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I have seen websites promoting personalized diets based on genetics. Do these really work?

I have seen websites promoting personalized diets based on genetics. Do these really work?

Answer: In short, we don’t know. The research on genetics and how they interact with your diet is still in its infancy. After all, it took 13 years to identify over 20,000 genes in human DNA. Although websites are selling DNA kits (cheek swab kits) that you mail back for a personal diet recommendation, there is no credible research at this time to support it.

Nutrigenomics is the study of the molecular relationship between nutritional stimuli and the response of the genes.[1] It consists of numerous dimensions, too many at this time to use a cheek swab to create a personalized diet based on your genetics. That said, nutrient-gene interaction will become more important for disease prevention as more and more studies are done with significant statistical power. It may be possible one day to make diet recommendations based on an individual’s genetic make-up, but at the present time it still requires research.

[1] Chávez A, Muñoz de Chávez M. Nutrigenomics in public health nutrition: short-term perspectives. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;57 Suppl 1:S97-100. Review.

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