Dietitians now have access to simple genetic test kit from Nutrigenomix

The one-size-fits-all approach to nutritional counselling includes basic advice to eat more whole grains and cut back on sodium. While this guidance is certainly appropriate, it doesn't take into account that these universal nutrition recommendations are not equally useful for every person.

All of that is about to change. With the official launch tomorrow at the Dietitians of Canada Conference in Toronto, dietitians now have access to a genetic test kit from Nutrigenomix, a University of Toronto spin-off biotechnology company spearheaded by Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics and an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at U of T.

The simple Nutrigenomix test requires only a saliva sample and reveals how a person's unique genetic code determines their body's response to seven components of their diet. Based on the results, a dietitian can guide the client to eat more - or less—of certain foods in order to decrease their risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and related health conditions.

Nutrigenomix genetic test kits were developed exclusively for registered dietitians, since they are the most knowledgeable practitioners to deliver reliable nutrition advice. The test will finally allow dietitians to provide personalized nutritional information based on their client's DNA and is not like any other genetic test kit on the market.

In addition to the official launch of Nutrigenomix, Dr. El-Sohemy is also speaking at the conference on his research, which found that people are more highly motivated to adopt healthy dietary habits when given specific information based on their genes, rather than when given general population-based advice. The results were just published in the journal Genes and Nutrition.

"In a randomized control trial involving 149 men and women between the ages of 20-35 years, participants were put into an intervention or control group and were given either DNA-based personalized dietary advice or general dietary advice" explains El-Sohemy. "We discovered that individuals found the dietary recommendations based on genetics more understandable and more useful than general dietary advice."




The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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