Genes don’t fit in the DNA diet

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It sounds too good to be true and, according to some scientists, it is: a diet designed for your genetics.

South African company DNAlysis Biotechnology is offering consumers a DNA diet, which includes a test for 13 genetic variations associated with obesity, to tailor a diet for a person’s specific genetics. But geneticists and nutritionists dismiss the diet as unscientific.

Obesity is a major health concern globally, with two in five people overweight and more than one in 10 obese. According to the most recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report, one in four South Africans is overweight or obese, putting them at risk of developing a number of diseases, including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

To date, there has been no national success story in trying to curb obesity. This is because it is a complex interplay of genetics and environment.

A Giant (Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits) study published earlier this year, which analysed more than 300 000 people’s genes, found more than 140 locations across the human genome that are implicated in controlling fat distribution and body weight. A gene is a part of the genome…

Read the rest of this article on the M&G website.

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SciBraai, a proudly South African NPO dedicated to science journalism, communication and outreach. SciBraai began on Heritage Day 2013 - Anina Mumm and Engela Duvenage in 2013 launched the website, scibraai.co.za, to feature stories about South African research, technology and innovation, and the people behind the discoveries. This blog welcomes all South Africans to go behind the scenes of local science and exploration endeavors. It’s a place to share stories about the scientists themselves and the interesting, little-known activities that are often left out of research journals. A place to learn more about the stuff that makes South African science and its people tick. A place to feel inspired about what South Africans are discovering on home soil and abroad. Because local is lekker, no matter what language you use. SciBraai's following has grown in the past years, and we are now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We've also begun organising real-life braai's where we share round-the-fire stories about South African science and scientists.

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