Nutritional and dietary advice based on your DNA is pseudoscience

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A new generation of food-tech companies has appeared that, for just a few hundred pounds, will test your DNA and offer tailored nutritional advice based on the secrets locked within. Some offer specially formulated nutritional supplements designed to meet dietary requirements you never knew you had.

If this all seems a bit ahead of its time, that’s because it probably is.


DNA analysis might reveal you have a genetic marker that is slightly more common in coeliacs (people who have a strong allergy to gluten), but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have coeliac disease. The marker is a population-level risk factor, with absolutely no relevance to your individual health.

[F]or the most part, these genetic markers are exactly the sort of information that genetic testing companies sell, providing meaningless, generic advice based on conditions that you probably do not have.

[The US Government Accountability Office] found there was “no scientific basis” for claims that nutritional supplements can be customised to people’s DNA.

There is a chance that, in the future, accurate and useful nutritional information might be gleaned from a DNA test. But for now even leading geneticists can’t tell what colour your eyes are from your DNA, let alone suggest what food you should be eating. The best advice is to save your money and try to eat well.

Read full, original post: The angry chef: why dietary advice based on a DNA mouth swab ain’t worth spit

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