Can DNA unlock the secrets to weight loss, staying healthy?

Some people are turning to their DNA to unlock the secrets to losing weight and staying healthy.

It’s called Nutrigenomics and it is combining nutrition with your specific genetic markers.

“I’m always trying to provide the tools to help people to live their best lives,” said Natural Health Consultant Roselyn Dorval.

Dorval has a Bachelor of Science degree in Alternative Medicine and says, over the years, she used food journals, pantry purges and counseling sessions to help craft healthier diets for her clients. Now she’s also using DNA testing.

Once she sends her client’s saliva off to a lab, Dorval gets back a report indicating if a client has a genetic marker that may indicate a predisposition to a disease or illness or potential weight issue.

“It helps me to say these are the things that we need to do,” she explained. “This is the type of supplements you would need to take to basically help if you’re not operating at 100 [percent], how do we support those genes to help you operate at 100 [percent].”

She stresses, this test is far from a diagnosis.

“I like to say predispositions are not a diagnosis,” she said. “It’s not diagnosing you with any condition. It is empowering you to know that this is something that’s there that your lifestyle is essentially going to pull the trigger on these things. So what you do now can affect how these things manifest.”

“I feel like this is more precise because they’re using your DNA and they’re looking at what your body creates on its own and what deficits it has,” said one of Dorval’s clients, Laney Farrugia.

Farrugia says after the birth of her second child, she needed help boosting her energy. So far, she’s seen great results.

“I find that I have more energy,” she said. “I definitely don’t feel like that that dip in the middle of the day when you just can’t get through and you need a nap– I definitely lost that in my life!”

DOES IT WORK?

Deborah Cragun is a geneticist at the University of Florida . While she doesn’t study nutrigenomics, she does follow the research and says right now, there’s just not enough out there to say one way or another that it works.

“We just don’t have a lot of long-term data suggesting that if we do the genetic testing and we change your diet based on that that you will have improved health outcomes.”

She also has some reservations about people getting results and not knowing how to interpret them.

“These diseases that we’re talking about are common conditions that are caused by a number of genetic variances as well as our diet as well as our behavior and our exercise,” she cautioned. “…so thinking about if you have just this one gene change that’s not– [it] doesn’t mean you’re going to develop diabetes.”

Cragun recommends always talking to a doctor or dietician before making any diet changes and to talk to a geneticst if you get DNA results and need more information.

Reporter:Allison Gormly
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