Genetic testing has come a long way and we are now able to use it in our clinic. We have the resources to send a DNA sample from our patients to be assessed in order for us to create a truly personalized wellness plan. By taking these results, we are able to recommend a diet that fits the individual best for optimal health outcomes. Additionally, we are able to provide our patients with an insight into how their body absorbs and breaks down carbohydrates, saturated fat, and the optimal amount of exercise needed to lose weight.
This is part 2 of 4 in a series of articles discussing the genes we look at in the DNA Diet test. For part one, please click here.
The test we use is from DNA Life and is called DNA Diet. A sample report can be viewed below:
The FTO gene is found in metabolically active tissues. These tissues include the heart, kidneys, adipose, and brain. In the brain, the hypothalamus is where this gene is most expressed. The hypothalamus is responsible for regulating arousal, appetite, temperature, and endocrine systems. Additionally, the FTO gene has been linked to eating behavior modifications and the expenditure of energy.
For this gene, the wildtype TT has no impact. The heterozygote TA has a moderate impact and the homozygote AA has a high impact. With this gene, we see the A allele carriers have challenges. The A allele has been shown in those who have a higher BMI as well as higher waist circumference. These are risk factors for metabolic syndrome as well as developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. It is common to see A carriers lack the motivation to exercise and consume more fat.
To best help those who carry the A allele, we recommend a low saturated fat diet that has a high amount of lean protein and making exercise a part of your weekly, if not daily routine. This will help decrease the risk of obesity. For more information, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene DataBase.
CLOCK has an effect on our circadian rhythm as well as our biological clock. It helps with our sleep duration and metabolic regulation. The wildtype TT has no impact. The heterozygote TV shows a low impact and the homozygote CC shows a moderate impact. With these genotypes, we see the risk factor being carried with the C allele.
Those who have the C allele naturally have a higher intake to want to eat more. Due to this, the C allele carriers tend to lose less weight and are more weight loss resistant compared to the TT individuals. Those who carry the C allele also commonly report that they eat breakfast later, have moring fatigue, and prefer to stay up late and do activities in the evening.
We recommend establishing and incorporating a healthy routine to help those with the C allele. This routine involves healthy eating plans, exercise, healthy sleeping patterns, and avoiding high carbohydrate foods. Additionally, sleeping in a completely dark room with no electronic devices will help improve sleep quality. For more information, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene DataBase.
APOA5 encodes for a protein that has a job in regulating plasma triglyceride levels. Additionally, there is evidence that visceral fat and body fat moves fat from the bloodstream into the tissues. The wild type TT shows a moderate impact. The heterozygote TC shows a low impact, and the homozygote CC shows no impact.
In this case, the T allele has been linked to greater weight and having reduced weight loss. If individuals consume a diet that is high in saturated fat, it will make their obesity risk greater. However, studies have shown that those who have a T allele respond well to dietary interventions. The C allele was previously associated with increased triglyceride concentrations, but also a greater ability to lose weight.
Overall, it is best to decrease the intake of total fat and watch lipids. Exercise is another great lifestyle intervention that benefits these individuals. For more information, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene DataBase.
This is a class of protein-coding lipids that plays a role in putting fat into the tissues and getting the fat out. During the fed state, PLIN limits the lipid access to the stored triglycerides. Additionally, PLIN assists in energy and glucose metabolism.
The GG wild type has no impact. The GA heterozygote has a moderate impact and the AA homozygote has a high impact. For PLIN, the A allele is the genotype that is associated with the greatest risk. With the A allele, individuals show a greater obesity risk and have a harder time with weight loss. There is a decrease in lipid oxidation compared to the individuals who have the GG wild type genotype.
For individuals with the heterozygote or homozygote genotype, it is key to set realistic weight loss goals. This will help will progress as well as not let the patient get discouraged. For A carriers, eating higher complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes has been shown to support weight management. Additionally, include low saturated fat foods and avoid refined carbohydrates to best protect against obesity. For more information, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene DataBase.
This gene has been nicknamed the “death by buffet” gene. This is expressed mainly in the hypothalamus and has a strong correlation for energy balance and the regulation of food intake. Those who have this gene have a strong link and risk for obesity. The TT wildtype genotype has no impact. The Heterozygote TC has a moderate impact and the homozygote CC has a high impact.
For MC4R, the C allele is linked to reduced functions which increases obesity and waist circumference. Those who have the C allele tend to snack more, get hungry faster, eat large amounts of foods, intake more fat, and overeating. The hypothalamus signals are not downregulated, so it is highly recommended that these individuals learn portion control and to be conscious of how much they are intaking in a sitting and throughout the day. The signal that tells them they are full does not always work, leading to the frequent overeating and snaking.
For these individuals, they need to eat slow and consume water with each meal. This will help fill up their stomachs without all the extra calories they would normally consume. It is best to include protein as part of their meals as this will also increase the “full” sensation. We have seen best results with those who eat 5 meals throughout the day. These 5 meals include 3 main dishes and 2 snacks. It is important that they do not skip a meal as this increases the chances of overeating at the time of their next meal. Increasing fiber will also help these patients. For more information, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene DataBase.
The central nervous system is responsible for health maintenance and is the primary function of the brain. The body is able to defend and repair itself when attacked by a harmful germ or when it is injured all with the help and control from the most sophisticated supercomputer, the central nervous system. In fact, as many as half of all genes are expressed in the nervous system. It is stated by Gilbert, S in a 2010 publication that, “The intricate sequence of events leading from the earliest origins of the neural tube to the adult brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system is a complex process of gene expression and regulation”
We have found that over the years environmental factors play a significant role in genetic expression. This meaning that genes you were born with, may not be the genes you have today. Throughout life, with the exposure to toxins, our genes are triggered “on” or “off”. This also explains why identical twins are genetically similar at birth but as adults show more differences. Creating a healthy environment with personalized nutrition, regular chiropractic adjustments, exercise, and other holistic healing methods have been proven to positively impact gene expression for optimal health.
Please refer to the PDF below for more information:
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Toxins are all around us and unfortunately marketed to us as “safe”. These toxins can appear in laundry detergent, dish soap, body wash, lotions, and most importantly, in our foods. These alter the gut microbiome as well as our genetic expression. A DNA test from DNA life will provide you with information and insight on what genes you have. This allows us to create a personalized diet plan, created from organic non-toxic foods that will help you reclaim your health, feel better than ever, and allow your genes to express in a healthy way. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
Gilbert SF. Developmental Biology. 6th edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2000. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9983/
Wassung, Keith. Human Genetic Potential and Chiropractic. 2018. www.bakersfieldfamilychiropractic.com
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The information herein on "Health & Wellness: Diet and Nutrition Part 2 of 4" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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