Understand how your genes react to exercise, influence weight gain, metabolism, and appetite.
It's just not possible to target every single metabolic pathway but you can optimise the ones that are important to you.
"Blood testing tells us that something is not quite right. However, it's often DNA analysis that tells us why." Dr Geoff Mullan, Chief Medical Officer
See below for more detail. The areas we cover concentrate on:
DNA testing can be powerful when set against your personal history.
Your genes are not your destiny, and by understanding your make you can:
humanpeople do not look at disease risks.
All of the SNPs and genes we look at have been heavily studied.
We only look at genes where we can offer a simple, safe intervention.
The gene most strongly linked to weight affects satiety- the feeling of fullness after eating.
The MC4R gene encodes the melanocortin 4 receptor, which regulates appetite and energy homeostasis in the body. Variants in the MC4R gene can affect how the body senses hunger and fullness, potentially leading to increased food intake and weight gain.
Ozempic (semaglutide) is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. GLP-1 is a hormone produced in the intestines that helps regulate blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion, slowing gastric emptying, and reducing appetite. GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic mimic the effects of the natural hormone, leading to improved blood sugar control and weight loss.
The connection between MC4R and GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic lies in their combined effects on appetite regulation:
In summary, while the MC4R gene can predispose individuals to increased appetite and weight gain, GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic can help counteract these effects by reducing appetite and promoting weight loss.
Ever wondered why exercise works for some people and not others when it comes to weight? Well, this gene is the likely culprit. It’s a great example of how yesterdays survival genes can be troublesome in the Western World.
The ADRB2 gene encodes the beta-2 adrenergic receptor, primarily found in the lungs and fat cells, playing a pivotal role in the body's response to catecholamines like adrenaline. Variants in this gene can influence the body's efficiency in mobilizing and burning fat, especially during and post-exercise. Some individuals with specific ADRB2 variants may experience resistance to weight loss from standard aerobic exercises.
For those with these ADRB2 variants, tailored exercise approaches such as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and strength training can be more effective. HIIT involves short, intense activity bursts, promoting significant fat release and an increased post-exercise metabolic rate. On the dietary front, consuming low glycemic index foods, healthy fats like omega-3s, and a protein-rich diet can support fat mobilisation and metabolic health.
Supplementation can further aid those with ADRB2 variants in their weight management journey. Green tea extract, rich in catechins, can boost metabolism and fat oxidation. L-Carnitine aids in transporting fatty acids for energy production, while omega-3 supplements and caffeine can regulate fat metabolism genes and increase metabolic rate, respectively.
Benefit: Knowing which variant you have can help to tailor both your exercise regime and diet.
This gene is possibly one of the best-studied weight genes.
It is an appetite controller - the FTO gene with a significant influence on our body's weight management. Located in the hypothalamus, the brain's command centre for hunger and satiety, the FTO gene plays a pivotal role in determining how full we feel after eating and how intense our desire to eat is.
It doesn't work alone. It interacts with hunger hormones like leptin, ghrelin, and the thyroid-stimulating hormone, orchestrating a symphony that dictates our energy balance and resting energy expenditure. These interactions influence our feelings of hunger and fullness, making some of us feel satiated after a meal while others still feel hunger pangs.
We still fully understand how it works, but the evidence is clear that it has a significant impact. For those with specific FTO variants, recognising its impact on appetite can help tailor a diet that aligns with their unique genetic makeup, optimising satiety and supporting weight management.
The FTO gene, often dubbed the "obesity gene," has been extensively researched for its association with body weight and dietary responses.
For those with the FTO "obesity gene," a diet rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, while limiting simple carbohydrates, can aid in weight management. Mindful eating, focusing on recognising hunger and fullness cues, is crucial. Supplement-wise, omega-3s for inflammation reduction, green tea extract for a metabolism boost, vitamin D to potentially counteract FTO-related obesity tendencies, probiotics for gut health, and fibre supplements like psyllium husk to enhance satiety.
LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, acts as the body's delivery truck, transporting cholesterol, triglycerides, and other fats to tissues that need them. However, when its levels rise too high, LDL gains the moniker "bad cholesterol" for a reason: it can deposit fats within artery walls. These deposits, over time, can narrow and harden the arteries, setting the stage for atherosclerosis and elevating the risk of heart disease. Monitoring and managing LDL levels is essential to ensure these internal roadways stay clear and heart health remains optimal.
Top tip: If LDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels are both raised it is time to take action. This is often referred to as a pre-diabetes state. If your levels are high there are lots of simple and enjoyable lifestyle changes you can make before considering medication. Intermittent fasting can be particularly helpful.
