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04 Nov

The science behind our genes and nutrition

Nutrigenetics – the science behind genes and nutrition. Also known as nutrigenomics.

Can the rise of this topic, enabled through discovery and research in genetics, help us lose weight?

First off, it’s thought that understanding more about how diet interacts with our genes can help prevent disease. This includes the top killers - heart disease and cancer.

Secondly, there are some who believe that nutrigenetics can open up great possibilities for weight loss and the management of obesity. The idea is that personalised diet plans based on our genes can be the holy grail.

Some companies currently test people’s DNA and create a personalised diet plan for them.

Is there any evidence that these succeed where others don’t?

As always, it’s early days. So, we watch and wait.

Researchers are meanwhile working on nutrigenomic tools and processes but there’s a long way to go, as Health Education England outlines:

·         They are examining the use of nutrigenomic biomarkers but the process is immensely complex, so progress so far is very limited

·         Other areas being tested, such as the use of ‘omics’ assays, have not yet settled on as basic an issue as which tissues need to be analysed to yield results

·         Correlations have been confirmed between what we eat and our genes but scientists largely do not know why

·         Food and behavioural diaries are unreliable tools.

So maybe it’s worth going back to the conclusion of eminent scientists exploring the potential for nutrigenetics as far back as 2004.

“The workshop group concluded that while there is no evidence to support giving individualised dietary advice based on gene testing, the science does have great potential to increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms through which diet influences disease.”

And things don’t seem to have changed significantly since then.

A  meta-analysis in 2015 and a large European study the following year found similarly.

The complexity and relatively high cost of research into nutrigenomics mean it’s likely to be some time before the science drives mainstream applications.

So, save your DNA-test money and look for less exotic ways to slim down. Like limiting your input, increasing your output, via exercise, and equipping yourself for the extra mile with fab friends from your weekly support group. We're here to help people like you lose your weight your way. Don’t let another day go by. Contact us today.

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