DNA Nutrition and Fitness Simplified-How Simple Is It?

Understanding DNA is complicated, especially when genes are all identified with numbers and letters. So even when we attempt to make DNA nutrition and fitness simplified, it can still be a bit overwhelming. But I will give it my best attempt in this article today.

DNA Nutrition and Fitness Simplified

We all know that our diet plans and fitness routines can significantly influence our body’s physical abilities and performance. But have you ever considered, to what extent do they affect our bodies? Not to mention if we could make DNA nutrition and fitness simplified would it make a difference? I am going to simplify it for you today and I do believe it will help. 

For example, how much carbohydrate should you take in, if at all? What kind of workout training can help you achieve your goal? It turns out; these answers can vary greatly depending on your DNA, the protein strands inside your cell, which contain genetic information. This genetic information can influence our nutrition and health in several ways – some of which we will simplify below:

Diet

Carbohydrates

Although carbohydrates get a bad reputation, there is no doubt that they play a vital role in your body. Sugars are generally associated with energy, speed, stamina, and even concentration. They break down into glucose, which works as the primary fuel of the body. But how much carbohydrates should we consume? Your genes can have a lot to say about that.

picture of low glycemic index foods

Some research is dedicated extensively to the study of variation in blood glucose levels in response to your intake. Studies show the changes in blood glucose levels vary greatly depending on individual postprandial glycemic responses (PPGR).

 PPGR is the glycemic response your blood sugar levels have to the food you take in. The Glycemic index is simply a scale of 1 to 100 given to each food to determine its effect on blood sugar levels. These responses are dependent on several genes present in our body.

For example, we associate variants in the UCP3 gene have with insulin resistance. Our bodies produce insulin when we take in food. This gene can tell if your receptors are resistant to insulin and if they utilize insulin well. 

People with the presence of the G/G genotype in the UCP3 gene showed better results in losing weight in a low-carb, high-protein diet than those lacking this genotype. 

Similarly, the IRS1 gene, a gene that is concerned with the reception of insulin, is also responsible for determining your diet. Women with T allele present in the gene showed a lower risk of diabetes, whereas women missing this allele had a higher risk. 

In addition to this, genes also determine how our body responds to carbohydrates. For example, there has been scientific evidence that suggests variants of the APOE (Apolipoprotein E) gene respond differently to glucose. Due to their variation in response, they found carriers of the APOE4 gene are better suited for high-carb, low-fat diets, whereas carriers of the APOE2 gene will find a low-carb, high-fat diet more appropriate for their needs.

The bottom line is we can determine with DNA testing is you need a low carbohydrate diet or a high carbohydrate diet to promote weight loss. 

Fats

Genes do not only affect your carbohydrate diet but your fat intake as well. And fats are pretty crucial for your body too! Fats give your body additional energy, protect your organs, regulate your body temperature, assists in cell growth, and produces hormones.

Genes have a critical part in determining our fat intake and response. The IRS1 gene that we previously talked about does not affect only women, but men too. When men take in a lower-fat diet, men carrying the T allele were less susceptible to type 2 diabetes than those without it.

Similarly, fat diets can also influence our body’s clock gene, and hence our circadian rhythm. A study in 2013 showed that a low-fat diet produced lower insulin levels in the clock genes of carriers containing the A/A genotype, whereas there was no difference noted for others.

A clock (CLK) gene affects our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is our sleep/wake cycle, which affects our internal metabolic processes. What this means is there have been scientific findings that our circadian rhythm has hereditary components and is affected by our fat intake.

Much like carbohydrates, genes determine our response to fat as well. Studies suggested that a genetic mutation in the LIPC (hepatic lipase) gene can determine our response to fat.

From the Framingham Offspring Study, researchers concluded that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – the “good” kind of cholesterol – were lower among people who carried the T/T genotype, even after consuming large amounts of fat. On the other hand, people lacking the T/T genotype had a higher concentration of HDL, even at low-fat diets, and the HDL level increased with an increase in fat intakes.

Your genes may say that you will lose weight better with a high-fat diet. The critical thing to remember here is just because you can consume high-fat foods does not mean it is right for your arteries and heart. A consultation with a certified nutritionist is so vital. A plan to assist in weight loss is also a plan to improve your health.

Lactose and Gluten

Much like carbohydrates and fat, genes can also influence your response to other foods, and in severe cases, restrict you from consuming some types of products.

