Diet As Per DNA Tests – Can A Diet Be Designed To Suit Your Genetics?
Voice of Biotecnika – Episode No: 50
Hi everyone? We have a question for all of you- have you heard of the diseases called hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, obesity, Hypertension, thyroidism? Yes? We know, you must be thinking, what a silly question!! Of course, everyone knows about it. At least one person in every house is affected by one of them. So what do we do to stay healthy? This is the next very common question. And the most common answer to this is- Eat healthily.
Dietary advice always tends to be based on the theory that there is going to be one diet that will help everyone. Well, this sounds good! But in the face of the obesity epidemic, it seems like guidelines haven’t been effective. In one study it was found that a diet that makes one individual lean and healthy might have the complete opposite effect on another. For the researchers, it was their goal to find the optimal diet but what they concluded was that it depends very much on the genetics of the individual and there isn’t one diet that is best for everyone. Now, you must be thinking, what can we do to know which diet will best suit us? Well not to worry- One way to understand what your body needs is through a DNA test.
Are you wondering whether it is true at all? does our DNA tell us anything at all? And even if it can throw light on our requirements how much does it reveal? If we can predict a disease by DNA analysis, can we predict the needs of our body?
Well, friends, in today’s session of the Voice of Biotecnika, we will throw some insight into a topic that has become a hotcake for the leading biotech companies all around the world- Genes and Diet. it has often made us think, Can a diet be really designed to suit our genetics???
The idea that each of us has a unique nutrition blueprint within our genes is a delicious concept. Perhaps, this helps explain the growth in personalized nutrition testing and services such as Habit, Profile Precise and Nutrigenomix. If science and genetics have taught us anything, it’s that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet recommendation. Everyone’s body has unique needs; by focusing on what our body tells us we can work towards better health. And to gather this information we need our DNA.
Looking at your nutritional needs, metabolic health factors and matching diet, a DNA test can reveal your genetic diet type, which vitamins you need to optimize, how your diet affects your cholesterol if you’re sensitive to lactose and more.
Surprised, are you? Yes, it’s true we can build our personalized genetic nutrition profile from the tiny molecule called DNA. and why not? I mean all the enzymes or hormones or other proteins which are helping in our metabolisms is being coded by the DNA. So you can make more proactive decisions regarding your diet based on your DNA, including the ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats for your body. Now, let’s look at a few of the diets your DNA may suggest based on your genetic nutrition profile.
A Balanced Diet
If you’re in good health and free from complications like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, a DNA test may suggest maintaining a balanced diet. A balanced diet means eating an array of food from each major food group, from proteins and carbohydrates to fruits and vegetables. Make the most of this diet by focusing on more nutrient-dense foods, such as colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high-quality lean protein, and healthy fats.
Low Carb Diet
A DNA test can reveal if you have a higher than average genetic likelihood for elevated blood sugar levels. For people who want to monitor their insulin and blood sugar levels (if they are prediabetic or diabetic), lower their risk for heart disease factors, fight metabolic syndrome and feel less sluggish, a low-carb diet may be recommended.
Sugar and carbs go hand in hand, as starchy foods like white bread and potatoes have higher glycemic levels than whole grains and more nutritious vegetables. For a low carb diet, the goal is to limit the number of carbohydrates consumed and focus on non-starchy colorful vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality lean protein.
Low Fat Diet
Your cholesterol levels are another factor a DNA test will look at. This can reveal if you have a higher than average genetic likelihood for elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, decreased HDL (good) cholesterol levels or elevated triglyceride levels.
If you’re at risk for any of these, a DNA test may suggest a low-fat diet. A low-fat diet doesn’t eliminate all fats; just the unhealthy ones. Trans fats and saturated fats are unhealthy fats, which can increase harmful LDL cholesterol and increase your chances of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can do the opposite—decrease harmful cholesterol levels, build cell membranes and the covering of nerves and prevent heart disease.
Rather than eliminate fats entirely from your diet, focus on increasing your intake of healthy essential fats, such as eating more nuts, fish, and avocados, while avoiding fried and greasy foods cooked with trans or saturated fats.
