Lose Weight According To Your Genotype

Published:July 7th, 2010

US researchers have obtained results from a preliminary study that aims at designing a DNA test that can predict how someone can lose weight depending on the different diets he or she chooses. Connecting DNA testing with lifestyle counseling can be helpful and useful. The Interleukin test looked for mutations in three genes.

Interleukin claims that 39% of white Americans possess a low-fat genotype, 45% can lose weight better on diets low in processed carbohydrates and 16% have to watch both type of food.

One of the gene variations influences absorption of fats from the intestine. Another variation refers to insulin response. Being on the right diet affects the sensation of satiety. Further tests are being developed to find the better response to various types of exercise.
The diets that were taken into account were low carbohydrate and low fat diets. The results showed that if the diet is matched to the genotype, the results in weight loss are more efficient, reaching up to 2-3 times more weight loss over a 12 month period.

This new field of nutrigenomics tries to find out how genes interact with food. Nutrigenomics studies the effects of food on gene expression. Its development could lead to a uniquely tailored diet for each individual according to his or her own unique genetic makeup and could balance the micro and macro-nutrient needs so that specific DNA profiles are matched.

Dietary chemicals, for example, sometimes do not get metabolized, so when they are ingested they become ligands, that is molecules that bind to proteins that can turn on certain genes. Fatty and over processed foods that are high in calories push people towards diseases.

Lactose intolerance is one of the first problems that started the research into how different diets interact with our genetic makeup. Most northern Europeans can digest milk, but most south-east Asians can’t. Most mammals have a gene for lactose tolerance that is switched off when the small animal is weaned. A mutation in the DNA appeared 10,000 years ago in an isolated population of northern Europeans that resulted in an adaptive tolerance for nutrient-rich milk.

During the human evolution, our bodies interacted with foods and selected variants that were best suited for nutrition purposes. The interplay between genes and nutrition evolved differently in separated subpopulations that had distinct gene variants. As many people have ancestors from different continents, pursuing a diet that is consistent with the genetic makeup could lead to improved health.

Our DNA controls the way we burn or store calories from various foods, and once these interactions are sorted out, better results can be obtained by choosing the right diet for us.

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