DNA testing for ancestry has become quite popular of late but did you know that DNA testing can also help you manage your weight?
We all want to quickly and efficiently achieve our weight loss goals, but as anyone who struggles with weight loss knows, losing weight can be difficult. However, it may not be our fault. According to DNA diet reviews, there’s a strong possibility that struggling with weight loss could be genetic. This is where DNA testing or nutrigenetics comes in.
What is Nutrigenetics
The goal of nutrigenetics is to identify a person’s genetic susceptibility to diseases and the ways that slight differences in our genes alter the effects of nutrient intake on our bodies. By understanding and analyzing these gene variations, experts can deliver specific dietary advice based on a person’s unique genetic makeup.
This means that nutrigenetics provides a genetic profile that shows what your body can and can’t digest, whether you tend to gain weight, how you absorb essential nutrients and how your body copes with toxins. When you understand how your body handles nutrients and their predispositions, you can prevent feeling uncomfortable, fight obesity, and ward off disease.
Some of the things DNA testing can reveal about you include:
- Whether you’re sensitive to carbohydrates or saturated fat
- If your body requires additional vitamin B, D or omega-3
- Your body’s detox ability and antioxidant requirements
- How your body responds to salt, alcohol, and caffeine
- Whether you’re lactose intolerant or have a predisposition to celiac disease
Macronutrients and Weight Loss
It’s a well-known fact that people respond differently to weight-loss diets. Your friend may be successful on a low-fat diet, but the same diet doesn’t work for you. Some people do really well on high-protein diets, while others lose weight quickly with a high-carb diet. The reason why people respond well to some diets and not well to others may lie in our genes.
According to nutrigenetics, a person’s ideal ratio of carbs, fat, and protein for losing weight might depend on their unique genetic makeup. Here’s what researchers have uncovered so far:
- Fat: A 2012 study by researchers Mattei, Qi, Hu, Sacks, and Lu Qi, discovered that people with a particular variant of the TCF7L2 gene would lose more body fat when they take on a low-fat diet.
- Carbs: A 2016 study by researchers Heianza, Ma, Huang, Wong, Zheng, Smith, Bra, Sacks, and Qi found that different variations of the FGF21 gene may be why people do better on either a low-carb or high-carb weight loss diet.
- Protein: Another 2012 study by researchers Zhang, Qi, Cuilin Zhang, Hu, Sacks, and Lu Qi discovered that individuals with a specific variant of the obesity gene, FTO, lost more weight on a higher protein diet.
Weight Loss Maintenance
Losing weight is just one part of a person’s health journey. The next step is keeping the weight off long term. When a person starts losing weight, they have a high level of motivation, and as they begin seeing results, this will keep them going until they meet their goal. However, when a person finally reaches their weight loss goal, it can be challenging to keep the weight off, and frequently the weight comes creeping back.
Nutrigenetics research has recently found the genes associated with regaining weight. Currently, researchers are undertaking studies to find how dietary changes can help people keep weight off despite having genes that put them at risk for regaining it. This is a new area of nutrigenomics, but as researchers continue to explore it, they should provide personalized diet recommendations that will help people lose weight and prevent them from regaining it.
DNA testing or nutrigenetics tells us that our genetics influence how we react to foods. This means that we may carry specific genes that make us more or less sensitive to certain nutrients. For instance, someone who is sensitive to saturated fats should avoid these in their diet more than the recommended average. Alternatively, someone with the FTO gene should take on a higher protein diet if they want to lose weight. In other words, DNA testing can tell us what kind of diet will lead us to have the most weight loss success. Furthermore, nutrigenetics researchers are currently looking into what genes influence a person’s ability to keep from regaining the weight they’ve lost.