Tools Blog Nutrigenomics


There is a reason why so many people who try to lose weight for much of their lives are called yo-yo dieters. There is very little consistency in the dieting world. With so many choices about what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and how often to eat, it's no wonder people get frustrated quickly, especially if they do not see results right away. Most people who diet fail, and so they are constantly searching for and changing plans in the hope to find something that will work. DNA diets present a refreshing alternative to this unstable environment of yo-yo dieting chaos.

DNA diets are eating plans based on each person’s specific genetic code. DNA effects something called protein expression, which is how genetic code builds cells and tissues in our bodies. While the majority of what makes up DNA is identical in all humans, there are key portions of the genome that are unique, which help account for the differences we see among other people. Some of these portions of genome effect the way cells respond to the different types of nutrition we consume. This is why seemingly identical diets have drastically different effects on different people. DNA diets fix this by catering the diet to our DNA rather than the other way around.

DNA diets create stability by helping people follow a specific nutritional plan that is best for their own unique DNA. Many companies, such as Genovive, offer DNA analysis and then provide meals and snacks that create the perfect nutritional conditions for weight loss. This stability means that the body is not worried about starving and is therefore not continually storing fat. It also means that the dieter feels more satiated with less calories because their body is getting exactly what it needs. DNA diets offer an ideal solution for the ancient problem of unstable and unworkable diets.

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Macronutrients are a fascinating concept; they are comprised of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. These are the very building blocks of our bodies and the right amount in the right way leads to a happier and healthier you.

An even better idea behind these building blocks is that if they are consumed in the right amount they actually help and aid in sustained weight loss!

macronutrient puzzle pieces

The macronutrients in your diet fit together like the pieces in a puzzle

Now this is the maddening part about weight loss. While there are a few generalities you can make about weight loss such as, you should eat at a small caloric deficit, you should get some exercise etc,  but nutrition effects everyone differently.  But how does nutrition affect your body as an individual?  The answers lie in the very thing that make you unique – Your DNA.  Your DNA contains valuable insight about how your body processes the foods you eat and how changing what you eat can affect your metabolism and help you lose weight.

The key is to find the right balance of  macronutrients that works most effectively with your individual genetic profile to produce the most efficient calorie burning results.  Your body needs all 3 macronutrients to be healthy, so you shouldn’t cut one out of your diet completely.

To very basically explain what the nutrients do.

Proteins – Proteins are responsible for building and repairing your bodies tissues.

Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates provide energy for your body.

Fats – Fats provide energy, energy storage, insulation, and contour to your body.

Now remember this is a very basic, very simple, explanation of what the nutrients do. But this is why you don’t want to get all of your calories from one nutrient and you also don’t want to cut out a nutrient group from a diet plan, they all have an important role to play in your body’s function. As much as we all wish it was just as simple as “Eat this and you’ll lose weight” that’s not how it works. However there are some healthy foods that are commonly suggested for each of the nutrient groups. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other foods out there that can work.

Lean meats plant sources such as nuts and tofu are good sources of protein. For carbohydrates look for complex carbohydrates from whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, buckwheat and barley, which are also good sources of fiber.  For fats, avoid saturated fats  trans fats such as in fried foods, and opt for healthy fats such as olive oil, natural peanut butter, the fats from nuts, and the fatty acids in fish.

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Recent studies suggest the importance of Vitamin D for your body’s overall health.  Vitamin D plays an important role in bone and muscle health and is also considered one of the mega vitamins for fighting off cancer.  Three different sources of Vitamin D have been  unveiled:  our own body creates it when exposed to sunlight, foods rich in Vitamin D, and also supplements.  Before taking supplements it is important to ask “Am I getting enough Vitamin D from the sun and the food I eat”?

The growing prevalance of skin cancer is also a major factor in how much time people will spend in the sun, even though most research suggests 10-15-minutes in the afternoon sun for most people is sufficient for Vitamin D levels listed in the cancer-fighting studies.

Even still, there are other methods to get our Vitamin D intake.  That leaves us next with understanding how to get vitamin D from our diet, so what are the best foods for getting vitamin D?  Here are some foods containing good amounts of vitamin D:

- Cheese and Milk as well as most dairy products (you may even see some dairy substitute products enriched or fortified with Vitamin D)

- Fish (especially smaller fish such as sardines, trout, salmon)

- Margarine

- Oysters

- Egg yolks

Vitamin D is one of those vitamins that can cause nasty side effects if you ingest too much – symptoms may include kidney stones, nausea and weakness if too much is taken. So, it’s not one of those vitamins that you can mega-dose on and get away with it.

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Nutrigenomics is something that is becoming a major breakthrough is nutritional science and could change the way we think about health and diets as we know it.  With the advancement of modern technology scientists have discovered the ability to study DNA and our genetics in such  way that it can determine our own body’s nutritional needs.   It is through this research that we can pinpoint how exactly our body operates to burn fat most efficiently!

The Logic

A few years ago, there’s a good chance that a notion like nutrigenomics would have been laughed out of the room. This is mainly because of two reasons- one, it’s commonly believed that the basic edicts of good health are the same for everyone – in other words, everyone should drink a lot of water and everyone should eat fresh fruits and vegetables. This still holds sway even today. Another aspect to consider is that a few years ago, not much was known about DNA and the human gene. Today, it’s become overwhelmingly clear that everyone’s DNA fingerprint and genes are totally unique.

The Facts

Does nutrigenomics still seem like an overwhelming proposition to swallow? Consider this – ever wondered why some diets work like a charm for some people and don’t to anything for others? Or, take a look at the coffee factor. Some people have a high caffeine intake and develop conditions like heart trouble and blood pressure as a result. However, there are those who have the same caffeine intake and experience no problems at all. The reason for all this lies in our genes.

The future possibilities of nutrition and genetics are very exciting. For one thing, it will soon be possible to isolate and rectify genes that are responsible for chronic diseases and conditions. Other things like premature balding, obesity and skin conditions can also be rectified. Perhaps most exciting of all is the fact that we will all be able to find the nutritional intake that is best for us. In other words, depending on our genetic make up and metabolism, it will be possible to create a diet that will always keep us in optimal health. These dreams could become a reality in the near future!

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After the completion of the Human Genome Project, it is now possible to break-down our genetic makeup and find useful information to improve our overall well-being.  With that being said, Nutrigenomics, the study of how food interacts with our DNA has come under immense study and many results have come about.  Nutrigenomics is the term used for the study of genes and how the chemicals in food interact to produce an effect.  It has been found that food can interact with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNIPs) in our DNA and activate certain genes.

Here are some examples of how this all comes together:

Grapefruit has naringenin, a flavonoid rich in anti-cancer properties and induces DNA repair on affected cancer cells. The activation of naringenin will stimulate the Base Excision Repair (BER) cellular mechanism in the DNA replication stage. The cancer preventive agent is also rich in anti oxidant properties and could lower down cholesterol level in blood by 15%.

Sodium benzoate is a common preservative that is found in processed soft drinks to add flavoring. When tested on DNA of yeast, it could inactivate the DNA in mitochondria completely and later cause the cell to malfunction completely. Another study tied the preservative to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and also the aging process.

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