Diet May Regulate Obesity Health Risks, But Genes Decide, Says New Research
risk of obese people developing the metabolic syndrome that leads to
diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, can not be solved by a
one-size-fits-all diet program, according to new scientific findings.
results of Lipgene, a five year EU research program, show that
personalized nutrition diets based on peoples genetic make-up will be
the way of the future when tackling obesity and its associated health
obesity costs the EU an estimated 32.8 billion Euros each year.
And, at current rates, it is estimated that 50% of Europeans will be
obese by 2050.
results when excess calories are consumed and insufficient energy is
spent (physical inactivity). Obesity is a major health hazard
worldwide, it is directly linked to several common diseases such as
diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and some cancers.
analysed the findings from 500 volunteers across Europe who took part
in a dietary programme to measure the effects of different diets on the
development of the metabolic syndrome associated with obesity," said
Professor Helen Roche from the Institute of Food andHealth at
University College Dublin, one of the principal scientists on the
volunteers, each of whom were previously identified as obese and at
risk from developing associated health complications, were placed on
one of four specific diets," Roche explained.
was high fat, high in saturated fats, like the average European diet.
One was high fat, high in monounsaturated fats, like the average
Mediterranean diet. And two were low fat diets one of which had a fish
the dietary programme was complete the volunteers were tested for
reductions in any of the five main factors associated with the
metabolic syndrome - high blood glucose; high levels of fats in the
blood; high blood pressure; a waist circumference greater than 100cm;
and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL)."
findings show that different fats have different health effects. A high
saturated fat diet dis-improved the metabolic profile of subjects
whilst the fish oils had positive effects. But certain clusters of
genes determined a volunteer’s responsiveness to dietary
interventions. Some of the volunteers experienced obvious positive
effects while others experienced little or no changes to the metabolic
syndrome indicators," said Roche.
common genetic variations, or polymorphisms, identified in the
volunteer group are carried in 25%-30% of the general population, the
sample is clinically relevant, according to the scientists. The
findings will now be tested against different population cohorts
elsewhere in Europe.
results are confirmed by further studies, we will see the creation of
more effective dietary treatments and nutritional therapies for
obesity. Into the future, a physician is likely to take a blood sample
from a patient to compare their genotype against genes active in common
diseases and related this to the person’s lifestyle and
environmental factors to gauge whether physical activity as opposed to
nutritional regulation might work better for each individual patient.
be like visiting a physician to be measured for a certain health
fitting which has been proven to work for your genetic type - just as
we visit tailors and dress makers for fitted suits and dresses that
make us feel and look better.
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