After my morning coffee, that last thing I want to do is gag down the massive fish oil capsule I’ve been told to diligently take to ward off cancer, heart disease and dry skin. Nutrigenetics (nutrition and fitness-related genetic testing) is challenging the fish oil trend and possibly relieving you of those fishy after-burps.
As recently as Sept. 2015, Science Mag reported a story on the Native Greenlanders and their massive consumption of fish. Apparently, these hardy natives carry a unique DNA on chromosome 11, which controls processing dietary fatty acids into the body. How did they find this? The study was done by Rasmus Nielsen, a population geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, where he and his team studied and compared the DNA of 191, Inuits (proper name for the Greenland Natives) with that of 60 Europeans and 44 Han Chinese. You can read the full report HERE, but basically, the Inuits have a special gene, allowing for them to process a large consumption of fatty acids. Those who do not have that gene, actually can not process the extra fatty acids, which they are taking in the fish oil.
How many times have we been told by all the health magazines, experts, Facebook friends and more to pop, drink, and consume extra fatty acids?? When I heard the news, I had to research further to make sure this was true! Now, the question becomes, am I someone who can process extra fatty acids?
How do I, or anyone else on the quest for health, find out if we can process our fish oil or extra fatty acids?
There is an increasing amount of specific genetic test hitting the market to establish the optimal diet and fitness routine for you–Nutrigenetics
What exactly is Nutrigenetics?
Wikepedia describes it as a branch of nutritional genomics that looks at the specific role nutrition plays on the genome. It also focuses on identifying the genetic susceptibility to disease. This is revolutionary in the diet and nutrition world. Compared to other branches of gene analysis, nutrigenetics is in its infancy, but the astounding health benefits and possibilities are dramatically improving chances for weight loss, disease prevention and optimal health and performance. Men’sFitess reports, “That [nutrigenetics], says the European Society of Human Genetics, is the stunning finding of a new study on nutrigenetics, the cutting-edge science of nutrition- and fitness-related gene analysis.”Wow, after realizing the possibilities of nutrigenetics, I wanted to read stories on people who’ve jumped in. I found a Men’sFitness editor’s personal experience, discussing the testing and results. In short, the test was eye-opening and totally worth doing. They discovered they weren’t lactose intolerant like other members in the family, should stick to a low carb diet, and focus on sprints rather than long runs.I’m sold on the idea, and I want to learn more on what my own body would prefer I eat. There’s the Nutrisync Genetic Nutrition & Fitness Assessment that is simple, and mostly online. The most difficult part is swabbing your cheek and mailing in the sample. You complete a lifestyle survey online, which is combined with your DNA results and reported about 3 weeks later. Here’s a great brochure you can download and read later.
The Nutrisync test was developed by genetic scientists, genomic nutritionists, and fitness professionals who understand the full impact of how gene’s affect your body’s response to diet.
In my opinion, the cost for these types of tests are worth the overall health benefits and improvements. Think of the bottles of fish oil pills, or other supplements you may be wasting money on? The tests could potentially save you some cash in the long run and improve your health!