Effects of Genetics on Nutrition

The nature-versus-nurture debate has been a perennial issue when it comes managing a person’s overall vitality. Many debilitating diseases and even psychological disorders can be inherited, leaving people paranoid about their family’s medical background. Yet there are emerging studies stating that while genes play a factor, they are not to be blamed entirely because a greater percentage of disease manifestation comes from lifestyle practices. To what extent does genetics affect nutrition? Learn some of the ways.


Increases Susceptibility to Diseases

Nutrition affects our genetic predispositions. It either triggers or thwarts the expression of diseases. For instance, lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as those that are life-threatening like cancer can be passed on from generation to generation. While this holds true, there are people who have outlived their genetic predispositions by following appropriate diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices. Genes only expose you to the risk, yet you have the capacity to lower that risk. In so saying, females who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer increase their risk of developing the dreadful disease by using contraceptives or eating too much chemical-filled canned goods that disrupt the regular functioning of the hormones.


Reacts to your Food Intake

An emerging branch of study called nutritional genetics (or nutrigenetics) is concerned with how your genes determine the way your body responds to a particular diet recipe. Many health articles are advising people to eat this food or deprive themselves of that nutrient. While some may work, it is wrong to follow the fad outright because every person has unique genetic makeup and genes have been proven to determine the effect of food.

At the molecular level, genes respond differently to the food people eat. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that when feeding the overweight participants with 65-percent carbs, the genes worked extra processing time. This, therefore, implies that genetic expressions are triggered by your food intake and thus a Keto diet (or any other diet fad for that matter) may not work for everyone. The safest combination, according to the study, is to consume 1/3 protein, 1/3 carbs, and 1/3 fat. Don’t just buy the latest diet tip; know your genes.

Genes also affect our metabolic processes and thus given two people with the same food intake and exercise routine, they may still differ in weight because the other has the gene that processes carbohydrates faster. As such, a personalized nutritional program is highly recommended.


Varies According to your Life Cycle

Genes react with nutrients differently across various life periods. For instance, low folate gene particularly manifests during the embryo development phase, thus resulting in birth defects. At a later stage, low folate gene may cause heart diseases or cancer. This is proof enough that a gene expresses different mechanisms across different ages in life and as such, you are to respond accordingly.

Because genes and nutrition are in constant interaction with each other, there are yet so many mechanisms to understand. The three main interactions, though, will better guide your everyday decisions.