7

votes

Genotype-specific diet for weight loss?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 21, 2010 at 5:22 PM

A company released a genetic test recently to see if a low-carb or high-carb diet is better for your personal weight loss goal.

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1506/69/35923/genetic-testing-help-dieters-lose-weight.html

Read this and tell me what you think. While the three genes that are tested are legit, I have strong, strong doubts about their conclusions. For example, intestinal absorption of fat may differ a bit between people, but that's not the weight loss bottleneck!

But unfortunately I can't find the paper(s) that they got their data from. Anyone good at finding this kind of stuff?

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:31 PM

One recent change is blue eyes (which I have). They have only been around 5000 years apparently. I would be surprised about a salt mutation however. It is certainly true that some cultures/groups process milk better than others which is presumably a recent adapation (although I am not sure even those of us who are not lactose intolerant still need it or should have it).

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 29, 2010
at 05:26 AM

Melissa, I'm hoping to second the question on what the salt related gene mutation is called scientifically.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on October 12, 2010
at 07:58 AM

Dude, blue eyes are only 6,000 yrs old. Adaptation to dairy is only around 5,000 yrs old. Humans are still changing

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 22, 2010
at 05:38 PM

Good point, however if the 3 genes tested give an incomplete picture you could have been told a low fat diet was best for you.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 22, 2010
at 03:36 PM

Well, I tried both low fat and just 'eat less' over the years. It was not until my late 30s when lowcarb went into fashion that I tried it. I wish I had tried it earlier. I think it would have been even easier if I had started in my 20s.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 22, 2010
at 08:14 AM

Read the 10,000 year explosion

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 22, 2010
at 08:04 AM

True although neither low-carb or low-fat seem to work well in the long term for most people. I expect most people trying to lose weight would have tried both by now at some point.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 11:07 PM

One benefit may be if they suggest a low carb diet to approx half the population, that may mean a paradigm shift in a lot of people who have thus far been told otherwise. It might result in a lot more people trying a new approach that might work for them.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 21, 2010
at 08:53 PM

some are based on real research but others are base on surveys of members. a good article about it at - http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/06/ff_sergeys_search/all/1

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 21, 2010
at 07:26 PM

Mellisa out of interest what is the salt related gene mutation?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 21, 2010
at 06:18 PM

Stephen, what do you mean? I had thought that the associations that 23andme spits out come from peer-reviewed journals covering genetic associations with disease.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 21, 2010
at 06:13 PM

I was vastly disappointed to find 23&me was questionnaire based, I don't expect any better here or soon

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 21, 2010
at 06:09 PM

Are there any hacks listing known neolithic genetic adaptations? Other than lactose tolerance, I am very curious to learn about these. Too often, paleo=simple is espoused, when it's really that the paleo principles are simple, but important variation might apply to individuals.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:58 PM

i actually have a GG on rs1800544 which means i will eat more sweet foods if i eat them at all. i also have a marker for slightly higher bmi on high fat diet, but my own experimentation would prove otherwise. the study probably had them on high fat high carb since the group was only eating over 30% fat in their diet.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:58 PM

But there's this about the trial comparing those with a gene-specific weightloss diet vs nonspecific weightloss diet: "This study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but the findings are interesting nonetheless. It is fascinating to speculate that low-carb and low-fat diet and exercise plans might produce better or worse results depending upon our genes. At the same time it's important to remember that the A to Z participants were premenopausal, non-diabetic white females."

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:57 PM

I found their references: http://www.inherenthealth.com/media/4759/wm_scientific%20summary.pdf

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:56 PM

Yes, I agree it is too simple to suggest that no evolution has occured. And now that survival is not as hard as it once was, many that might have died out in the past will not. In this society, you can be health challenged and still manage to live and reproduce. If you need to eat food every 2 hours to survive, you can get it. If you need a reliable salt supply to survive, you can get it. If you are so heavy or your breathing is so bad that you can't even run fast, you will still have access to plentiful food to maintain yourself. What makes for survival now has changed much.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:51 PM

acknowledged. i actually have had my genes run at 23andme.com so i am totally on board with you.

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7 Answers

8
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 21, 2010
at 05:47 PM

"rapid" genetic change is very real. For example, if I followed the paleo diet to the latter of the law, I would endanger my life because I possess a neolithic mutation that affects my ability to process salt. No salt = possible fainting for me.

There are also recent mutations in folate and lactose processing, for example. And god knows how many in the microflora! I know Stanford University tried a program where they were testing incoming students for genetic variations on lactose/folate/alcohol processing genes and giving them advice. They got in trouble with genetic privacy advocates and canceled it though.

