Three studies presented by Italian researchers at a conference of the European Society of Human Genetics this weekend point toward a new approach to diet and weight loss. When it comes to food and taste preferences, it may all depend on the genetics of “food liking.”
Researchers found that gene variants, or small differences in each person’s genetic makeup, may strongly affect how people perceive food tastes. Those specific gene variants could be used to personalize a diet, incorporating 19 genes already linked to a person’s metabolism.
In one study, researchers found that people on this sort of gene-based diet lost 33 percent more weight than people on a standard diet. In the race for lost pounds, a 33 percent advantage can make all the difference.
The Genetics of ‘Food-Liking’
How many times have you tried to share something when eating out, only to discover that your dining companion has vastly different tastes? What new genetic research suggests is that your preference for different tastes may be determined in part by differences in your genes.
Using two separate approaches, researchers looked at the association between bitter taste receptors in the mouth and coffee liking, and then used a two-step genome-wide association study to look for genes related to 42 other taste preferences.
Coffee liking was significantly linked to a specific gene variant, and the genome-wide association study revealed a further 17 independent genes that influence whether or not a person likes artichokes, bacon, broccoli, chicory, dark chocolate, blue cheese, ice cream, liver, and other foods.
“For food preferences we have just scratched the surface, we are at the moment contacting other scientists around the world in order to expand the number of subjects to help understand the genes behind food liking and their impact on health status,” said Nicola Pirastu, a researcher at the University of Trieste and the Burlo Garofolo Pediatric Institute in Trieste, Italy.
Salty or Sweet?
How much salt you eat can greatly affect your blood pressure and overall heart health, and it turns out that your genes may either be helping or hindering you when it comes to curbing your salt intake.
The researchers recorded taste responses from around 900 healthy adults in north eastern Italy. Using a genome-wide association study, researchers found that there was a significant link between a variation on the KCNA5 gene and a preference for salt.
“We have found a relation between differences in salty taste perception and a region close to a very good candidate gene… [The] genetics of food preferences can tell us additional information about peoples’ metabolism which would be very difficult to obtain otherwise,” said Antonietta Robino, also of the University of Trieste and the Burlo Garofolo Pediatric Institute.
The Power of Gene-Based Diets
To check the energy of customized diet plans pertaining to fat reduction, 191 overweight examine contributors have been at random , separated straight into a couple of organizations: 87 have been wear cutting down on calories providing in order to genetic variations pertaining to rate of metabolism along with taste, even though 104 have been wear a control diet. People inside both equally organizations each and every eliminated 1000 calories from fat from other every day diet plans.
DNA in the examination group has been examined pertaining to 21 body’s genes known to effect rate of metabolism along with pertaining to body’s genes of which have an effect on taste, along with his or her diet plans have been adjusted to allow for pertaining to issues for instance taste this taste of body fat.
“Regarding this gene-based diet, while i had got to analyze the results, When i has been basically a bit distrustful that we would be able to uncover any distinctions, ” Pirastu mentioned. “It’s like getting a couple of vehicles which usually commence in the same point and in addition they come in directions which usually change pertaining to just a level. Initially they are going to appear as if they are parallel, but following 10 kilometre they are going to basically always be much separated. ”
After 2 yrs, individuals on the gene-based diet got missing thirty three per cent excess fat. “One in the major advantages will probably be for making this diet plans more pleasant and so much more tolerable. Your age on this sense will help knowing what individuals hate inside distinct food items, ” Pirastu mentioned. Sometime soon, that can imply diet food items along with wellness food items customized specially on your rate of metabolism along with taste choices.
Sometime soon, this analysts wish to conduct a double-blind examine in which information about ones genetic report won’t have an effect on the outcome, Pirastu mentioned.