DNA Day: Decoding The Genetics Of Nutrition

Did you know that our genes can tell us about anything from how our body processes and utilises certain nutrients to our likelihood of developing certain food intolerances, helping us to decipher what to eat more or less of to feel healthier and achieve our wellness goals? Thus since the full genome sequence was published in 2003, we’ve come a long way to understand the impact of our genes on how we look, how our bodies work, and how our diets impact our overall health and wellbeing.  


With genetic science becoming a major contributor of insights when it comes to personalised nutrition and diet - uncovering a whole new world of nutritional genetics (aka nutrigenetics). This is a field of study that fully takes advantage of our genetic differences to inform what we should and could put into our bodies. This involves how genetic variations alter an individual's response to their diet - from how effectively nutrients are digested, absorbed, or utilised, and how what we eat can ultimately affect our long-term health. Nutrigenetic risks are classified as either monogenic or complex (see here for a breakdown of the risks) 


Why does nutrigenetics matter? 

We already know that diet plays a vital role in health and wellbeing and for the prevention of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Public health nutrition recommendations are taken as an average of what the general population requires. While these recommendations take the basics into account, they do not account for individual differences. This is where personalised nutrition in the form of nutrigenetics comes into play. [cite]


A small study compared the long-term weight effects of a standard weight loss diet versus a nutrigenetic tailored plan at a weight loss clinic. After the 300 day study period, the researchers concluded that using nutrigenetic tailored diets resulted in better compliance, long-term maintenance of weight loss, as well as improved blood glucose levels. 


And improvements in weight loss are just the tip of the iceberg. Nutrigenetics can also allow us to test, for example, an individual’s ability to process caffeine and alcohol, allowing us to choose our drinks with care. Your requirements of nutrients such as vitamins B, C, D, E, and Omega 3 can also be tailored to your genes to best reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease or osteoporosis. Knowing this can help us focus on where we need to boost our nutrient intake to protect our bodies. But it’s also important to keep in mind that there are always other variables to consider when it comes to what determines the state of health and wellbeing, other than nutrigenetics. Genes really only provide a tendency, not a destiny. The most important thing is to make the right nutritional choices for your genetic make-up, goals, and lifestyle. This way you can truly optimise your health and wellbeing.


How do we apply nutrigenetics at DNAfit?

At the core of our business is the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health, wellness and nutrition - so we help people discover their unique nutrigenetic profile, with an in-depth selection of personalised insights. We offer an at-home, pain-free test swab of your saliva to unearth insight across 31,000,000 more data points compared to our competitors on the market with our Circle Premium test. Meanwhile, we compare across 500 data points for our Health Fit test kits (which is still higher than some of our competitors). 


Genetically, there are the differences that we all see, such as eye and hair colour, but there are also the differences we don’t see, how we metabolise nutrients, for example, the way we deal with toxins, how well we react to different types of exercise – we all interact with the environment in our own unique way. We provide 24 nutrition and diet reports that are uniquely personalised, along with meal plans. 


Circle Premium uses whole-exome sequencing to uncover genetic markers linked to how each of us responds to food components such as lactose, how our bodies utilise certain vitamins and our risks of developing intolerances such as coeliac disease - hence our DNA analysis can help you choose a diet and nutritional plan that can empower you to achieve your lifestyle goals.
What do our nutrition and diet DNA tests actually reveal?

The DNAFit Nutrition Report is specifically laid out to help you structure your diet accordingly by linking what you eat to your genetics. Based on your genetic carbohydrate and fat sensitivities, we suggest your optimal diet type, and then give you insights into your body’s response to a whole spectrum of factors: mineral and vitamin needs, detoxification ability, salt, caffeine and alcohol response and lactose intolerance and coeliac predisposition.


By undergoing DNA testing, you will find that your genes can tell you a lot about how to eat genetically. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to know the best diet for you to do after failing multiple diets, or you just want to live a healthier life - then a DNAFit test is for you. We provide actional insights you can use to build your perfect meal, with carbohydrate & fat response, take control of your long-term health with personalised nutrient recommendations.


However, genetics is still an emerging science that many people are only getting to grips with. Due to this, it is sometimes difficult for people to understand their genetic profile and the interaction between genes and nutrition. Nutrigenetics encourages listening to your genes to shape up your meals.


What does the future of nutrigenetics look like?

What does the future look like in this field? An editorial in Genes and Nutrition by NUGO, emphasised the importance of taking a systems approach in future research, with human research studies that incorporate the totality of diet interactions required for nutrigenetics to reach its full potential. This is to say that neither genes nor our diets alone can therefore entirely explain why some are predisposed to develop certain conditions or allergies as opposed to others. Gene expression depends on a complex interplay of genetics with an individual’s environment.


But if you have an interest in understanding what your DNA says about your diet and nutritional needs, you can become 1 0f X people who have tested their DNA with us in order to embark on a healthy eating journey that is personalised to their needs and goals. Don't get left behind, BUY a kit today to join the revolution. 

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