Ever wondered why living a similar lifestyle and consuming similar foods can result in good health in one individual but may cause ill health in another? Or why a particular weight loss diet works wonders for a friend but not you?
This difference is likely due to genetic variation as individuals vary in their nutrient metabolism and response to diet. Research in the field of Nutrigenomics has demonstrated this.
What is Nutrigenomics?
Nutrigenomics (or nutritional genomics) is the study of how individual genetic variation affects a person’s response to nutrients and impacts the risk of nutrition-related chronic disease1.
What does the research say?
It is becoming increasingly clear that our genes determine our specific and unique nutritional needs and it is when we listen to them we get the best results for our health. The research has shown that following a tailored diet, based on nutritional genomics, may result in better weight loss and greater improvements in blood sugar levels, even if you have previously failed on other diets2. Diet recommendations based on your genetics may be better understood and more useful than general diet advice3.
What are examples of the gene variants?
Let’s take coffee consumers as an example, some people have a gene variant that makes them metabolise coffee more slowly; when they consumer over 4 cups/day, they can increase their heart disease risk4. Other gene variants include one that has been found to make people more salt sensitive, indicating a higher risk of blood pressure if they over-consume salt5.
Other diet-related genetic differences are ones that make it harder for the body to synthesis enough of the B vitamin folate due to low enzyme activity6 ; another causes people to metabolise saturated fat more slowly so they are more likely to gain weight if they eat too much of it7.
What do we offer?
Newtown Nutrition can find out how your genes affect your metabolism, if they put you at risk of certain chronic diseases as well as help tweak your diet to meet your health needs more precisely.
We offer this service under the guidance of Nutrigenomics expert Kate Gudorf. Kate has completed genetics training. With Kate’s experience in the area, the dietitians at Newtown Nutrition are able to provide you with personal, fine-tuned DNA-based diet advice.
What does the testing involve?
Testing involves a simple saliva swab of the mouth taken by your dietitian and sent to specialist Canadian-based biotechnology laboratory for analysis. A personalised nutritional profile is then returned to your dietitian 2-4 weeks later. Armed with this information, specific to your genetic profile, your dietitian will be able to develop the best dietary plan to help you meet your goals of improved health and wellness.
What can be tested?
Currently, the laboratory can identify how your body responds to the intake of the following 7 dietary components:
- Vitamin C
- Wholegrains and low GI foods
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Saturated fats
- Sodium (salt)
Testing for coeliac and gluten intolerance can also be performed if you suspect you have symptoms after eating wheat containing foods. Please note this test only provides an indication of the likelihood of gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. The test does not specifically diagnose coeliac disease; if it is positive you will need to follow up with your GP and/or gastroenterologist.
What do I need to do if I am interested?
You will require 2 visits to see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians:
- Initial appointment to receive the testing kit, collect saliva and discuss the testing process and any nutrition related issues that you may have.
- Second appointment within 4 to 6 weeks to receive the results of the test and to discuss any recommended changes to your diet.
This exciting service will compliment other existing services available at Newtown Nutrition and will provide you with a new opportunity to maximise your health.
Please call or email Newtown Nutrition for more specific information or book an appointment for your genetic test.
References available on request