Is your weight loss struggle genetic?

The new and developing science of Nutrigenetics aims to identify genetic susceptibility to diseases and the ways in which very small difference in our genes can alter the effects that nutrient intake has on the body. By understanding and analysing these variations, specific dietary and disease prevention advice can be given based on personal genetic makeup.

Our individual genetic make-up controls what we can and can’t digest, our tendency to gain weight, absorb important nutrients and cope with toxins. By knowing our individual tendencies we might be able to stop uncomfortable symptoms, prevent obesity and fight disease.

In this article we will mainly be focused on whether or not your struggle to lose weight is linked to your genetics and what our DNAfit can do to assist you with maintaining your health and nutrition in the long-term.
Tina Braxton everyday is a struggle | DNAfit Blog

The link between genetics and weight loss

When we refer to your individual sensitivity, we are referring to your body’s individual reaction to key macronutrient groups. Depending on your personal genetic profile you may receive a different amount of energy per calorie of both refined carbohydrates and saturated fat, compared to the average. This is important to understand when preparing your eating plan so you can manage your intake of these two food groups for the best possible results.

Saturated Fats:

Fats are extremely calorie dense, easily consumed and often over consumed.

A single serving will provide around 5g of fats, where a single serve is roughly 1 teaspoon (tip of index finger) of oil, butter, margarine or nut butters, ¼ avocado, 30g (1 oz) nuts and 1 tablespoon (tip of thumb) seeds.

As a general rule, saturated fat should be limited to between 6 - 10% of total calories as they are non-essential fats. Animal fats (red meat, skin of poultry, full fat dairy products, eggs, cream, butter ghee lard), tropical oils (coconut and palm kernel oils), and hidden saturated fats (milk powders, tea and coffee creamers, ice-cream) are all sources and should be kept to a minimum.

Research identifies the FTO as playing a role in your body’s sensitivity to saturated fat.  It indicates that the level of fat intake and physical activity only modify the association with fat mass. In addition, FTO genotype may modify the association between physical activity and cardiovascular mortality. Another study has also looked at the FTO genes and explains that homozygous participants for the FTO-risk allele had a higher mean BMI than the other genotypes only when they had a high-saturated fat intake.   

Finally, the influence of the APOA2 polymorphism on body-weight-related measures was modulated by saturated fat in Mediterranean and Asian populations.

Your DNA test will indicate which variation of these genes, and more, you have and as a result you will receive a detailed report identifying your inherent sensitivity so that you can make positive lifestyle interventions in order to assist you with losing weight and living healthier.


Carbohydrates have developed a bit of a bad reputation over the years and in order to help you optimise on your health and fitness goals it is useful to know a bit more about this macronutrient.

Zara Larsson | DNAfit Blog

Carbohydrates are fibrous, starchy and sugary foods.

They can be further classified as either refined or unrefined; where refined carbs are processed to the point where all their natural fibre has been removed and unrefined carbs are unprocessed and still contain the fibre naturally occurring in them.

Research indicates that the TCF7L2 gene plays a role due to increased insulin demand, and this is the same for the ACE I/D polymorphism that is associated with whole-body insulin sensitivity and with impaired glucose tolerance in our healthy population. These findings confirm potential interactions between the renin-angiotensin system and glucose metabolism.

Another study has also found that ADRB2 haplotype was independently associated with % body fat, abdominal fat distribution, VO2Max, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance. Therefore, what we can derive from this is that there are a wide variety of genes that are associated with carbohydrate sensitivity. We combine your individual genotype and are thus able to tell you where you fall on the sensitivity scale that will tell you how many refined carbohydrates you can tolerate per day for optimal weight management.

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Let's wrap this up

What diet is best for you? Instead of trying out the fads and going through a lot of trial and error, our genetic test can assist you to know how your body responds to certain foods and, as a result, give you an optimal diet type that you can live according to as a long-term solution to health and nutrition. 

This article explains that Your genes can make losing weight more difficult—but not impossible. While researchers are still working on understanding the relationship between nutrition and genetics, much is currently known about how other factors like hormones and the microbiome affect weight loss. By living a lifestyle which triggers your body to work best, you can make up for a less-than-ideal genotype.

All of the genes that we test for are indicators of your body’s inherent response, but although your genes never change, you can still make adequate lifestyle interventions such as dietary changes that will assist you to be healthier.

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