The TCF7L2 gene dubbed the "Insulin Influencer," is pivotal in metabolic health and weight management. It plays a dual role in modulating insulin secretion and resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes.
It acts as a key player in glucose metabolism. Genetic variations in this gene can influence how individuals respond to different diets, making it important for your personalised nutrition approach.
For those looking to support their TCF7L2 gene function, certain foods and supplements can be beneficial:
The APOA2 gene is like a watchdog for the fats we eat. Think of it as a sensor that reacts specifically to saturated fats, the kind found in butter, cheese, and red meat. For some people, due to their version of the APOA2 gene, eating too much saturated fat can lead to weight gain, especially around the waist. It's as if their body's alarm system goes off when there's too much saturated fat, making it harder for them to maintain a healthy weight. So, for these individuals, it's especially important to be mindful of saturated fat intake and opt for healthier fat choices like fish, nuts, and olive oil.
The PPARG gene is akin to a traffic controller for fats in our body. It plays a pivotal role in how our cells handle and store fats, especially in fat cells themselves. Some versions of the PPARG gene can make people more efficient at storing fat, which sounds good, but it can also mean they're more prone to weight gain, especially if their diet is high in unhealthy fats. On the flip side, this gene also influences how our body responds to certain types of diets and medications. For those with certain PPARG variants, a balanced diet with healthy fats, like omega-3s from fish and monounsaturated fats from olive oil, can be particularly beneficial.
The TNF gene, often dubbed the "Inflammation Alarm," is a sentinel in our body's defence mechanism, particularly in managing inflammation. While it's crucial for responding to immediate threats, specific genetic variants can cause it to be overactive, leading to chronic inflammation. This impacts general health and is linked to obesity and specific fat distribution patterns. Recognising and adapting is key to long-term health.
Understanding your variant is a strong motivation to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet,if necessary, with high levels of omega-3, turmeric and ginger, leafy greens and berries whilst avoiding processed foods will help.
No genes are all good or bad, and this gene fits that description better than most.
The IL-6 gene, aptly nicknamed the "Double-Edged Messenger," plays a pivotal role in our body's inflammatory response. While it's essential for a swift and effective reaction to infections, its chronic activation can lead to persistent inflammation, potentially dampening our immune defences and contributing to the ageing process.
Understanding your variant: Recognising this possible over-reaction means appropriate lifestyle adjustments can help balance this gene's dual nature.
The SOD2 gene, known as the "Brain Fog Gene," encodes the enzyme superoxide dismutase 2, a sentinel in our cellular defence system. Based within the mitochondria, our cells' energy hubs, this enzyme has a pivotal role: neutralising the harmful free radicals that can affect our mental clarity. These free radicals emerge as by-products of cellular processes, and if left unchecked, can damage cellular structures, leading to fatigue, cognitive decline, and the feeling of "brain fog."
Mitochondria, being the primary energy producers in our cells, are especially susceptible to free radical damage. This makes the role of SOD2 even more paramount. A robust SOD2 enzyme ensures our mitochondria remain effective energy producers, keeping our minds sharp and clear.
Alongside superoxide dismutase (SOD), Catalase stands as one of the body's primary defenders against oxidative stress. These two enzymes form the frontline defence against free radicals, rogue molecules that can wreak havoc on our cells. Catalase specifically targets hydrogen peroxide, a common by-product of cellular metabolism, converting it into water and oxygen, thereby preventing potential damage.
The skin, our body's largest organ and the first line of defence against external threats, heavily relies on these enzymes. A well-functioning Catalase ensures the skin can efficiently repair itself, maintaining its elasticity, glow, and overall health. Beyond the skin, Catalase's lack of optimal function ageing is linked to various conditions, including premature aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and even specific cardiovascular issues.
NQO1 is a pivotal enzyme in our body that plays a crucial role in detoxification processes and maintaining the balance of NAD+ levels. NAD+ is a coenzyme essential for various cellular functions, including energy production, DNA repair, and cell signalling.
A remarkable aspect of NQO1 is its responsiveness to certain compounds that can boost its activity. In particular, melatonin, a hormone primarily known for regulating sleep-wake cycles, can enhance the function of NQO1. This underscores the importance of adequate sleep, not just for rest but also for cellular protection.
A DNA test is a scientific method to analyse an individual's genetic makeup. It can provide insights into ancestry, health predispositions, and certain traits. Our DNA test focuses on improving your health with helpful insights.
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