3 ways DNA may help you eat better
The human genome is amazing in many respects: end-to-end it’s about six feet long, it’s made of nearly 3.2 billion base pairs, and its possible to use someone’s DNA sequence to help them eat better. How’s this possible? Let us explain:
1. DNA affects how you process foods
Put simply, food is fuel. Whether it’s that first heavenly cup of coffee, or a burger fresh off the BBQ, the food we consume is filled with energy and nutrients that our body needs in order to function. How we metabolize that fuel is influenced by our DNA.
Research has shown us that people can inherit changes in their DNA that affect how they metabolize some foods. For example, changes in the CYP1A2 gene may cause someone to feel less affected by caffeine because their body breaks it down faster relative to others. Similarly, many other genes have been shown to affect how we process and store things like fat, cholesterol, sugars, and alcohol. This research makes it possible for someone to look at their DNA sequence as inspiration for a better diet.
2. DNA helps you learn about nutrition in a personal way
DNA sequencing has the potential to give you a remarkable amount of insights, but understanding those insights and what to do with them can be hard. That’s where Helix comes in. Many of the products in the Helix Store give you more than your DNA sequence by providing additional support and access to valuable resources. For instance, GoalGetter from InsideTracker helps you see how your DNA may be affecting traits like your body’s response to carbohydrates, sugar, and cholesterol. With this personal introduction to genetics, GoalGetter also uses your genetic results to help you understand how our bodies process foods, and how that’s influenced by DNA. With this information, it’s easier to see how your results were calculated, and how you might incorporate such information into your everyday life.
3. Genetic insights give you a wealth of resources to help with the next steps
Amid the chaos of everyday life, it can be hard to focus and stick to your goals. Fortunately, your genetic insights can travel with you and help support your wellness on the go. Lose It’s embodyDNA mobile app lets you carry a library of information—including nutritional stats and personalized advice on over seven million different foods—all in the space of your pocket. In addition to DNA-based insights, you also gain access to the support network of Lose It’s weight loss community for inspiration and motivation.
Ultimately, DNA sequencing is just the start. DNA is just one part of a much larger puzzle. But learning about your DNA and the many ways it may affect your diet can be a fun way to get engaged with your food and take the next step in your wellness journey.
Helix is the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company operating at the intersection of clinical care, research, and data analytics.