Genetic Weight Management

Genetic Weight Management

We've all heard these common misconceptions about maintaining a healthy weight:

  • Losing weight just takes willpower
  • People who are overweight should work out more
  • It takes years to lose weight
  • Exercising works better than dieting to lose weight
  • The more weight you lose, the more successful the weight loss plan
All that is about to change...

The reasons behind YOUR Genetic Weight Management struggles might go deeper - all the way to your genes. The one-size-fits-all dieting approach to weight loss is ineffective because each person's genetic make- up is different. Your unique genetic make-up is what determines how your body responds to weight loss attempts. Recent genomewide studies and improvements in technology have allowed scientists to increase their understanding of obesity related genetics and provide information tailored just for you to help you easily maintain or lose weight.

The Genetic Weight Management Panel incorporates the most scientifically robust obesity-linked gene research and technology to help you understand how your genes influence body weight, and the weight management strategies most likely to be effective for your specific genetic make-up. In your personalized report, you will find powerful information about unique genetic markers. Based on your markers, you will receive dietary recommendations, guidelines for physical activity, and other suggestions to boost fast, effective weight loss.

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EFFECT ON NUTRITIONAL HEALTH

FTO

FTO, also known as the human fat-mass and obesity associated gene, is found on chromosome 16 and is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. Individuals with both variant genes are likely to have a 1.7x increased risk of developing obesity compared to individuals not carrying this gene variant. FTO appears to play a key role in regulating energy metabolism although the actual way it does that is not clear yet. One theory is that the FTO gene is involved in making ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates feelings of hunger. If ghrelin is still produced even after eating a regular meal, then the brain gets the signal to keep eating; it is therefore easy to consume more food than needed. This risk may be seen in a preference for high calorie foods, in having a difficult time recognizing when enough food has been eaten, coming back for seconds and thirds on a regular basis.

MC4R

MC4R, also known as the Melanocortin 4 Receptor, refers to a gene found on chromosome 18 and the receptor that this gene creates. A receptor is a place inside or on the surface of a cell that is activated by the molecules it recognizes. The MC4R receptor is located in the hypothalamus, a region in the brain that is related to many different body functions, but in the case of MC4R it is related to appetite and metabolism regulation. A variation in this gene causes individuals (referred to here as MC4R carriers), to have a tendency towards obesity and increased appetite. This is shown in a lowered basal metabolic rate, increased insulin levels, increased hunger, followed by a tendency to snack often.

FABP2

FABP2, also known as fatty acid binding protein 2, refers to a gene found on chromosome 4 and the protein that the gene creates. This kind of protein is a type of molecule that helps support a specific function in the body. The function of the FABP2 protein is to move dietary fat from the intestines into small delivery vessels that travel to fat deposit sites around the body. Once at their location they release the fat into fat cells for storage. Fat molecules can also be sent from the intestines to the liver, but too much fat deposited in the liver can lead to inflammation, which may progress to scarring and irreversible damage. The variation in the FABP2 gene causes more fat to be transported to the belly, hips, thighs and other body areas for storage. The key to successful weight loss and health management in FABP2 variant carriers is to control how much and what types of fat are consumed.

ADRB2

ADRB2, also known as Beta-Adreno-Receptor 2, refers to a gene found on chromosome 5 and the receptor that the gene creates. A receptor is a place inside or on the surface of a cell that is activated by the molecules it recognizes much like a key entering a lock. Many ADRB2 receptors are found in the liver and fat tissue. Here these receptors play an important role in the rate of release of glucose stored in the liver and muscle, in moving food through the digestive system, and in stimulating the release of insulin from the pancreas. These receptors have a significant influence on metabolism, especially when responding to persistent stress. Individuals with this variation, referred to here as ADRB2 carriers, are more likely to gain weight from eating carbohydrate. Although exercise is important for many body processes and does help regulate weight, research suggests that carriers of the ADRB2 variant will likely see greatest changes to weight from eating a low carbohydrate diet and fewer changes to weight from implementing an exercise regime.

SH2B1

SH2B1, also known as SH2B adapter protein 1, refers to a gene found on chromosome 5 and the protein that the gene creates. The function of the SH2B1 protein is to improve the balance of the hormones insulin and leptin in the body. Insulin is made in the pancreas and helps to control blood sugar (glucose) levels by signaling the liver, muscles and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood. Circulating levels of insulin are strongly influenced by the amount and type of fat and carbohydrates consumed. Sometimes the body can stop responding to insulin, a state known as insulin resistance. This results in high blood sugar levels and signals the early stages of diabetes. Leptin is involved in controlling hunger levels and, like insulin, the body can stop responding to it appropriately. Individuals with the variant in the SH2B1 gene are at increased risk for reduced response to both insulin and leptin. This variation increases the likelihood of weight gain as a result of loss of the body’s natural response to insulin and leptin. The key to successful weight loss and health management in SH2B1 carriers is to control the amount of fat and carbohydrates consumed, to eat smaller meals more frequently to reduce the demand for insulin, and to exercise frequently to improve leptin signaling.