Gene Test Indicates Who Will Benefit From Low-Carb or Low-Fat Diets
By Ron Winslow – WSJ
March 4, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO—In the long-running debate over diets—low-fat or low-carb—Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday that a genetic test can help people choose which one works best for them.
In a study involving 133 overweight women, those with a genetic predisposition to benefit from a low-carbohydrate diet lost 2 1/2 times as much weight as those on the same diet without the predisposition. Similarly, women with a genetic makeup that favored a low-fat diet lost substantially more weight than women who curbed fat calories without low-fat genes. The women were followed for a year.
“Knowing your genotype for low-carb or low-fat diets could help you increase your weight-loss success,” said Christopher Gardner, an associate professor of medicine at Stanford and a co-author of the study.
Data from a separate study indicate that 45% of white women have a low-carb genotype while 39% are predisposed to a low-fat diet, suggesting the test has the potential to yield a useful result for much of the population. The test is based on variations in three genes known to regulate how the body metabolizes fat and carbohydrates.