Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Can Your Genes Actually Tell You What to Eat?

There was a book several years ago that got lots of peoples attention.  It was "Eat Right 4 Your Type."  This book was based on the idea that you should eat a certain diet based on your blood type and doing so would help you optimize your life and your performance.  This was a novel concept and one that many people jumped on board with but in the long run was pretty much dispelled by science and shown not to be entirely reliable.  Nonetheless that doesn't slow science down to find out a better way to choose what you eat and make sure it best for you.

Welcome "Nutrigenomics".  This is most likely (if not already) the next big wave in nutrition.  This new science actually takes your own personalized saliva sample and tests it for SNPs (single nucelotide polymorphisms).  What these do is look at different factors in your genetics that could influence how you eat your food.  It can tell you if your are more or less sensitive to vitamin-c or how well you absorb iron.  All of these things can influence how you diet and also how you might use supplements to help.  The real power of this is that along with blood tests you can figure out which foods work for you to help you better get your nutrition.  A great example is the way you get omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.  You may find out that you don't process almonds very well so you might switch to more avocados.

The benefits to this are endless.  Customized meal plans to optimize your health and performance is priceless as you can't get anymore specific than this.  No more wasting your time eating foods that don't do anything for you or taking supplements that in the long run really aren't helping you.  Get the exact foods you need and in the right amounts.

One of the emerging companies in this field is Nutrigenomix, Inc.  They will take a small saliva sample, analyze is and send it back to you in a few weeks along with a full report.  This report includes information on dietary components, genes, risk variants, your personal variants and recommendations for elevated risk.

This doesn't only mean better eating in get future but also genetic testing can lead us to personalized workout programs based on what your genes tell us as well as possible risk factors for injury.  Genetics has always been an amazing area of science that can tell you so much and now it is stepping into the athletic world and it could be a game changer.

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