choline, commonly found in egg yolks. When public health officials began to target dietary cholesterol reduction for heart health, eggs became perceived as unhealthy. Reducing dietary cholesterol may have been useful for some for lowering blood cholesterol levels, nevertheless nutrigenetics research has found several genetic variants in which may lead to health problems including fatty liver, infertility in addition to muscle loss in individual carriers of the variants who consume inadequate amounts of choline.
different controversial nutrients in which could be better addressed by considering nutrigenetics include saturated fat, vitamin D in addition to sodium (salt). The seemingly contradictory research findings about these nutrients may be due, in part, to individual genetic variation in which dictate the response of an individual, rather than a group, to these nutrients.
Although most experts agree in which avoiding excessive saturated fat intake keeps us healthy, the rising popularity of high-fat, low-carb in addition to ketogenic diets have led many to disregard these recommendations.
Jose Ordovas, director of nutrition in addition to genomics at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, discovered an association between a genetic variation from the APOA2 gene, involved in fat absorption, in which makes people more likely to gain weight when they eat a lot of saturated fat. For these individuals, saturated fat is actually an especially bad choice in which promotes both excess weight in addition to poor heart health.
Similarly, there are several genetic variances in which influence the effect of dietary salt intake on blood pressure. In some individuals, nutrigenetic research suggests in which dietary salt reduction is actually especially important for maintaining healthy blood pressure, while in up to 11% of the population, reducing salt to very low levels could actually increase blood pressure, according to Ordovas.
Why weight loss is actually so complicated
When in which comes to weight loss, the role of nutrigenetics becomes significantly more challenging to unravel.
Obesity is actually a complex, multifactorial disease. There is actually a considerable genetic component to obesity (estimates range through 30% to 70%), in addition to dozens of genetic variants have been associated with obesity in addition to metabolism. Identifying those in which are most likely to respond to specific dietary intervention is actually challenging through both a research perspective in addition to a behavioral perspective because a diet works only if you follow in which.
Experts from the field of nutrigenetics, including Dr. Martin Kohlmeier, president of the International Society of Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics, explain these negative results quite simply: “The investigators happened to choose the wrong genetic variants. in which may well work with others.”
Compliance is actually also a critical factor when in which comes to weight loss in addition to health. Do gene-guided diet interventions improve adherence to diet recommendations? Yes, says Ahmed El-Sohemy, professor in addition to Canada research chairman in nutrigenomics at the University of Toronto who founded a company, Nutrigenomix, in which provides DNA-based diet recommendations through health-care providers.
The DNA Diet
Despite the lack of consensus surrounding many gene-based nutrition interventions, many companies are commercializing gene-based diet in addition to nutrition programs.
The DNA Diet, which offers a digital weight-loss program based on personalized diet in addition to lifestyle recommendations resulting through DNA, aims to support the behavioral adjustments in which are essential for successful use of a DNA-based diet. Whether the specific genetic variants the company utilizes truly help improve weight loss beyond the personalized recommendations has not been adequately investigated.
Numerous companies are also using DNA analysis to make more personalized supplement recommendations. Although This particular area holds promise, the science is actually not strong enough to support most of these recommendations.
One potentially promising application of nutrigenetics is actually medical foods, which, unlike supplements, are strictly overseen by the Food in addition to Drug Administration in addition to must be prescribed by a health-care practitioner.
Dr. Steve Zeisel, director of the Nutrition Research Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in addition to one of the leading choline researchers from the earth, founded a company called SNP Therapeutics, which aims to create medical foods based on genetic testing in which identify road blocks in metabolism in addition to provide the missing nutrients to bypass these blocks.
While Zeisel advocates a healthy, well-balanced diet for everyone, he feels in which medical foods can play an important role in improving long-term compliance with gene-guided nutrition recommendations.
The field of nutrigenetics is actually still in its early days, in addition to a great deal more is actually to be learned, nevertheless experts agree: Though evidence will continue to evolve over the next decade, we have enough Great evidence to make in which useful today.
Effectively utilizing genetic information to guide more precise individual nutrition recommendations requires far more than simply testing random genetic variants in addition to should be undertaken by a trained health-care professional.
The genetically savvy health care provider should know how to incorporate in addition to act on genetic information as one of several precision nutrition-related factors, including the gut microbiome, standard blood tests in addition to health risk assessment, in addition to newer methods of assessing nutrient metabolism. According to Kohlmeier, “biohacking will not cut the mustard.”
Dr. Melina Jampolis is actually an internist in addition to board-certified physician nutrition specialist in addition to author of several books, including “Spice Up, Slim Down.”