08 November 2007

Personalised diets may be best

Creating personalised diets, based on an individual's genetic makeup, helps overweight individuals lose weight and keep it off, the results of a new study suggests.

Creating personalised diets, based on an individual's genetic makeup, helps overweight individuals lose weight and keep it off, the results of a new study suggest.

In a review of patient records, the researchers found that people who went on "nutria-genetically tailored diets" were more apt to stick to the diet, and had greater success in the long term.

"This study proves that a personalised diet based on genetics leads to significant advances in long-term weight management," said Dr Rosalynn D. Gill, chief science officer with Sciona Inc, the Boulder, Colorado-based company that partially funded the study and makes the testing system used to develop a person's nutria-genetic diet.

The "MyCellf Kit" uses cheek cells obtained by swab brush to screen DNA for 24 variations in 19 genes known to affect nutrient metabolism.

How the study was done
Gill and colleagues compared the case histories of 50 nutri-genetic dieters with those of 43 patients who did not receive a nutria-genetically tailored diet.

All of the patients were attending a weight loss clinic in Greece and all followed a traditional weight management program involving a Mediterranean diet, coupled with exercise and regular follow-up clinic visits.

The diet of the nutria-genetic group, however, was modified from the standard Mediterranean diet based on the genetic results of each subject.

In the first few months, both groups lost a similar amount of weight, the researchers report in the online journal BioMed Central: Nutrition Journal.

What the results showed
However, after about one year, the traditional diet group showed a slight average weight gain while the nutria-genetic dieters continued to lose weight.

After 300 days, the nutria-genetic dieters were roughly five-times more likely to have maintained their weight loss than were the traditional dieters.

The nutria-genetic dieters were also more apt to see improvements in their blood sugar levels.

This study, the researchers conclude, suggests that adding a genetic, personalised component to a weight loss program may improve motivation and compliance.

'Personalised diet is better'
"It is also possible that the personalised diet is better suited by optimising the content of macro- and micro-nutrients for an individual during a period when overall food consumption is reduced and energy expenditure increased," they said.

"We believe the success found here is based on an individual learning how to personalise their nutrition and lifestyle to match their genes," Gill said. (Reuters Health)

Read more:
Nutrigenomics: jumping the gun?
Nutrition gets personal


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