The science of nutrigenetics

How genes can determine the best diet for you

Updated: Sep 08, 2018 20:42:20

By Shikha Sharma

Our genes have a profound effect on our appearance and even on our health (Shutterstock)

All of us are different. Our genes have a profound effect on our appearance and even on our health. Research is now proving that genetics can also control the way we are able to process food, and therefore impact the way our diets affect our health.

What is nutrigenetics? 

Nutrigenetics explains why two people of the same age who eat a diet low in fruits, vegetables and soluble fibre and high on sodium and saturated fat react differently: one develops hypertension, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerosis, while the other lives a long, healthy life.

A nutrigenetic diet can be planned by understanding the science of blood groups, the family history of diseases, and the Ayurveda prakriti (body type/constitution) of an individual.

Nature and nurture

Our individual genetic make-up controls what we can and cannot digest, our tendency to gain or lose weight, our ability to absorb important nutrients and cope with toxins, and our predisposition to certain diseases. By knowing our individual tendencies, we might be able to stop uncomfortable symptoms, prevent obesity, and fight disease.

Let’s look at Type-2 diabetes. The role of diet and lifestyle in the prevention and management of diabetes has been established. And what about genetics? Researchers have discovered several polymorphisms strongly associated with Type-2 diabetes risk, and in some cases, this association may be modified by diet.

However, nutrigenetics alone can’t determine health. The most important thing is to make the right nutritional choices for your genetic make-up.

From HT Brunch, September 9, 2018

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First Published: Sep 08, 2018 19:44:41


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