DNA re­veals the best diet for you

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health -

Fenech is a gen­uinely good re­searcher,’’ she says. The sort of work he does may of­fer some re­ally im­por­tant so­lu­tions for some peo­ple.’’

In 2005, Fenech and his CSIRO col­leagues de­vel­oped a test that specif­i­cally mea­sures the amount of dam­age present in hu­man DNA, dubbed the cy­to­ke­n­e­sis­block mi­cronu­cleus cy­tome ( CBMN Cyt) as­say.’’

Since last year, the test has been used by an Ade­laide health clinic called Reach 100. For a fee of roughly $600 per test, the clinic of­fers pa­tients a chance to have their level of DNA dam­age mea­sured by CSIRO sci­en­tists, and then pro­vides tai­lored sug­ges­tions on how to im­prove it through di­etary sup­ple­ments and lifestyle changes.

Be­yond pre­vent­ing DNA dam­age, nu­trige­nomics sug­gests there might be other ways to per­son­alise our diet ac­cord­ing to our ge­netic make-up.

One par­tic­u­lar gene, called apolipopro­tein E (APOE), for ex­am­ple, can have a dra­matic im­pact on your risk of heart dis­ease and di­a­betes, de­pend­ing on which vari­ant you carry.

About one in five peo­ple car­ries a spe­cific vari­ant of the gene that raises choles­terol, in­creases di­a­betes and Alzheimer’s risk and re­verses the pro­tec­tive ef­fects of mod­er­ate al­co­hol drink­ing.

In­di­vid­u­als with that geno­type should be care­ful about their diet and ex­er­cise, and in par­tic­u­lar should give up or avoid smok­ing and al­co­hol, Lynn Fer­gu­son from Nu­trige­nomics New Zealand wrote in the jour­nal

in 2006. How­ever, very few of the pop­u­la­tion are aware of their APOE geno­type at present.’’

Fenech adds that genes can also partly de­ter­mine how well you do on par­tic­u­lar di­ets. We know that there is vari­a­tion in peo­ple’s re­sponse to weight-loss di­ets and the ge­netic ba­sis of that re­sponse is be­ing un­rav­elled,’’ he says.

That is ac­tu­ally be­ing worked out now.’’ Rose­mary Stan­ton ac­knowl­edges that ge­netic make-up does af­fect prob­lems such as obe­sity. But she also notes that old­fash­ioned sen­si­ble eat­ing works too. We know that if we didn’t drink so much al­co­hol, eat so much sugar, or eat so much sat­u­rated fat and just swap those things for fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, that would im­prove over­all health dra­mat­i­cally.’’

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Molec­u­lar Di­ag­no­sis & Ther­apy

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