Nutrigenomics & Nutrigenetics:
An Emerging Science
A fairly new scientific discipline, nutrigenomics is somewhat similar to nutigenetics, but instead it looks at the interaction between genes, nutrition and health. It aims to explain how these gene-nutrient interactions affect different processes in our bodies. DNA-based diets are created by looking at the latest nutrigenomics science and applying this knowledge to a person’s genetic makeup.
Nutrigenomics gained traction in the early 2000s after the Human Genome Project (HGP) was completed. While scientists already knew that genes played a role in health, the HGP offered additional insights into the link between the nutrients and bioactive compounds in food and their impact on genes.
Everyone has variations in their genes - it's a big part of what makes us unique. We look at the variations in 5 key genes which have been shown to affect weight loss based on how much fat, carbohydrate or protein are in the diet. The five genes are FTO, IRS1, MTNR1B, PPM1K and TCF7L2. These genes were selected based on the results of randomized clinical research trials specifically designed to discover the effect of genetics on weight loss through dieting. If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind DietCypher, click here
Once an individual's key variations of each gene are identified, we determine the amount of influence each gene variation will have on diet-mediated weight loss (some have a stronger effect on weight change than others). Since the variations of these genes differ among people, the amount of fat, carbohydrate and protein in the diet can affect weight loss differently from person to person. We’re all unique, so let DietCypher find the best weight loss diet plan for you.
The big five
PPM1K is short for "protein phosphatase Mg2+/Mn2+ dependent 1K," and it's found in the mitochondria, or "powerhouses" of the cells. Most of your cells have many mitochondria, and each mitochondrion is the critical metabolic factory where processes like fat burning occur. As with all of the genes DietCypher considers, PPM1K's role is still being researched, but scientific studies show that it is involved in sensing the amount of proteins available for your metabolism and causing protein breakdown, when needed. We believe that a variation in the PPM1K gene is a key factor in diet-mediated weight loss, and as such, is one of the components considered by DietCypher in determining your DietCode.
TCF7L2 is short for "Transcription Factor 7 Like 2”, and it can be found in many parts of the body including the colon, brain, fat and small intestine. TCF7L2 is involved in one of the main ways cells communicate, both within the cell itself as well as from one cell to another. Unlike some genes that may only influence a single process, TCF7L2 has influence over many of the work items that take place within the cell. As a result, the variations in this gene are linked to a variety of outcomes, including metabolic differences. DietCypher assesses the presence of one of these variations in determining which DietCode is best suited for you.
IRS1, or "insulin receptor substrate 1," is a primary player in sugar metabolism in the cells of your body. It is found in all cells, and when it is absent or does not work properly, it can lead to significant irregularities in sugar metabolism. Certain variations in the IRS1 gene can affect how IRS1 works, or if it can work at all, including at least one variation that affects how your body's weight can respond to the carbs you eat. We consider this specific variation when determining which DietCode may be a best fit for someone.
FTO stands for "fat mass and obesity-associated gene." It is one of the first genes found to be strongly linked to excess body weight. FTO can be found throughout the body, but it's mostly present in the central nervous system, specifically in an area of the brain involved in controlling energy intake. While the exact role of FTO is still an active area of research, scientific studies show that variations within this gene link body weight with fat, carbohydrate , protein and energy intake. We assess one of the variations in FTO to help determine the best matched DietCode.
MTNR1B stands for "melatonin receptor 1B," and as the name suggests, it's involved in helping melatonin work properly. Melatonin is a hormone that is involved in helping your body's inner clock keep time. You may have even seen it sold in supplement form at your local pharmacy or health store as a natural sleep aid. This is because melatonin is higher at night, telling your body it's time to sleep and not time to eat. Because melatonin and MTNR1B need each other to help the body's clock work smoothly, variations within MTNR1B can disrupt some of these processes, including the ones involved in food intake timing and metabolism. In fact, certain variations in the MTNR1B gene have been linked to metabolic disturbances. One of the factors we consider at DietCypher is a key variation in the MTNR1B gene.
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