DNA reveals the best diet for you
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.’’
Molecular Diagnosis & Therapy