Most people are aware that the more weight they gain the higher chances that they might be short-listed as victims of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, weight can still be accumulated in one’s body gradually and un-noticeably. Once one becomes overweight or even obese, it would be extremely difficult for him or her to lose the unwanted weight.
A recent study outlined a way to help overweight individuals lose weight and keep it off by using personalized diets based on the individual’s genetic makeup. The researchers from Sciona, the Boulder, a company based in Colorado, reported in online journal BioMed Central: Nutrition Journal in 2007 that people who went on ‘nutrigenetically tailored diets’ were more apt to stick to the diet, and had greater success in the long term.
The study was partially funded by Sciona, which makes the testing system used to develop a person's nutrigenetic diet.
In the study, the case histories of 50 'nutrigenetic' dieters were compared with those of 43 patients who did not receive a nutrigenetically tailored diet.
All of these patients were attending a weight loss clinic in Athens, Greece by following a traditional weight management program involving a Mediterranean diet with exercise and regular follow-up clinic visits. Nevertheless, the researchers modified the standard Mediterranean diet of the nutrigenetic group to tailor the genetic results of each patient.
There was no much difference between the 2 groups in term of the amount of weight loss. After about one year, the nutrigenetic dieters continued to lose weight but a slight average weight gain was observed among the traditional diet group.
After another 300 days, it was found that the nutrigenetic dieters were about 5 times more likely to have maintained their weight loss than were the traditional dieters, and the nutrigenetic dieters also had improvements in their blood sugar levels.
In conclusion, the researchers suggest that adding a genetic, personalized component to a weight loss program might improve motivation and compliance. Moreover, the personalized diet is more suitable as the content of macro- and micro-nutrients were optimized for an individual during a period when overall food consumption is reduced and energy expenditure increased.