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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gene Diets - DNA and Your Weight Loss Strategy

Despite our genetic similarity, human beings have evolutionary advantages over chimps that help us live longer. Writing in "Futurity", USC professor Caleb Finch tells us the "meat adaptive" gene is unique to humans. Because this gene regulates cholesterol, inflammation, and many aspects of aging in the brain and arteries, we live longer than chimps.

So you're a vegetarian? That doesn't mean that you don't have genetic predispositions that affect your health and longevity. Think celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and obesity. "We know that 50% of our predisposition to weight is genetic..." says Elizabeth K. Speliotes, MD, PhD, MPH. And, diet related disease is the leading cause of premature death. 

The new science of diet and genetics, nutrigenomics, suggests that DNA controls the outcome of your weight loss strategy. Of course if you come from a family of overweight people, you intuitively understand this. Recently, several companies have capitalized on the association between genes, diet, and lifestyle to manage health and wellness. With a sample of your DNA, they offer personalized nutrition based on genotype. The idea is to find foods that match your genes for positive outcomes.  And of course it is also to sell you the DNA testing kit and associated nutrients that will enhance your dieting success.

Remember the diets that were matched to your blood type?  DNA markers are the next, albeit more scientific steps in tailoring diets to you.  It makes sense because genes control our metabolism. However, although studies show clear relationships between genetic markers and weight reduction, nutrigenomics is a science in its infancy.

Article first published as Gene Diets - DNA and Your Weight Loss Strategy on Technorati.

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