Scientists Reveal that Genetic Strains are Significant in Determining Suitable Diets

genetic strains are significant in determining suitable diets

According to a new research published on December 6, 2017, by Texas A&M University, diets depend on the genetic framework of each individual and one diet cannot be applicable to all.

Barrington and colleagues, included four groups of mice as part of an experiment. Each of the mice had different genetic strains, which were dissimilar enough to resemble the differences between groups of unrelated people.

These mice were given diets that mimicked common ways of eating: an ‘American-style diet that is high in fat and refined carbs, and corn, a Mediterranean-style diet, a Japanese-style diet that included rice and green tea extracts, and a ketogenic-style diet that is high in fat and protein and very low in carbs. The fifth group of mice was the control group that was given standard mouse-chow.

The study suggests that while each strain had a diet or diets that improved health relative to the American diet, no single diet improved health across all genetic backgrounds.

One in four of the groups of mice that were on the Japanese diet showed signs of liver damage.

“The fourth strain [of mouse], which performed just fine on all of the other diets, did terrible on this diet, with increased fat in the liver and markings of liver damage,” said the lead author of the study.

Whereas, two of the mice groups were negatively affected by the high-fat Maasai diet. One group recorded signs of obesity due to fatty livers and high cholesterol and the other group developed lethargy, with a higher level of bodily fat despite remaining lean.

All the genetic strains of the mice that were under the American-style diet, showed increased levels of fat in all genetic strains, however, in some it led to severe obesity and metabolic syndrome where blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol, others just had fattier livers. The paper said: “We showed that the American diet caused negative health effects across strains relative to the control diet. However, as in humans, severity of the effects varied across genetic backgrounds.”

“My goal going into this study was to find the optimal diet. But really what we’re finding is that it depends very much on the genetics of the individual and there isn’t one diet that is best for everyone.” said Barrington

The team of researchers will further focus on determining which genes are involved in the response to the diets, as a new study. This could have the potential of developing a genetic test that identifies a suitable diet for each person based on their own genetic makeup.

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