DNA testing is thought to become a growing trend in the fitness industry this year, according to reports. Our genes dictate how we respond to different food and exercise and knowing which variants you have means that you can access a training plan that was once only available to elite athletes. The company behind this new trend? DNAFit.
DNAFit started genetic profiling two years ago for a range of elite athletes, from Premier League football teams and athletes such as 800m runner Jenner Meadows. Last year, it worked with NHS Essex on a pilot project that involved providing overweight patients with DNA test so they could be given tailored diet plans. These diet plans were based on how the body responded to carbohydrates and saturated fats. In November 2015, home DNA testing kits were launched on the high street for a cool £149. These home testing kits have been available for a year for that niche market of fitness enthusiasts, however, due to the growing interest in personal health they started making them available for us lot. DNAFit was established by a group of human-genetics experts and aims to “help people achieve their genetic potential”.
The test is best done in the morning before you brush your teeth and it’s a simple mouth swab that scans 45 gene variants with a proven link to how the body responds to food and exercise. For example, it includes things such as sensitivity to carbohydrates, salt, saturated fat, lactose and gluten intolerance risk as well as caffeine and alcohol metabolism. You can also discover whether you have a natural aptitude for endurance sports, such as running or swimming, or power sports like sprinting or weight lifting. It can also find out how quickly your body is likely to recover between workouts which is super useful.
However, does it actually work? Some experts are sceptical. There are ten million gene variants in the human body and the DNAFit test only looks at forty five of them, a very small window in the grand scheme of things. Another point some have made is that if people are tested and they find that they have the ‘fat gene’, the gene sensitive to dietary fats, or have low ‘aerobic potential’ they may give up trying to get fit. Then again, there’s no harm in knowing more about your body and how it reacts to certain foods.
There are a lot of different DNA diets on the web, so if you are to try one of these unique fitness plans, do your research first. You can buy the DNAFit test in Holland and Barrett and GNC.
Feature picture From here.