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DNA probing hopes to change unhealthy eating habits


Nutrigenomics is an emerging field of science that studies the DNA of a person and formulates a diet around it. Canadian researchers, according to a CTV report, are exploring the idea that certain diseases can be avoided or prevented by taking a closer look at a patient’s DNA structure and then designing a specific diet.

The whole concept is slowly gaining ground and is currently being developed at the University of Toronto. Genes are unraveled and then tested on how they react to different kinds of nutrients. Researchers then look for signs from both the physical and chemical reaction of the test subjects. The test they conduct is entitled Nutrigenomix, and is being specifically developed for use by dieticians.

Only a saliva sample is required for the Nutrigenomix test, which is compared against seven main components of a diet. From the test, a patient is then able to find out how their body reacts to common ingredients such as salt, which in high or intolerable quantities could lead to high blood pressure or kidney damage, or how quickly or slowly it absorbs vitamins such as ascorbic or folic acid.

The kits, in the early stages, will be mainly distributed to licensed dieticians since they are not only certified, but also trained on giving sound and reliable nutritional advice. They can easily guide a client to either eat more or less or even make a complete overhaul of their current eating habits. Registered dieticians can help their client steer clear of developing diet related complications such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity and even a fatty liver.

Overall, the response to the research has been overwhelmingly positive. Dieticians from around the world are showing a keen interest in the subject and the researchers at the University of Toronto are doing their best to improve their current technology. By next year, they hope that their Nutrigenomix test would be able to tell if a patient or client has a propensity to crave either carbohydrates or sugars.

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