When we talk genes, the first thing we think of is eye colour and hair colour; the differences that are visible to us on the outside. However, there are important genetic differences that we don’t see. Our genes orchestrate multiple metabolic actions and biological processes including appetite, metabolic rate, weight gain and more.
This gives us the power to alter our diet to complement our genes and help us live healthier!
Here’s how a VITL DNA test will reveal how to eat for your genes:
Appetite is ultimately governed by a number of factors, but our genes can implement an added influence to be considered! Your genetic code can reveal if you are predisposed to having an increased appetite by looking at the MC4R gene, which plays a key role in maintaining a balanced metabolism and regulation of food intake signals in the brain.
A certain variation of this gene can be associated with a higher intake of energy (i.e. food) so plays a clear role in appetite.
The test goes even further to indicate your likelihood of being an emotional eater or highlighting any binge eating tendencies.
If that’s you, fear not! Along with your results you’ll get a personalised report from VITL’s team of in-house nutritionists with lifestyle and dietary tips on how to manage any predispositions.
Everyone has ‘the fat gene’, however the extent to which it is likely to affect your weight depends on which variant of the gene you have.
The ‘fat gene’ is considered to have the largest effect on body mass index (BMI) than any other gene. Specifically, a particular variation of the FTO gene contributes to increased appetite and a high probability of accumulating fat.
But there’s no need to despair, you aren’t doomed if you have this particular variant!
You have all the control. In your DNA reports you’ll find out what style of eating (eg. a low-fat or a mediterranean diet) is best suited to your body and which type of exercise is likely to be most effective in helping you to keep off the extra pounds.
Metabolism and snacking
Some of us aren’t blessed like others who can eat as much as they want without consequence. In fact, some of us can be genetically predisposed to have a slower metabolism. This relates specifically to a variation of the LEPR gene, which leaves us with a slower metabolic rate and an increased chance of having a higher BMI.
Again, the power is in your hands if you want it to be!
You’ll find out the best eating habits for your particular gene type to help you manage your hunger and your weight.
Vitamins and minerals
The body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from food is also influenced by our DNA and varies from person to person. For example, if you have a particular variation of the TMPRSS6 gene then your body may struggle to maintain healthy iron levels without the right diet and, if need be, supplements.
Alternatively, you may discover that you have a particular variation of the MTHFR, which means you need a particular form of folic acid in order for your body to actually use it.
Although our genes are something that can’t be changed, there are so many ways we can modify our diet to get the most out of our genetics. No one diet will work for everybody but by mapping out your unique biology, you’ll get clear indications on what’s most likely to work and what’s not, as well as which areas of health you should pay particular attention to in order to maintain long-term health.
Next week we’ll be discussing how a DNA test can help you discover the best workout routine for your body. So stay tuned…