Can DNA Tests Predict Your Perfect Diet?

DNA testing is becoming increasingly more advanced with every passing year. The scientific community has jumped from using DNA to confirm basic family relations or assisting in forensics to now–predicting the perfect diet that will help you lose weight.

But does it actually work?

The basic science behind DNA diet kits is that specific genes influence how the individual processes food. For instance, someone who has the type CC of the APOC3 gene might be advised to follow a lower-fat diet. That’s because the type CC variation influences triglyceride processing, which can elevate levels of LDL cholesterol when following higher-fat diets.

However, studies show that 110 pairs of identical twins had varying metabolic responses to food depending on meal content, meal context, body composition, and metabolites found in the body’s cells.

In fact, these DNA diet tests aren’t more helpful than traditional advice — limit carbs, increase fiber, cut sodium, and the like. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that genetics only make up 10% of someone’s overall health. Contrastly, behaviors, social and economic factors together make up 70% of overall health.

This is not to say that genetics has no factor in health. Certain diseases, such as Type I diabetes, is known to be affected by genes. However, if you’re looking to improve your overall health and lose weight, it’s more beneficial to focus on lifestyle changes rather than the genetic component.

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