It might sound like something out of a science fiction movie , but scientists say research is well underway to develop a cheek swab that can allow health experts to create individualized diet plans for people based on their DNA.
This new field of study, called “nutrigenomics” is a new field that focuses on the study of how food affects the way your genes function. This type of research holds hope that we can one day curtail diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The end hope is that food can serve as “medication” and help to lessen symptoms of diseases.
“Your diet plays a large factor in your risk for developing diseases such as diabetes,” says Rebecca McLamara, RN, OCN, a genetics coordinator with Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute
An example of the way DNA diet is used is that if you for example have a strong family history of colon cancer, studies have shown that green tea and spice turmeric could slash your risk. You would then opt to incorporate these items into your diet. Another study reported that women who ate a large diet of cruciferous vegetables and had a certain genetic profile were 50% less likely to develop breast cancer.
This field first emerged from a study out of Stanford University that looked at the long term effects of weight loss based on diets assigned at random. The study tested participants DNA for 3 specific variations and found that those using the best diet for their DNA lost as much as 2.5 times more weight than those not using their best diet.
Kits are available for purchase online anywhere from $99-$1000. Congress and the FDA are currently looking into the controversy surrounding these tests and that they are not regulated or accurate.
Much more research is needed in this field, and experts encourage for now to stick with the known “superfoods” and consult their doctors prior to partaking in any such genetic tests.
For more information on how your diet can affect your lifestyle, visit www.healthy100.org