Can’t shift those extra pounds, despite diet and exercise? New research
suggests the answer could be hidden in your genes
Today is World DNA Day, celebrating
the discovery 60 years ago of the unravelling of the structure of DNA, the
basis of all life, which explains the small differences between us all – from
eye colour to fingernail shape.
And now the latest research
suggests your individual genetic coding doesn’t just determine what you look
like, it might also be the secret weapon when it comes to losing weight.
So can we really blame
weight gain on our genes?
Although all of us have
similar make-ups, hundreds of thousands of tiny differences exist.
These variations are what
makes each of us unique – including how our bodies respond to different types
of foods and exercise.
This is why two people
following the same diet or exercise plan can end up with different results.
In other words, it accounts
for the annoying way your best friend shed two stone on the Dukan Diet, but
when you tried it, those extra pounds stayed firmly put!
Scientists have even
discovered a ‘sweet tooth’ gene that makes you predisposed to crave cakes and chocolate,
which seems highly unfair to say the least.
But the good news is, as
well as working against you when it comes to fighting the flab, your genes can
also be utilised in your favour to help ensure better diet and exercise
How DNA dieting works
The discovery of thousands
of new genes responsible for many different functions in the body, plus
advances in DNA testing mean that, for the right price, it’s now possible to
have a bespoke diet and fitness plan created for you.
It will be fine-tuned to
work in harmony with every tiny quirk of your own metabolism.
The Nordiska diet was developed
with the help of experts at Newcastle University and is based on the premise
that genetic testing can determine the right food for your body type. These
genes relate to how quickly an individual can metabolise fat and carbohydrate,
appetite control and muscle activity.
And after a gene test, the
individual is given one of four diet types: low in fat; low carb; low glycaemic
or healthily balanced.
“The era of everyone following
the same plan regardless of body shape, age, family history is gone,” says Dr
Daniel Meyersfeld, a scientist who has designed DNAFit, the world’s first
bespoke fitness programme based on your genes.
“It makes sense that the
more tailored the plan the more likely it is to do you good – one based on your
very own DNA.”
A personalised plan is
especially useful because one recent survey found that only half of people who
exercise think their regime is working – and a huge 80% of diets fail.
Celebrity fitness trainer
Matt Roberts agrees that gene-based weight-loss plans are the way forward:
“It’s clear to me that understanding your DNA will form the bedrock of the way
workouts will be carried out in the future.
"There are many people
who have struggled to achieve fitness or weight-loss goals, but by understanding
more clearly how we work, that could be over.”
Putting theory into
The new DNAFit Gym test
harnesses your genes to create an effective exercise plan, and is developed to
help ensure people who exercise get the most out of their workout.
Disillusioned gym-goers or
sports fans looking to improve their performance, can use a CSI-style swab to
collect their DNA, which is then sent away for genetic testing.
The test looks at a
person’s genetic ability to cope with different types and intensity of exercise
– so it can tell you whether running the next marathon is a good idea, or if
sticking to something a bit less arduous will suit you.
Plus it can assess your
individual risk of getting injured and what time you need to recover between
This information is also
useful in dispelling the myth that all exercise is good for you – in some cases
the wrong type or intensity could actually do you harm.
Broadcaster Andrew Marr now
blames his recent stoke, at least in part, on overdoing it on the rowing
machine during high intensity training.
And if you have never
exercised, testing your genes would help you find an exercise that is easier to
stick to and gives dieters more chance of keeping off the weight.
ARTICOL PRELUAT DIN DAILY MIRROR semnat Caroline Jones