Can a DNA Test Really Help You Shed the Pounds?

Losing weight is indeed a stressful and frustrating experience. So many of us can relate to failed diets and unsuccessful diets, or simply diets where one loses the weight, reaches their ideal weight only to have the dreaded pounds crawl back. So what might be wrong in these cases?

You might not have thought about it or not even imagined – but your genes might be to blame. It is not really their fault so do not get angry. You were just probably eating the wrong foods not knowing that the “healthy foods” you chose, were not being broken down efficiently by your genes or perhaps not broken down at all. Because of your body’s inability to break down those foods thoroughly, they may have been slowly deposited as fat or maybe slowing down your metabolism. You might, at this point, hit yourself on the head: the sudden realization of why all those hours of cardio, drenched in sweat, plodding haggardly on the treadmill just got you nowhere. The new emerging field that has come to the rescue is called “nutrigenomics.” This field of DNA testing links genes and nutrition.

To find out exactly what foods you can and should be eating and how to enhance the whole dieting experience why not get a diet DNA test?

The studies behind diet DNA tests

Studies conducted by Stanford University by Even Christopher Gardner et el in collaboration with Interleukin Genetics Inc, proved that the Diet DNA test might actually work. The study involved 138 obese or overweight women. The weight loss registered amongst the people taking part in the study was significantly higher amongst those who followed a diet that complimented their genes. The researchers found that women who took part in the study lost five times more weight if they combined their eating plan with the results of their DNA test. The researchers acknowledged that this area of research needs further investigation but that the outlook looks indeed promising.

Further proponents of the test include Ahmed El-Sohemy, from the Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics, and a professor at the University of Toronto. This prominent and respected figure within the field, has also noted the uses of this test within the area of personalized diets, rebuffing the effectiveness of traditional diets which follow a one size fits all model.

Diet DNA testing has featured in the Oprah Winfrey show and the presenter has also championed this form of dieting. The samples collection procedure for the test is also extremely simple.

The procedure could not be easier

Most DNA tests are nowadays done by means of a saliva sample or in rare cases, using blood samples collected by pricking the tip of the index finger. Both DNA tests are done through use of a home kit.

Have a browse online and pick a reputable laboratory to carry out your test. Once you have made your order, they will send you a kit. Inside the kit you will either have oral swabs to collect your saliva samples or a finger lancet to collect your blood sample. Oral swabs simply need to be rubbed on the inside of your cheek and under your tongue for around ten seconds – a really simple and quick procedure that enables the collection of cheek cells. To collect blood samples, you will have a sterile lancet in your kit.

How can I benefit from a diet DNA test?

Looking at things on a genetic level helps us understand the extent to which your body is able to metabolize foods. You might for example, actually have the gene missing which helps the body break down gluten. This means that your body is unable to digest any gluten you take in. In other instances, your body might not have a particular gene which is responsible for creating an enzyme to digest a given food. This means that your body will not be able to digest that food when you eat it.

You might not be able to effectively break down caffeine which means coffee could be triggering side effects which you do not even realize are a direct result of you drinking coffee. A whole range of genes will be analyzed including those that affect fat metabolism, obesity and energy consumption. There are reputable companies that offer such genetic health tests and based upon the results a nutritionist will be able to recommend the best diet that is tailor made for you on a genetic level. By knowing what foods your body best responds to and understanding how these foods compliment your metabolism by enhancing its efficiency, they can also tell you which exercise type and the frequency of exercise you need to lose weight.

Karl M McDonald is a freelance writer specializing in the field of genetics and DNA testing. Articles by the author can be found on many blogs and info sites, including the article knowledge base for easyDNA. Karl M McDonald currently lives in West Sussex, UK with his wife, kids and 2 dogs.

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