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Diet tailored to genetic factors may lower risk

by Paul Ian Cross, PhD
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Can a diet tailored to an individual’s unique DNA profile reduce their risk of diabetes? Image credit: Maja Topcagic/Stocksy.
  • New research suggests that a diet tailored to an individual’s DNA profile may play a role in managing blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals.
  • This pilot study involving 148 participants combined genetic profiling with personalized dietary advice and demonstrated significant improvements in glycemic control compared to traditional dietary interventions.
  • This study highlights the potential benefits of using genetic data to tailor health interventions, but more extensive trials are needed to validate these findings.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how the body processes blood sugar (sugar). In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot produce or use insulin effectively.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are elevated above the normal range, but not high enough to meet the criteria for type 2 diabetes.

This condition, unlike diabetes, is reversible without intervention. 5-13% Some prediabetic patients may progress to type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes can cut her progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes in half.

Many health professionals, particularly in the UK, support the National Institute for Healthcare Excellence (NICE). guidelines Although promoting better eating habits and more exercise, these measures can be expensive and labor intensive.

Genetic markers are known to help predict an individual’s likelihood of developing chronic diseases that are often related to diet.

For example, if you change your intake of salt or saturated fat, Reduce cardiovascular riskwhile changing Sugar and saturated fat intake It can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

In a new study conducted by Imperial College London and DnaNudge in the UK, scientific reportresearchers investigated diets customized to an individual’s DNA to help participants control their blood sugar levels and reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Researchers recruited 148 people with elevated blood sugar levels and measured fasting plasma glucose (FPG), which is the concentration of sugar in the blood after not eating for a while, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which shows the average blood sugar level. Initial evaluation was carried out by measuring. For the past 2-3 months.

Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire to provide details about their regular intake of specific foods.

The research team divided study participants into three groups:

  • The control group received dietary guidance from a nutritionist based on NICE recommendations.
  • The intervention group received both nutritionist guidance and a DNA-tailored meal plan.
  • The exploration group did not receive any coaching, but used the DnaNudge app and wearable technology for self-guidance.

With this technology, you can now scan product barcodes while shopping to get personalized food and drink suggestions based on your DNA.

Researchers reassessed participants’ FPG and HbA1c levels at 6, 12, and 26 week intervals. Initially, at six weeks, there were no noticeable differences in health status between the groups.

By the time they checked in at week 26, people who were on the DNA-based diet, whether they used the DnaNudge app or not, had lower blood sugar levels compared to people who didn’t follow this particular diet. was noticeably improved. .

Simply put, both groups who tried this DNA-based diet had lower fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c levels, another measure of blood sugar levels.

While NICE’s recommendations for making lifestyle changes, such as incorporating more fruit, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains into your diet, are evidence-based and useful for the general public, this research shows that Our results suggest that customizing dietary advice based on people’s profiles could have the following benefits: Great benefits.

However, the researchers advise caution in interpreting these results due to the limited size of the study and emphasize the need for validation with larger randomized controlled trials.

Dr. Stainley Williams said a South Florida Community Health researcher who was not involved in the study. Today’s medical news “The standard practice in Europe for people with high blood sugar levels (called ‘prediabetics’ in the US) is to consult with a nutritionist and recommend that they eat foods lower in starch.”

“This study does not currently indicate that standard care should change, including the implementation of individualized DNA-focused dietary counseling,” he cautioned.

“However, this study is promising in that it suggests that further, more extensive research is warranted,” Dr. Williams added.

“This is typical of a pilot study, and this is what it is. So this means that there is some promising data, but nothing has really been proven yet and based on that… “We need more data to make recommendations. As a physician, I would never make a decision for a patient based on a pilot study,” he stressed.

Colette Mikkosaid RDN, a registered dietitian at Top Nutrition Coaching, who was also not involved in the study. MNT “This was a very interesting research study in the field of nutrigenomics.”

“This points to the need for more personalized care in the field of prediabetes/diabetes,” Mikko noted.

“While standard care and general dietary advice can impact populations, this study shows that personalized dietary interventions based on an individual’s DNA can improve fasting plasma glucose and hemoglobin A1C. This shows that it may lead to better improvements in glycemic control, including improved blood sugar control.”

– Colette Mikko

“While this study attempts to demonstrate the benefits of DNA-related dietary counseling in managing blood sugar levels, future research must go far beyond this primary objective before reaching important and applicable data.” Dr. Williams said.

“The impact, if any, of this study on patients and the general public will not be known until more extensive further research is conducted. So what this study actually does is that there is no need for further research. It’s about laying the foundation,” Dr. Williams explained.

Mikko agreed, pointing out that the study had limitations, including a small sample size and a high attrition rate at 26 weeks.

“This randomized controlled trial needs to be replicated with a larger sample size from diverse ethnic, socio-economic and biological backgrounds,” Mikko said.

However, “the implication of this study for patients and the general public is that in the future more DNA-based nutritional interventions may become available as a primary tactic for disease prevention.” she added.

“In particular, nutritional interventions are tailored to genetic predisposition,” she elaborated.

“This may also have an impact on therapeutic management of diabetes, as current treatments are based on standard of care. There may be an increased need for app-based interventions, thereby reducing costs and It has the potential to extend the length of care for prediabetic/diabetic patients around the world.”

– Colette Mikko

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