AHA: DNA Test May Predict Weight-Loss Success

Cheek swab may identify patients most likely to respond to a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic phenotyping may identify patients who are most likely to respond to different weight-loss diets, according to research presented this week at the American Heart Association's joint conference of the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention and the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism, held from March 2 to 5 in San Francisco.

Mindy Dopler Nelson, Ph.D., of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues collected buccal cells from 101 Caucasian women who were randomly assigned to one of four weight-loss diets: Atkins (very low carbohydrate), Zone (low-carbohydrate/high protein), LEARN (low-fat), or Ornish (very low fat).

The researchers classified the women into three genotype groups: low-carbohydrate diet responsive, low-fat diet responsive, and balanced diet responsive. After 12 months, they found that weight loss was two to three times higher in women who had been assigned a diet appropriate for their genotype than in women who had been assigned an inappropriate diet for their genotype. They also found that a diet appropriate for genotype was associated with reduced waist circumference, decreased triglycerides, and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

"These findings suggest a simple DNA test of buccal cells from a cheek swab could help predict whether someone is more likely to be successful with weight loss on a low-carbohydrate versus a low-fat diet," the authors conclude.

Several authors reported financial relationships with Interleukin Genetics.

Abstract No. 4
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