A simple blood test could be the answer to benefit millions of Australians to drop weight, as diet experts more and more turn to DNA testing to make diets specifically for individuals.
Personal nutrition follows an encouraging international study that showed tremendously different reactions to the same diet.
The general premise is that standard fitness and nutrition advice doesn’t work for everyone because it’s based on averages. People’s genes, microbiomes, environments, and lifestyles differ widely — and so should their diets and exercise habits.
Research from King’s College, London and Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States supports the idea people’s bodies react differently to different foods, and those reactions can inform dietary choices in a way that minimizes disease risk and promotes weight loss.
“Our results surprisingly point out that we are all different in our response to even such a basic input as food,” said the lead researcher on the study and professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings College, Professor Tim Spector.
Presented at the American Society of Nutrition and the American Diabetes Association conferences, the study demonstrates how one-size-fits-all dietary guidelines are too simplistic, and a personalized approach to nutrition is likely to provide better long-term health benefits.
Involving more than 1000 participants from the US and UK (mostly twins), the study measured how blood levels of markers such as sugar, insulin, and fat changed in response to specific meals, along with data on meal timing, sleep, gut bacteria, and exercise.
The results exhibit a wide fluctuation in blood responses to the same meals, whether they contained carbohydrates or fat. Even identical twins, who share the same genes, had different responses to identical foods.
Brisbane’s clinical nutritionist Katie King is among those pioneering “personal nutrition” by analyzing clients’ blood markers, family history, and medical records.