I'm very suspicious of this company though because of their lack of citations. MikeD says just follow the paleo diet, but there are many ways to do paleo! High-carb, low-carb, med-carb, strict...in the future I do believe that genetic testing will allow us to tweak the paleo diet much better.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 21, 2010
at 06:09 PM

Are there any hacks listing known neolithic genetic adaptations? Other than lactose tolerance, I am very curious to learn about these. Too often, paleo=simple is espoused, when it's really that the paleo principles are simple, but important variation might apply to individuals.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:58 PM

i actually have a GG on rs1800544 which means i will eat more sweet foods if i eat them at all. i also have a marker for slightly higher bmi on high fat diet, but my own experimentation would prove otherwise. the study probably had them on high fat high carb since the group was only eating over 30% fat in their diet.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:56 PM

Yes, I agree it is too simple to suggest that no evolution has occured. And now that survival is not as hard as it once was, many that might have died out in the past will not. In this society, you can be health challenged and still manage to live and reproduce. If you need to eat food every 2 hours to survive, you can get it. If you need a reliable salt supply to survive, you can get it. If you are so heavy or your breathing is so bad that you can't even run fast, you will still have access to plentiful food to maintain yourself. What makes for survival now has changed much.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 21, 2010
at 07:26 PM

Mellisa out of interest what is the salt related gene mutation?

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:51 PM

acknowledged. i actually have had my genes run at 23andme.com so i am totally on board with you.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 29, 2010
at 05:26 AM

Melissa, I'm hoping to second the question on what the salt related gene mutation is called scientifically.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:31 PM

One recent change is blue eyes (which I have). They have only been around 5000 years apparently. I would be surprised about a salt mutation however. It is certainly true that some cultures/groups process milk better than others which is presumably a recent adapation (although I am not sure even those of us who are not lactose intolerant still need it or should have it).

4
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:28 PM

Haha, well from what I understand our genes haven't changed all that much in the 10,000 years since the development of agriculture so I think I too am qualified to make this diagnosis.

Judging by the fact that your genotype is human, the perfect diet for you is: PALEO DIET!

Wow, that was easy. Haha.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 22, 2010
at 08:14 AM

Read the 10,000 year explosion

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on October 12, 2010
at 07:58 AM

Dude, blue eyes are only 6,000 yrs old. Adaptation to dairy is only around 5,000 yrs old. Humans are still changing

3
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:54 PM

I haven't looked into it but I can tell you it's just a way making money by selling you an expensive blood test. All these type of tests are going beyond the current scientific understanding of genetics.

There are going to be more and more of these kind of tests in the next few years. They only thing they are good for is extracting money from people.

Maybe in 20 years there will be a better understanding of diet/gene interactions and there will be a useful test to tell you the best way to personalise your diet, but that is not today.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 11:07 PM

One benefit may be if they suggest a low carb diet to approx half the population, that may mean a paradigm shift in a lot of people who have thus far been told otherwise. It might result in a lot more people trying a new approach that might work for them.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 22, 2010
at 08:04 AM

True although neither low-carb or low-fat seem to work well in the long term for most people. I expect most people trying to lose weight would have tried both by now at some point.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 22, 2010
at 05:38 PM

Good point, however if the 3 genes tested give an incomplete picture you could have been told a low fat diet was best for you.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 22, 2010
at 03:36 PM

Well, I tried both low fat and just 'eat less' over the years. It was not until my late 30s when lowcarb went into fashion that I tried it. I wish I had tried it earlier. I think it would have been even easier if I had started in my 20s.

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 21, 2010
at 05:48 PM

Some potential issues: First, the write up does not say if their study found a statistically significant difference between weight losers on the 'genetic' diet and those not on the genetic diet. They also do not define high carb and low carb. And just because someone digests fat better does not mean they will gain weight eating fat if their system ends up feeling satiated faster. Personally, I think the satiation factor is huge for weight loss. And if you digest fat better, that may mean your system is designed and adapted to eat more fat and therefore, it might actually be healthier for you and put your system in balance. To say you should eat more of what you are NOT designed for seems to me to be intuitively incorrect from a health perspective.

To me, the other big issue for weight loss is how the body processes and stores or uses the calories you eat. So a gene that gives a tendency to store carb as fat might be more of an issue is you already have too much 'storage.'

And on to another issue about gaming the system. If the majority of people are considered to be gene adapted for lower carb, then basically in the entire study, there will be more people told to eat low carb than any other diet. THis could automatically increase their chances of getting positive results by basically having near half the people eating low carb.

PLUS. THey don't say what their control group was. DId the control group just continue eating as a normal SAD eater or were they put on some other diet? Even a higher carb diet of healthy food is probably going to work better than most SAD diets.

I am suspicious of this because they are obviously trying to sell a product and are probably spinning the data accordingly. Plus they don't give any details to allow us to accurately assess the quality of their data.

0
9e9f2a144af206c41c989ce09ef47554

on May 05, 2013
at 06:18 AM

It's very interesting approach to weight loss process, but I think that ordinary methods like this one http://www.shoppharmacycounter.com/t-phentermine.aspx - work better

-1
6d9544203dd7044ef172968f178bf39f

on October 03, 2012
at 10:12 AM

Honestly speaking i am very fatty and people used to make fun of me. But after using Genotype-specific diet for weight loss I am losing my weight 1-2 pounds each day. I am greatly satisfied with this information.

-1
1e3d3e773084d7d28bed055cf56209ca

on October 12, 2010
at 01:41 AM

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I have added your site to my site.

Please link my site to your site.

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