For example, more and more people are becoming lactose intolerant, which prevents them from ingesting dairy. Your body uses the lactase enzyme to break down Lactose Mutations in the LCT (Lactase) gene can interfere with the breakdown of lactase in your body. People with this issue would have to take in an over-the-counter Lactaid enzyme or refrain from ingesting dairy.

sign with lactose free and milk

Similarly, celiac disease is a genetically predisposed disease that prevents people from consuming foods with gluten such as wheat and barley products. Consuming gluten can cause nausea, fatigue, gut irritation, and joint aches.

Research has shown that whether a person will be affected by celiac disease depends on the HLA DQ gene, which is responsible for producing antigens and known as an autoimmune disease.

An autoimmune disease happens when your body decides that some organ within you is a threat and sets up a type of reaction to that normal body part. It is not actually a reaction, but it is the easiest way to explain it because your body then attacks that body part and begins to break it down. The cause is unknown at this time. 

Fitness

Power Response

Power training is high-intensity exercises performed over a shorter period. A person who has a power bias is likely to respond better to activities shorter in duration but requires high levels of effort, such as sprinting and weightlifting. Several genes are associated with an individual’s power response, determining their success in power training.

One of the most common genes extensively researched for sporting performance is the ACE gene. The ACE gene is responsible for producing enzymes that control the blood vessel expansions and contraction, and thus our blood pressure.

The D allele of the ACE gene has been significantly associated with anaerobic performances in athletes and also responsible for an increase in muscle volume. Studies have shown that D allele is present in most professional European short-distance swimmers and sprinters, giving them the necessary enhancement for the sport.

An allele is simply the part that causes a mutation in a gene. Often mutation is thought of as a deformity or problem, but that is not always the case. A mutation can change a gene and make the DNA sequencing unique to you and your needs. As you will read here, the mutation can make a difference in your athletic ability and set you apart from your competitor.

Another widely studied gene is the ACTN3, which is responsible for encoding the protein alpha-actinin-3, a protein you will only find in type 2 muscle fibers. These muscle fibers can cause quick and robust muscle contractions and are associated with muscular strength—just another key factor for power sports such as sprinting, swimming, and soccer.

Research has shown that there was a lack of the X/X genotype of the ACTN3 gene amongst Greek track-and-field athletes, Finnish sprinters, and soccer players in the Spanish league.
Your power response and strength are written in your DNA. Your results can help your trainer plan your training to enhance your attributes.

Endurance Response

On the other side of power, training lies endurance training, which is the low-intensity physical activity performed over a more extended period. A better endurance response means that your muscles would be more suited for repetitive work or more extended training. These types of training require more oxygen. These include activities such as marathons and cycling.

a marathon cyclist

As discussed previously, the presence of the D allele in ACE genes gives you an advantage to power and strength workouts. On the other hand, if you possess I allele instead, there is likely to be less ACE activity, which means you’d be much more suited for endurance sports. An excess of I alleles are present in dominant mountaineers, long-distance runners, and rowers.

Another gene often associated with endurance sports is the PPARGC1A gene. Following exercise, this gene causes mitochondrial biogenesis, which allows the production of new mitochondria within the muscle cells. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, and variations of this gene have shown higher production of mitochondria allowing you to use up more energy and increase your aerobic capacity.

While we are on the subject of mitochondria, you may have wondered what does a mitochondrial DNA test show? I don’t want you to confuse a mitochondrial test with a DNA test. Laboratories perform a mitochondrial DNA test on a smaller scale than a DNA test. The mitochondria are actually analyzed to help determine different medical conditions and determine the severity of specific ones. But the tests we perform are on all pairs of DNA in your body.

We do the DNA testing here at DNA is the Way to determine what nutrients your body needs either for the absorption of vitamins and minerals or weight loss. We do not identify disease processes.

Final Thoughts

We can see how variations in your genes can influence your physical response to the food you intake and the fitness program you follow.

We can also see that simplifying your DNA is a daunting process. Therefore we leave most of it up to the lab who does the DNA sequencing. They know how to read a DNA test and return the results to us in lay terms that are easy to understand. The reports we receive are incredibly helpful with an explanation for each finding and recommendations to help with your unique needs.

It is always essential to understand what your DNA can say about you and what the labs are analyzing. DNA testing, analyzing, and understanding your genetic profile can help us determine the ideal nutrition plan and fitness routine for you.

Were you aware your DNA had such an essential role in your health and fitness? I would love to hear from you. Please leave all questions and comments in the comment section below.

How Does Your Body Use Vitamins And Minerals?