Depending on your cholesterol levels and other health factors, your DNA may suggest following the Mediterranean diet. A Mediterranean diet is essentially a high fat and low carb diet. It may help improve healthy cholesterol levels and keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Similar to a balanced diet, the Mediterranean diet can be beneficial to follow even if you’re healthy and not at risk for certain health conditions.
When following the Mediterranean diet, focus on eating a balance of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (from nuts, olive oil, and avocados), high-quality seafood and low-fat dairy products. Avoid sugary and starchy foods, trans fats, added sugars, and excessive red meat intake.
A DNA test can reveal if you have an increased genetic likelihood for lactose intolerance, which may explain uncomfortable side effects that you might experience from eating lactose. Lactose is the sugar found in milk. Based on your genetic makeup, your body may have trouble properly digesting it. As a result, you may experience bloating, cramps, stomach pain, and other uncomfortable side effects.
If you’re at risk for lactose intolerance, consider replacing milk with lactose-free alternatives, such as almond milk or flaxseed milk. You may also want to try going several weeks without eating dairy to see how you feel. If you notice an improvement, continue limiting or eliminating dairy and lactose from your diet.
So friends just send your saliva sample to one of these companies and they will send your dietary chart in your hands. But doubt still remains. How far accurate result can be provided to you? Are the results always successful in delivering what they promise? Experts say that when it comes to diet advice, it’s misleading to say that the blueprint is our genes. According to a new study, a person’s genes don’t actually have an effect on how well certain diets might work, which runs contrary to what some “personalized nutrition” companies may claim.
Researchers at Stanford University found that overweight adults who followed a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet tailored to their genetic predisposition and biological makeup weren’t any more successful at shedding pounds than the groups that followed the same two diets, but without the customization for these predispositions. Lead study author Christopher Gardner, the director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, noted that the point of the study wasn’t to compare a low-fat diet to a low-carb one to see which was best for weight loss, as many previous studies have done. Instead, the goal was to explore which factors — genetic patterns and insulin resistance — might predict success for people on the two diets; in other words, “Which diet is best for whom?” In the study, the researchers tracked about 600 overweight adults, ages 18 to 50, who were randomly assigned to follow either a healthy low-fat diet or a healthy low-carbohydrate diet (containing 20 grams of fat or carbs at the beginning of the study) for one year. All of the men and women had their DNA tested before the study to see if they had one of three genes that could predict whether they might achieve better weight-loss results on a diet that was low-fat or low-carb, or whether they lacked these genes.
When the researchers analyzed the data, they didn’t find that being assigned to a diet that matched that individual’s genetic makeup or insulin resistance could predict weight-loss success. Neither genetic predisposition nor insulin resistance was helpful in identifying which diet was better for whom, according to the study. In a previous study of 100 overweight women, Stanford researchers found that women who followed a low-fat or low-carb diet that matched their genotype lost two to three times more weight after one year than did women on diets that were a mismatch for their genetics. Even though the previous study used the same genotype patterns that were tested in the new study, researchers were not able to confirm the results in the larger study. Besides genetic testing, the participants were also given a test to measure whether they were “insulin resistant,” that is, whether or not the individual’s body responds properly to the hormone insulin.
Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, says, “DNA is important, but it plays a pretty minor role in making personal decisions about food,”. So far, genes only explain about 5 to 10 percent of the risk linked to diet-related diseases such as obesity and type-2 diabetes, he says. “For basic healthy living, it’s not about your genes, it’s about your behavior.’’
Well, nowhere is something to think about. Tests results are not full proof and also they are not fully wrong…..so here comes the big question- What to do?? Should I take the help of DNA or stick to the normal chart? What a tough decision. Well, I’m thinking ! you think too, and Do let me know what you have decided?
Now before you come to conclusions do remember something, the test results might have closed the door on the possibility that the low-fat genotype pattern and the low-carb genotype pattern that was tested might be useful to predict weight-loss success. But this does not eliminate the possibility that there are other genotype patterns that could be useful to predict weight-loss success — but these would have to be discovered, tested and replicated.