Thursday, March 4, 2010

What Diet is Best For You? Genetic Testing May Help You Pick

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

With a multitude of diets out there, it can be confusing and difficult to choose the best one for you. Well, if you really want to know what the 'perfect' diet for you is (and you have some extra cash kicking around) why not let genetic testing give you the answer?

In a report from Interleukin Genetics Inc. released this week, being on the 'appropriate' diet for you can help you lose even more weight than any other diet. The researchers have based these findings on a small study of 150 individuals who showed these results after genetic screening, and adopting the 'best' diet for their genetic makeup. In a year, individuals on their 'genetically appropriate' diet lost an average of 5.3% body weight whereas those on 'mismatched' diets lost 2.3% - not a huge difference, but perhaps significant to some.

Going for around $150, the test looks for a mutation in three specific genes related to metabolism. According to one of the researchers in the study, "The potential of using genetic information to achieve this magnitude of weight loss without pharmaceutical intervention would be important in helping to solve the pervasive problem of excessive weight in our society,".

To me, this just seems like a waste of time - the only way to truly lose weight and be healthy for life is to make an entire lifestyle change, not to go "on" a crash diet (what happens when you come "off"?). The key is to reduce calories while maintaining the appropriate ratios of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in order to maintain good health, a strong immune system and optimal performance in daily activities.

Find out more about this new test by reading the article called "New gene test may help you pick your diet: report" from Reuters Health (Mar. 3, 2010).