Our whole body uses a proper balance of vitamins and minerals to function.
Are you balanced?
What does your DNA say about you and your balance?

20 thoughts on “DNA Nutrition and Fitness Simplified-How Simple Is It?”

  1. Hi Laura 

    Thank you for your informative article on DNA testing for our physical fitness.

    I have not heard of this before and you have explained the process clearly. 

    I can see many benefits to this sort of DNA testing in the sports areas, but I would like to know how long has this been used specifically for fitness testing?

    Regards 

    Bernardo 

    Reply
    • Thank you for taking the time to read this information. DNA testing for fitness has been readily available for about ten years. The FDA derailed it for a few years until they could make sure the labs were doing the testing properly. Then about two years ago, stringent laws were established that regulated the testing in labs, so the FDA allowed testing to proceed. The labs now keep information safe and give reliable results. 

      Reply
  2. I have heard about DNA testing but didn’t know it is possible for common people. Always associated it with athletes and professional sports players. It is fascinating that weight loss, muscle gain and even health in general can be simplified with a DNA test sample.

    How long should I wait for the results? And how would I read them? Is there a chart of some sort to understand results?

    Reply
    • Hello, DNA testing has come so far. It is a wave of the future that is right here with us now. Great questions. It takes about three weeks for the results to come back. They will come to a DNA trusted member, and we will contact you. You don’t have to worry about reading the results because we take care of all that for you. One of our DNA team members will have a one-on-one consultation with you for a full hour to go over the results. It is a free consultation, so no need to worry.

      Reply
  3. Hi Laura
    I have diabetes and for over 2 years,doctors and nurses have been trying to get my sugar levels balanced and we are still trying to get me on the right does.
    Getting a DNA kit would give me the inside information I need and I feel will benefit me greatly

    What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    • Hi Vicki, A DNA test can not fix your diabetes, but your DNA test can absolutely tell you what foods your body metabolized well. A trusted DNA team member will go over the results with you and set up a diet plan that will fit your needs. I bet you could get your sugars better controlled when you know your unique needs. Isn’t it incredible that we can do so much with DNA today?

      Reply
  4. Hi Laura, brilliant post. You made an excellent case for getting a DNA test. These studies are very compelling.

    I interviewed a Functional Medicine Doctor and DNA testing seemed pretty expensive here in South Africa but I think she recommends her patients take a whole battery of tests.

    So if we were to just choose one, what would be the simplest test you recommend we could do to determine the healthiest diet?

    Do you do a preliminary medical history first so that you could determine which test is best?

    Reply
    • Hi Lauren, thank you for your interest. All of the DNA testing done here at DNA is the Way is performed in a US lab. So the cost is the same for each person. Of course, there may be a money conversion depending on which country. The more expensive part is shipping. I do offer free shipping of the kit to the client and free shipping to the lab in the US, but a person such as yourself in South Africa would have to pay the shipping.
      As for which test? I believe weight loss testing (GxSlim) is the best one to say what types of foods your body absorbs well. When the results return to DNA is the Way, a member of our team will set up a face to face call with you to go over the results and help you understand which nutrients are best for your body. We do a history questionnaire but not a complete medical history. If you have food allergies or a medical condition, we do take all of that into consideration when helping you choose foods for a healthy diet.
      I hope this helps to answer some of your questions. If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.

      Reply
  5. I believe the old joke goes “Diabetes runs in my family” with the reply of “That’s because no one runs in your family!” I too am diabetic and I think a workup would be interesting to see what else is going on with my body and how I can get the best results from the eating that I do. I am trying to build muscle as a way to counterbalance out the sugar levels. When you get a DNA test does it show like % of what my diets should be made of or how do they break it down for an individual?

    Reply
    • Hi Jason, I like your joke. It may very well be true. There are DNA tests that can genetically test for diseases, but here at DNA is the Way we do not perform those types of tests. As for nutrition, the GxSlim that helps with weight loss can serve as a nutrition test also. It does give a percentage of which nutrients your body absorbs well. It also talks about gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance, and insulin sensitivity. So you see, it is much more than a weight loss test. I do believe that the nutritional information found in your DNA can help you to eat more healthily. It is empowering to know how to eat for health and well-being that is unique to only you.

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  6. Good afternoon Laura,

    I find it quite amazing how science has advanced these years. The possibility to have a look at yourself and depending on how your genetic make-up is finding solutions to health problems is amazing. Personally, I would be interested to see what the DNA test for weight loss would suggest as changes in my diet. I will definitely keep it in mind.

