Others develop high triglycerides or cholesterol on the same diet. Nutrigenomics companies that use genetic data to create diets are becoming more popular. Gluten sensitivity can cause more than an upset stomach. Send this to a friend. Despite the lack of consensus surrounding many gene-based nutrition interventions, many companies are commercializing gene-based diet and nutrition programs. Steve Zeisel, director of the Nutrition Research Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and one of the leading choline researchers in the world, founded a company called SNP Therapeutics, which aims to create medical foods based on genetic testing that identify road blocks in metabolism and provide the missing nutrients to bypass these blocks. Advocates of DNA-based diets point to some evidence that suggests people metabolize carbs, protein, and fats differently based on their genetic makeup, but there is no research that shows tailoring your diet to that information will change your life.
Everyone is going to benefit from eating more whole foods, avoiding excessive sugar, alcohol, and processed food, getting enough sleep, and moving their bodies. Other studies, however, have suggested that gene-based dietary interventions may not be as promising as once thought. A lifetime of change. Get unlimited access when you subscribe. Overall, my take is that while some of these tests may provide a genuinely helpful tidbit here or there, they are generally based on science that is not nearly established enough to rely on. Reducing dietary cholesterol may have been useful for some for lowering blood cholesterol levels, but nutrigenetics research has found several genetic variants that may lead to health problems including fatty liver, infertility and muscle loss in individual carriers of the variants who consume inadequate amounts of choline. Your doctor can monitor things like your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
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But does matching diet to genes improve health? With the help of doctors and nutritionists, Grimmer turned to genetic testing and blood work for insight into his personal dietary needs. Get unlimited access when you subscribe. The specific ratio of fats and carbohydrates in the diet were also not strongly predictive. Symptoms can range from nausea and hives to difficulty breathing and malnutrition. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is not closely regulated, warned the agency, which also suggested that more evidence is needed to ensure personalized dietary recommendations result in actual health benefits and cause no harm. One potentially promising application of nutrigenetics is medical foods, which, unlike supplements, are strictly overseen by the Food and Drug Administration and must be prescribed by a health-care practitioner. When I talked about this back in , we didn’t have any research to show that these DNA-driven diets are any more effective or valid than standard dietary recommendations.