A study published by Nutrition Journal says they can demonstrate substantial advances in long term weight management and blood glucose levels as a result of personalizing patients' diets based on their genetic information (nutrigenetics). They found significant improvement in long term (more than 300 days) weight management for individuals whose nutrient requirements were tailored to individual variations in the genes known to affect nutrient metabolism and transport.
The 3 year study examined 93 individuals with a history of weight loss failures. In an effort to answer whether the application of genetic information could improve sustained weight management, one test group was genetically screened for (24) separate variants in (19) individual genes specifically know to be related to metabolism. A second control group did not receive the genetic screening. The groups were matched on characteristics such as age, gender, frequency of clinical visits and Body Mass Index (BMI), during their initial clinical visit. After monitoring patients between the fixed ranges of 100 - 300 days, the BMI and the fasting blood glucose levels were compared and contrasted within the test population.
Results conclusively showed that after 300 days, individuals in the genetic testing group were more likely to have maintained weight reduction and reduced glucose levels than those of the control group, which had not been genetically screened. In the final analysis, 73% of those in the nutrigenetic group maintained weight reduction compared to only 32% of those in the control group. Among patients with a fasting blood glucose of greater than 100 mg/dl, 57% of the nutrigenetic group, compared to only 25% of the control group had levels reduced to less that 100 mg/dl after more than 90 days of weight management therapy. These results reflected a return to normal blood glucose levels from pre-diabetic levels in the nutrigenetic group, based on a genetically tailored diet and exercise program.
Dr.Rosalynn Gill of Sciona, Inc., which conducted the study and gathered genetic profiles using its MyCellf Kit, said, "We are delighted with the results of this study given the global health problems associated with clinical obesity and diabetes."
Dr. Gill went on to note that according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the total cost of obesity, including those illnesses associated with obesity such as type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension in the year 2000 was approximately US$117 billion dollars. Sciona's CEO, Peter Vitulli, stated, "Sciona's Mycellf genetic testing kit allows an individual to learn how to personalize their nutrition and lifestyle to match their genes, which gives them a revolutionary gene-based road map to better health and a longer life." Study coordinator, Dr. Ioannis Arkadianos, stated, "The results of this clinical study featuring the application of nutrigenetics clearly demonstrates that using genetic information is critical in helping people optimize their health. As a clinician, it is gratifying to be able to apply the information regarding an individual's inherited genetic code to help us to understand how each person's body works. We finally have the tools that enable health care professionals such as myself to determine which nutrition and exercise protocols will get results and what nutrigenetic interventions will promote longevity. Just like fingerprints, no two individuals are the same and so we are now able to personalize your health based on your DNA."
Summary: Tailoring a weight loss program to individuals' unique genetic profiles, even in a group with a history of prior weight loss failures, resulted in significant improvements in better compliance, greater motivation, and improved effectiveness when measured by weight reduction, BMI, and glucose levels, in a long term study, over 300 days.
About The Study
Patients with a history of unsuccessful attempts at weight loss attending a weight management clinic in Athens, Greece were offered a nutrigenetic test screening 24 variations in 19 genes involved in metabolism. The case histories of 50 "nutrigenetic" patients were compared to those of 43 patients in the non-tested group attending the same clinic. All patients followed a traditional weight management program involving a low glycemic index Mediterranean diet, recommended exercise routines and regular follow-up visits in the clinic. The dietary program of the patients in the nutrigenetic group was modified from the standard diet based on the genetic results of each patient. The patients participating in the study were blinded to the clinicians. After 300 days, the patients following the nutrigenetically tailored diet and exercise programs demonstrated better long-term BMI reduction and improvements in blood fasting glucose.
Key contributors to the study included the Twin Research Unit, King's College London, UK and the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, National Technical University of Athens, Greece.