Why a DNA Based Diet Trumps Generic Dietary Guidelines
by Adam Hussein on May 24, 2021
The Rise of Personalised Nutrition
Many of us strive to make positive food choices in order to lose weight or gain other health benefits, yet generalised dietary recommendations don't work for everyone in the same way. Ever wondered why this is? The answer lies in your DNA.
Personalised nutrition- based on your DNA- is a relatively novel concept. Despite it being fairly new on the scene, there is an accumulation of evidence pointing to the fact that we each differ in the way we breakdown and process foods and nutrients, what we can and can’t digest well - and even our tendency to gain weight.
Research now shows that there is huge variation in the way that each of us metabolises nutrients, and that ‘one size does notfit all’ in relation to dietary advice. The good news is, thanks to progressions in nutrigenetics science, it is now both accessible and affordable to benefit from truly tailored nutrition!
What is Personalised Nutrition?
Personalised nutrition is a concept that offers certain unique guidelines for each individual, based on their genetic (DNA) test. Your genetic variations can be identified in a simple saliva test, and can be combined with individual lifestyle and environmental factors to create dietary guidelines completely tailored to you - with the aim of improving your health.
We now know that our genetics predict far more than what eye colour our offspring will inherit, or whether we can roll our tongue! The rapidly emerging science of nutrigenetics aims to identify the different ways we process food compounds and various nutrients such as certain vitamins. It’s long been clear that we don’t all respond the same way to the same dietary intakes. For example, a specific variation of a ‘thrifty’ gene (named the FTO gene) may make someone more prone to weight gain when eating a high fat diet, whereas other individuals have gene variations that help them metabolise carbohydrates more efficiently.
The DNA-Based Diet
Look around you. We are all different shapes, sizes, ages, genders and have different lifestyles. It’s therefore just common sense to question the notion that we all require the same foods, in the same amounts, at the same time of day. Science is now backing up this thought.
A recent study by The British Medical Journal found that individuals given personalised, nutrigenomic dietary advice, were more motivated to adhere to their dietary recommendations for longer periods of time than those given generic, population-based guidelines. They were able to reduce their total fat intake across 12 months, unlike the group given generic dietary advice, whose fat intakes did not differ.
Another study designed a DNA based diet for obese individuals that provided a 600 calorie deficit. Another group was given an untailored dietary plan - also with a 600 calorie deficit. After two years, both groups had lost weight, but those given the DNA-based diet plan lost 33% more. They also only took a year to lose the same amount of weight as the group on the unpersonalised diet lost in two years.
These studies, along with several others published in recent years, demonstrate that nutrigenetics-based advice can bring long-lasting lifestyle change over that of the traditional, generic dietary advice we’ve all been so used to.
Benefits of Personalised Nutrition
A Personalised Diet for Life
A DNA test only needs to be done once as your genetic data will hold true for your entire lifetime. The results you’re given will take out the second guessing of exactly what your body requires as they are so specifically tailored to you. As a result, you can be certain the foods you are consuming are instrumental in optimising your health and vitality.
A huge benefit of genetic testing is that it will reveal information about how to reduce your risk of developing certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. We all know that prevention really is better than cure, and you will be fully informed in order to make the choices necessary to help avert these chronic conditions. A recent paper in a scientific journal even stated that ‘personalised nutrition is the most powerful antidote to chronic disease’.
Identification of Food Intolerances and Deficiencies
We all have different abilities to metabolise nutrients such as Vitamins B, C, D, E and omega 3 fats - as well as many others - due to individual differences in our gene variations. DNA testing can reveal predispositions to lower levels of certain vitamins, or even a food sensitivity such as a lactose or gluten intolerance.
For example, a diet rich in folate is particularly important for those with a variation in a gene called MTHFR. Folate is a B vitamin necessary for cell growth and development. Low blood levels of folate have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. About 2 in 3 people have a mutation in the MTHFR gene meaning they have reduced MTHFR enzyme activity so must ensure that folate intake is at least 400mcg per day in order to reduce the risk of deficiency.
Genetically Personalised Meal Shakes
In recent years, there has been a plethora of research looking into the outcomes of personalised nutrition (using DNA testing) compared to generic dietary advice. The results thus far are promising and definitely in favour of tailored nutrition!
The amazing news is that everyone can now have an owner’s manual for their body when it comes to food - and nutrigenomics testing now means we can receive very specific information even down to the cellular level.
At NGX, we use the results from your DNA test to send you your very own in-depth personalised nutrition report. Meanwhile, a specific combination of your unique nutritional needs will be packed into your very own NGX BodyFuel so you can rest in the certainty that its ideal blend of 30 essential vitamins and nutrients are perfectly matched to you.