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A UK national tabloid newspaper the ‘Daily Express’ today ran the front page story with the headline: ‘THE DNA DIET MIRACLE – Greatest medical breakthrough in 100 years could save your life’.
The story follows a presentation to the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science by a UK company offering DNA testing. The newspaper reports how British nutritionists have apparently developed a groundbreaking diet programme based on detailed analysis of DNA, to set out exactly what each person as an individual should and should not eat for the rest of their life.
The company claims to be “the first in the world to offer a nutrigenomic diet”, and that “a person’s genes should effectively recommend exactly what he or she eats.”
These ‘revelations’ will come as no surprise to the millions of readers of Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s books, many of whom have been following a diet tailored to the information on their gene 9q37 (ABO blood group) for years. Some have looked into further refinement of this knowledge of how genetic inheritance affects interaction with food and the environment by finding their secretor status (gene 19q13.3).
It is good that nutrigenomics is finally reaching the mainstream, although unfortunately no mention of blood groups in connection to diet is made in the article. Perhaps it is because people can find out this information for free by becoming a blood donor and then borrowing a book from the library, rather than having to have a relatively expensive DNA test via their doctor, that the laboratory have not promoted this important element of nutrigenomics.
Genetic testing can be useful where there is a strong family history of certain diseases, or where people want to find out more information about their risks. Testing can cover frequent polymorphisms such as:
* APO E (APOLIPOPROTEIN E), where certain variations can have a role in blood lipids abnormalities and in cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis and in age-related macular degeneration. The genetic code responsible for polymorphisms of APO E is found at location 19q13.2. It is interesting how the location of this significant gene is such a close neighbour of the gene for ABH salivary secretor status mentioned above (19q13.3), and how it has been found that non-secretors tend to be more prone to many of these problems. Dr. D’Adamo has found that ABO blood group and secretor status have many genetic linkages with diseases (see Pathbase on this website for details).
The following link is for the entry in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man™ database on the scientific background to that gene and genetic disorder: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=107741
* GSTM1 (GLUTATHIONE S-TRANSFERASE M1): people lacking this enzyme found at 1p13.3 (and related enzyme GSTP1) have reduced ability to metabolize environmental carcinogens or toxins from the liver and kidneys. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=138350
* MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase): a defect in this enzyme located at gene 1p36.3 can lead to high levels of homocysteine, which can increase the risk of heart disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=607093
A Genomic Profile can be obtained via the D’Adamo clinic in the US, or via Canterbury Osteopathic Clinic in the UK in addition to full blood grouping. This is a screening test for some of the commoner genetic polymorphisms affecting risks for specific problem areas. A consultation is required to determine which Genomic Profile is most appropriate, and a sample of blood or saliva is used for DNA analysis.
The ‘DNA Diet’ nutrigenomics story was also covered by ‘The Scotsman’, and can be read online at: http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1066652004
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