    In 2008 I had a total hysterectomy, which knocked me off my feet emotionally and made me gain 9kg in a few months. I was lucky to come across an antiaging doctor who got me back on track. He ordered a genetic test made and told me that my genetic inheritance was very good. That was good news but you will still need a healthy lifestyle and clean food to be able to reach old age in good shape. As I stopped smoking 5 years ago that has a good influence on my telomeres.

    You mention celiac disease, which is something one hears often about. The bread is not the same as 100 years ago. Personally I believe as our diet has been tampered with making it less natural it has a negative effect on our health. GMO and pesticides, additives, too much sugar, and bad fats have made the population sick. Our immune system needs to be taken care of so it can function like it was meant to. Only giving it whole food it will do so.

    I like the information you give in your post. So interesting to know what your predisposition is. When I look at what people are eating nowadays I feel sad as they might have good DNA but their diets do not support it. Worldwide a change has to come.

    Regards, Taetske

    Reply
    • Taetske, You are so right about change. But so many are not as fortunate as you have been in finding a good doctor to help them. Most don’t know where to start. A DNA test can be an excellent beginning, and when the results return, a certified nutritionist has a one-on-one session with the client to help understand the results as well as help them choose foods that are suited for their body type. At that time, the coaching will include how to choose healthy foods.
      The DNA test will tell if a person is sensitive to gluten or lactose and what vitamins they absorb well and which ones they do not. It is the perfect opportunity for teaching how to improve health and nutrition.
      So you see, it is not just a DNA test but a way of life. Just as you have pointed out here, it is a change for the better.
      Something is liberating about knowing your body from the inside out. It is empowering.
      Thank you so much for your valuable input.

      Reply
  7. Hello Laura,

    I have a question: can such DNA tests also help determine the best kind of nutrition for someone suffering from conditions like Asthma or Autism?
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Reply
    • Hi Andrew, This is a great question. There are DNA tests for so many things nowadays, but here at DNA is the Way we do them for: weight-loss, athletic performance, age prevention, and nutrient absorption. So we do not strictly test for nutrition involving specific medical diagnoses. BUT with that said, a DNA test does determine what the best micronutrients and macronutrients a person best absorbs. If the person with these conditions were to have their DNA tested, it would tell them what the best nutrition is for their body. And since they have these medical diagnoses, it would, in turn, tell them the best nourishment for a body (their body) that has autism or asthma.

      It sounds complicated, so let me break it down a bit. Each individual has a percentage of DNA that is unique to only them. Proper nutrition is imperative to a properly functioning body and cells within that body. So yes, a DNA test can determine the best kind of nutrition for the body that has asthma and/or autism because the DNA will tell us what that particular body needs regardless of a medical condition. Our DNA tests do determine things like gluten and lactose intolerance.

      I hope this helps. If it is not clear, then please let me know so I can help you better understand the process.

      Thank you so much for your interest and inquiry.

      Reply
  8. The need to maintain a healthy life cannot be over emphasis as it what produce all other expect of our life’s. Taking the proper nutrients will not only help you to stay fit but it will also help to reduce your stress internal pressure and also boost your motivation. Thanks for sharing this great article here with us 

    Reply
    • It is my pleasure to share. You are right. Proper nutrients are essential for a healthy body and mind. Our goal here at DNA is the Way is to help you live a happy, healthy life with balance. One can achieve that with the DNA testing available here. 

      Reply
  9. Helooo, a big thanks to you for sharing such an insightful and educational article on the topic titled; DNA, nutrition and fitness simplified .. this is indeed really educating. I have learnt a  lot from this beautiful piece about DNA, nutrition and fitness.. Anyways my uncle is actually a diabetic patient perhaps forwarding this to him will also educate him as well and may also be of help to his condition (Diabetes).

    Reply
    • Thank you so much. Yes, your uncle may benefit from this article. He would also benefit from the full set of 5 DNA tests. Knowing his body from the inside out will help him form a complete nutritional plan and lifestyle change. The idea is to have a full understanding of living a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle. 

      Reply
  10. Hi, thank you for increasing our understanding of how our genes influence our physical reaction to the diet and fitness regimen we undertake. This provides direction to choosing the right kinds of foods for specific purposes especially in weight loss and weight gain as well. Now I understand why some people will achieve weight loss on a certain weight loss diet while others will not.

    Reply
    • You are so welcome. Yes, not all diets are right for everyone. You can find the diet that suits you well when you have your DNA tested. You are unique and so is what your body needs. 

      Reply

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