Nutrigenomics: Find the Right Diet for You- It’s no mystery that diet plays an important role in a person’s overall health. Green foods packed with essential nutrients are obviously a healthier choice than the greasy, fried fare found at your local fast food joint.
However, everyone metabolizes foods differently, even the healthy ones. Through genetic testing, nutritionists can examine the interaction of nutrition and genes, a scientific study known as nutrigenomics. The results of these tests can help individuals adopt a diet tailored to their specific needs.
For example, some people may not absorb iron as well as others. However, learning this about oneself through genetic testing allows that person to make changes to their diet, by including foods and/or supplements rich in iron.
Here are some examples of foods that people metabolize differently depending on their genetic makeup:
Nutrigenomics: The Setbacks
Not everyone agrees that nutritional genetic testing is as practical as it sounds though. José M. Ordovás of Tufts University is a leading researcher in nutrigenomics. He believes that current nutritional genetic testing is inconclusive, as it examines only a handful of genes. Ordovás is working to examine all 20,000 – 25,000 genes of the human genome, in an effort to provide more accurate dietary suggestions.
Nutritional genetic testing can also be expensive, making it less accessible to a large number of people. Most insurance providers do not cover this type of testing.
Nutrigenomics: Who Provides Testing?
Founded by scientists of the University of Toronto, Nutrigenomix Inc. is a leading provider in nutritional genetic testing. The company currently offers a seven-gene test, as well as a more comprehensive 45-gene test.
Chief Scientific Officer of Nutrigenomix, Ahmed El-Sohemy, notes that these tests are not designed to predict disease in patients, but rather offer nutrition advice and promote healthy eating.
Companies including 23andMe, Interleukin Genetics, and Vitagene also offer nutrition genetic testing. These companies partner with clinics throughout the world, making testing readily available to the general public.
To find a clinic near you, visit Nutrigenomix today!
Nutrigenomics: The Research
In a study funded by the European Union, 1,269 people were examined over a six-month period to determine whether genetic testing can improve eating habits. Of the total participants, three groups received personalized dietary advice based on their current diet, phenotype, and genetic variants. In contrast, a control group was offered conventional dietary advice.
The eating habits among those who received personalized dietary advice were indeed greater than those of the control group. However, the improvements among the three personalized groups were roughly the same, indicating that the factors of regular diet, phenotype, and genetic variants had no impact on the outcome.