From nutrigenetics an aid to personalize nutrition based on DNA

Before opting for a food program instead of another one should “ask” our genes if the chosen diet is suitable for us. In fact, in the era of precision medicine, there is also the possibility of personalizing the type of diet based on the characteristics of the person. Indeed, the scientific branch of nutrigenetics shows that our organism’s response to a food is also linked to genetic peculiarities that make us unique. In this framework, specific genetic tests allow us to know these characteristics which, like a biological signature, indicate how we probably react to certain foods and how we can improve our health and physical fitness.

Diet is also a question of genes

If the vast majority of DNA (99.9%) is the same and shared by everyone, a small part is instead subject to variations – or rather variants or polymorphisms – which are at the root of differences, not only aesthetic, but also structural and associated with health: these are what distinguish us from each other. In particular, specific variations may signal an increased risk of certain diseases, including diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Today, precision medicine makes it possible to take a leap forward, in predictive terms. In fact, it allows to identify some of these alterations and, on the basis of these, to provide, where possible, indications to correct the factors that can contribute to the development of a pathology: in many cases, in fact, these factors are linked to lifestyle.

A guide from nutrigenetics

In this context, nutrigenetics, a state-of-the-art science, focuses on the individual and his genetic peculiarities, relating them to nutrition, metabolism, predisposition to certain conditions and the role of the surrounding environment. In this context, the VitaeDNA genetic test examines numerous genes and polymorphisms, involved in the main metabolic processes and linked to fundamental macro-areas such as health, nutrition, metabolism and sports performance. DNA sampling is carried out in a simple and non-invasive way: cells from the oral mucosa are taken with a self-drying buccal swab. The analyzes are carried out in collaboration with BMR Genomics, a spin-off of the University of Padua, which provides genetic analysis and sequencing.

Customize your diet (and more)

Based on the individual genetic information collected, the VitaeDNA genetic test provides a complete report of how our body works and responds to what we eat, to sports activity, indicating a possible sensitivity to certain substances, including specific intolerances and a predisposition to multiple pathologies.

In detail, the genetic test VitaeDNA analyzes some characteristics associated with how our metabolism works, how we assimilate and absorb certain components present in food, including the attention paid to some substances that are often abused today, such as salt, caffeine and alcohol. There is also an assessment of lactose intolerance and susceptibility to irritable bowel. Health remains central: the test allows us to estimate the genetic predisposition to specific conditions and diseases, including insulin resistance, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, there is a measure of possible individual variations linked to inflammation and inflammatory processes which in certain cases can lead to chronic-degenerative diseases. Last but not least, attention to how each of us reacts to a certain type of training, allowing us to obtain information to optimize sports performance.

Nutrigenetics, therefore, is thus at the service of precision medicine. Knowing these elements can be important to change some lifestyle habits, from nutrition to physical exercise, up to the opportunity of supplementing with certain components, indicating the options and the best path for the individual person. In this way it is possible to model and build a program of food, physical exercise and attention to any risk factors that are really centered on the person.

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