Tags: Obesity | dna | weight | loss | genes

DNA Diet: New Weight Loss Plan Based on Genes

By    |   Tuesday, 21 October 2014 04:49 PM

Fad diets typically promote a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. But new research suggests personalized nutrition plans, based on an individual's genes — a scientific discipline known as “nutrigenomics” — could have a greater impact on reducing lifestyle-linked diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

But the researchers warn that strict regulations would need to be put in place to protect people's personal data before moving forward.
Led by Newcastle University, the so-called Food4Me project is investigating the potential of nutrigenomics — a relatively new branch of nutrition which looks at how the food we eat affects our genes.
Using DNA, experts are able to look at not just at age, sex, BMI, and physical activity, but also the way in which each individual's genes interact with the food we eat. This in turn enables them to create a tailored nutrition plan.
A 9,000-person study published by the team in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE suggests that despite the potential benefits of nutrigenomics, people's reluctance to hand over personal data could prevent widespread adoption of such plans — unless security protections are in place to keep that info private.
"There's an assumption in many communities that people are risk averse to food technologies such as GM and nutrigenomics,” said lead researcher Lynn Frewer, a professor of Food & Society in the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University. "But actually, we found the opposite. The people we questioned could really see the benefits of this approach but said they were yet to be convinced that it would be worth the risk of handing over data about their DNA.
"Nutrigenomics has the potential to be the next big thing in our fight against lifestyle-linked diseases."
The mapping of the human genome in 2000 introduced the possibility of individualized medicine, including personalized nutrition and the field of nutrigenomics.
"Guidelines around fat, sugar, alcohol, and other foods are based on averages and they work very well — but they are just a guide," said Frewer. "The problem is that we are all unique so, for example, one woman's ability to metabolize sugar might be wildly different from another's, even though on the outside they are both 50 years old, of similar height and weight and exercise regularly.
"The difference is in their genes and with nutrigenomics we can start to delve down into these differences and tailor dietary plans for the individual. It's incredibly exciting but we need to get the regulations in place first if it is going to make an impact on public health."

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New research suggests personalized nutrition plans, based on an individual's genes - a scientific discipline known as 'nutrigenomics' - could have a greater impact on reducing lifestyle-linked obesity and other health disorders.
dna, weight, loss, genes
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 04:49 PM
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