By guest blogger, Chris Laing, director of Fit School
A few weeks ago, my wife, Karen was interested in having her DNA profile analysed as she starts to rebuild her body after having kids. So we got her tested and the results are in. I thought I would share them here so you have an understanding about where we are with advancements in health and fitness testing.
Before you get your results, it is advisable to have a think about what you think the results might show. They rarely show up something that you genuinely never knew or felt. Unless you are living a really unhealthy lifestyle. Here are what the we are testing for.
- Carbohydrate sensitivity – also know as the fat gene
- Fat sensitivity
- Detox ability
- Caffeine sensitivity
- Salt sensitivity
- Lactose tolerance
- Coeliac risk
There are a few others such as antioxidant needs, vitamin D and calcium, but I’ll stick to topics above.
Here is what Karen felt prior to her results.
- Used to live off carbs in her management consultancy days, but was fatter and unhealthy (her words not mine)
- Tried low fat diets but left her feeling hungry and craving sweets
- Craves dark green veggies
- Gets the shakes if she has too much coffee
- Her dad has high blood presssure which would put her at risk of hypertension from excess sodium
- If she has too much dairy, it upsets her stomach
- Whole wheat doest’t agree with her.
So here are Karen’s test results:
Karen has a low sensitivity to carbs, which means she can cope with them pretty well. You’ll still put on weight if you are into a calorie surplus, regardless of how well you can cope with carbs, but carbs definitely aren’t her enemy.
Karen also has a low saturated fat sensitivity. Her body uses saturated fats for energy better than the average person or someone who has a high fat sensitivity. So a low calorie and low fat diet will not suit her and it is no surprise that she was hungry when she tried it. nearly 40% of her diet can made up of fats. 10% of these can come from saturated fats. So it is advisable that she adds some to her diet as saturated fats help absorb fat soluble vitamins and hormones.
Karen has the deleted version of a gene responsible for detoxification. So it is advisable that she increase her dark green veggie intake to compensate. This would explain her craving for dark veggies.
Karen’s salt sensitivity is raised which puts her at risk of hypertension with a high sodium intake. As mentioned earlier, hypertension is in her family. We know this to be genetic so it’s no surprise. However, risk doesn’t mean the gene will be expressed. If you try to stay fit and healthy, you may not even get hypertension.
Karen is one of the lucky people who actually gets a positive health benefit (lower cholesterol) from moderate intake of alcohol. Her body breaks down alcohol more slowly than me which means her body can cope better with the toxic element of alcohol.
Karen has an intermediate ability to detoxify toxins such as carcinogens from food and smoke. It also helps with caffeine removal. So her body might struggle with more than 1 coffee per day.
Karen has what is known as lactose persistence. She can cope well with dairy, but she might not cope as well in later years. Again, this is listening to your body.
Lastly, she has a potential risk of coeliac disease. It still is only risk, but she does get digestive discomfort with whole wheat and spelt. At the moment she just avoids them, but at some point may want to get an antibody test to see if there is anything going on.
There were a few vitamin and mineral recommendations which are more than she currently takes, but there was nothing that she didn’t expect. So you might be asking what is the point of being told things you currently know?
Having the things you have always thought, written down in a report is incredibly powerful. Especially for compliance. I never advise Karen on anything to do with health and fitness and vice versa. Couples giving advice to one another on the whole doesn’t work as your relationship gets in the way of any objectivity. However, as the test is objective, we were able to have a non judgemental discussion. She has since been making the tweaks to her diet. It helps that she is happy to. I don’t need to mention lowering risk of heart attack or better protection from cancer etc. This is a report that stays with you for life and is what your body needs to function optimally. So I’m hopeful that people who often struggle to stick to a healthy diet, will be able to connect with how their body works. You’ll not need to worry about inflammatory newspaper headlines because they might not apply to you. Also, you can redefine what the word ‘healthy’ means for you. Low fat might be healthy for you, but unhealthy for someone else. Quite often it’s how the information is relayed to us, that makes us stand up and take notice.
Later in the year, I’ll post about Karen’s exercise DNA test too.
If you are interested in getting a better understanding of your body, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Laing is a personal trainer specialising in luxury, comprehensive lifestyle/fitness training packages. Chris is co-director of Fit School with his wife Karen, Fit School offers accessible group training programmes including ladies only training camps, online detoxes, P.E. classes and Pilates (including pre and post natal Pilates) in Essex.