Individualized dietary recommendations based on genetic information are currently a popular trend. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has systematically analyzed scientific articles and reached the following conclusion: There is no clear evidence for the effect of genetic factors on the consumption of total calories, carbohydrates, and fat. According to the current state of knowledge, the expedience of gene-based dietary recommendations has yet to be proven.
Overweight and obesity have become a global health problem. According to the World Health Organization, 39 percent of adults in EU countries have overweight. In Germany more than 50 percent of adults suffer from overweight, almost one fifth is according to the Robert Koch Institute currently considered obese. This is primarily due to the modern lifestyle which is characterized by low physical activity and high-calorie foods.
Also genetic factors play a role in the occurrence of obesity. To date, around a hundred genes (loci) have been identified which are related to the body mass index (BMI). However, the functioning of these genes as well as the biological mechanisms behind them are still largely unknown. The investigation of the relationship between genetic factors and nutrition can shed light on whether the genes which are linked to BMI play a role in nutrition.
Systematic literature search
The initial database search of the TUM team revealed more than 10,000 scientific articles which were concerned with the topic. Of these, 39 articles were identified for a relationship between genetic factors and total energy, carbohydrate, or fat consumption. "In all studies, we most frequently encountered the fat mass and obesity (FTO) associated gene as well as the melanocortin 4 receptor gene (MC4R). There are indications of a relationship between these two genes and total energy intake," explains Christina Holzapfel, PhD, from the Institute of Nutritional Medicine at TUM.
However, the evaluation of the studies did not provide a uniform picture: "There is only limited evidence for the relationship between the FTO gene and low energy intake as well as between the MC4R gene and increased energy intake."
Hence, to date there exist no indications that certain genetic factors are associated with the total intake of calories, carbohydrates, and fat. The current state of knowledge is still too limited for deriving individual nutritional recommendations based on genetic information, e.g. for weight management, explains the researcher. Expert associations also agree with the latter statement.
"Human studies with detailed phenotyping, e.g. based on a genetic pre-analysis of the participants, are necessary in order to determine the interactions between genetic factors and diet on body weight. The "Personalized Nutrition & eHealth" Junior Research Group funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which is part of the enable nutrition cluster, is working precisely on this."
Dr. rer. nat. Christina Holzapfel
Technical University of Munich
Phone: +49/89/289 249 23
Theresa Drabsch, Jennifer Gatzemeier, Lisa Pfadenhauer, Hans Hauner, Christina Holzapfel: Associations between Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Total Energy, Carbohydrate, and Fat Intakes: A Systematic Review, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 9, Issue 4, 1 July 2018, Pages 425–453, https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmy024
http://www.enable-cluster.de/penut The interdisciplinary enable cluster is one of four nutrition research clusters funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and based at the Weihenstephan Science Centre of the TUM in Freising. enable develops new strategies to feed people in different phases of life more healthily -from birth to old age.
Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München
Candidate Ebola vaccine still effective when highly diluted, macaque study finds
21.10.2019 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Autism spectrum disorder risk linked to insufficient placental steroid
21.10.2019 | Children's National Hospital
Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.
Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny...
A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)
It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...
Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.
The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...
Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.
Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...
A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.
The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...
02.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
19.09.2019 | Event News
23.10.2019 | Earth Sciences
23.10.2019 | Life Sciences
23.10.2019 | Life Sciences