Eat according to your genes: This claim tastes funny

New DNA test could point to a healthier diet.

Canadian researchers are exploring whether diseases and other health problems can be prevented by taking a peek at DNA and setting out a diet for people in an emerging field known as nutrigenomics.

The science of measuring how genes in the body react to nutrients in foods is gaining popularity and a test designed for dieticians, called Nutrigenomix, has been developed at the University of Toronto.

The Nutrigenomix test requires only a saliva sample and reveals how a person’s unique genetic code determines their body’s response to seven components of their diet.

The test kits were developed exclusively for the use of registered dietitians, since they are the most knowledgeable practitioners to deliver reliable nutrition advice.

Based on the results, a dietitian can guide a client to eat more – or less—of certain foods in order to decrease their risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and related health conditions.


Tip: @PharmacistScott on Twitter

Wait a minute. What? This smells of pseudoscience. I am unclear how “a person’s unique genetic code determines their body’s response to seven components of their diet”. Where is this research? It sounds subjective. There was this quote: “learned his DNA doesn’t agree with salt”. What does that even mean?!? Salt is essential. Do we know enough about reading our genetic codes to establish what foods we should eat or not and if we are prone to a huge range of potential health problems? I’m skeptical. I expect to hear more on this.

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  4 comments for “Eat according to your genes: This claim tastes funny

  1. Sam
    July 2, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    I can’t even stick to a diet that custom to my weight never mind to my genes :-/

  2. Yarro
    July 3, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    This is nothing new. In the wonderful world of dieting, companies like Salugen (Genotrim) have been at this crap for years.

  3. Christine
    July 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    There’s MTHFR polymorphism, which causes people to lack an enzyme that converts dihyrdofolate (folic acid in foods) into L-methylfolate. But the point of that one is that no matter how much folate you eat it won’t be enough.

  4. LREKing
    July 3, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    We know anecdotally that different people respond differently to different nutrients and other ingested chemicals, based on their bodies as dictated by their genetics.

    As presented here, however, this doesn’t seem far removed from astrology.

    Apparently the evidence for diet-related diseases points very strongly at dietary sugars and refined carbohydrates causing insulin resistance, and therefore metabolic syndrome. And THAT is what leads to “…heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and related health conditions.”

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