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Evidence For DNA Based Diet Plans Lacking

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With advances in genetic sequencing, a new category of health startups has emerged:  The personalised eating plans tailored to our own unique genetic and microbial makeup.

There are a growing number of new companies that claim to provide personalized nutrition, health and dietary advice based on the consumers genetic data or microbiome. Some of these include HabitVitageneEmbodyDNA, uBiomeViome and Nutrigenomix.  However an analysis of the available research data in 2015 in this emerging field found it lacking any current scientific evidence to support it.

“There’s no evidence that some people respond better to high-fat diets while others are more receptive to diets packed with protein or complex carbs” claims Aaron E. Carroll, a pediatrician and professor at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Dietary advice based on sequencing the human microbiome has been found to be similarly lacking scientific basis.  Lita Proctor, director of the Human Microbiome Project, a project running since 2008 with a mission to record the bacteria that make up the human microbiome through advanced genetic sequencing – says there is still a long way to go before we can make any truly significant discoveries. The project which has been ,

“I couldn’t tell you what a healthy microbiome looks like,” she says. “We haven’t figured out which properties to measure.”

Our understanding of the human microbiome – linked to our immune system, our metabolism and our mental health is still in its infancy.  “This will take years, and likely decades” says Proctor; “In addition to identifying and categorizing the trillions of microbes that reside within us, researchers need to understand how they interact with one another.”
Although this hasn’t stopped startups such as uBiome from promoting services that claim to tell you how healthy your gut is.

We don’t need blood tests or stool samples to improve our gut bacteria. “We can take charge of our health by improving our diet,” Proctor says.

People just need to reduce the sugars, processed foods and toxins in their diet – and increase their intake of seasonal fruit and vegetables – foods high in fiber.  Healthy gut bacteria feeds on fiber, so eating more plants will help us encourage microbial balance and diversity.

 

 

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