Health Diets tailored to individual genomes could fight obesity

Diets tailored to individual genomes could fight obesity

An individual’s genome can determine an ideal diet balance that won’t leave you hungry, according to international research involving a Monash University biologist.

“Historically, the definition of a balanced diet has been derived from population averages, that is – what, on average, supports health?” said one of the study’s lead authors, Dr Matthew Piper, from Monash School of Biological Sciences.

“But in this study we use genome information and a computer to do this for an organism,” he said.

“Our findings open up the potential to design high-quality diets computationally and make a significant contribution towards personalised diets.”

The researchers used the genome information from flies and mice to design their dietary amino acid balance using computers.

For the flies, this resulted in higher quality protein that supported both faster growth and more eggs per gram of protein consumed than for the controls.

And for mice, the researchers observed faster growth.

“We also found that the flies and mice that were exposed to these ‘exome matched’ diets voluntarily ate less than the controls, that is the protein had a stronger satiety effect,” Dr Piper said.

The researchers found that these improved outcomes were achieved with less dietary protein, a formulation that also supported long life. They say their findings could be used in the fight against obesity.

The study involved co-lead authors from UCL and the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Ageing.

Read the story on the Monash University website here. Story credit: Monash University newsroom.

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