How your DNA can help you design a personalised nutrition plan

How your DNA can help you design a personalised nutrition plan

How your DNA can help you design a personalised nutrition plan

In the quest for better health, we now have access to an exciting tool: personalised nutrition. Unlike traditional one-size-fits-all approaches, personalised nutrition provides tailored dietary recommendations to your unique lifestyle and genetic makeup. This means your recommendations are not only specific to you, but are more effective in helping you meet your personal health goals.

The data in our genes

Your genes play a significant role in how your body responds to different foods. This field, known as nutrigenomics, studies how our genes interact with the nutrients in our diet. For example, genetic variations can impact how we process fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, potentially affecting everything from weight management to the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. By understanding these genetic factors, personalised nutrition aims to optimise your diet based on your genetic predisposition, improving health outcomes and possibly reducing disease risks¹.

Genes and your hunger hormones

Genetic variations can also impact how you regulate your hunger. For example, certain variations of the MC4R gene can affect appetite control. Some individuals with these variations may experience more frequent hunger pangs, leading to increased snacking and potential weight management challenges. Conversely, others with different gene variants may have a naturally lower body weight and reduced risk of conditions like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Depending on your genetic makeup, you may find certain diets more satisfying or hunger-suppressing.

For those genetically predisposed to heightened snacking tendencies, incorporating a diet rich in healthy snacks and following a Mediterranean diet—abundant in beneficial mono and polyunsaturated fats—can help manage appetite and support weight maintenance²,³.

Eating right for your genes


Your DNA can reveal whether a high-protein diet could be beneficial for your weight management goals. Individuals carrying a specific gene variant, known as the FTO gene, may experience significant changes in weight management with a high-protein diet. For those genetically suited to a high-protein regimen, increasing protein intake from both animal and plant sources can enhance body composition and facilitate weight loss. Conversely, individuals with a lower genetic predisposition may not experience the same benefits from such a diet.

For those genetically inclined to respond positively to higher protein levels, aiming for a daily protein intake of 1-1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight can help manage appetite and boost energy expenditure, crucial elements for successful weight loss²,⁴.

Vitamin D

DNA tests can also help identify the best dietary sources or supplements to focus on. For instance, genetic variations in the CYP2R1 and GC genes can influence how well your body processes and stores vitamin D, possibly explaining why some people still have low vitamin D levels, despite taking supplements. Individuals with these genetic variants may need to increase their intake of vitamin D-rich foods, get more sunlight exposure, and possibly adjust their supplement dosages based on regular blood tests⁵.


If you often feel tired, it might be due to a genetic predisposition to iron deficiency. Iron is essential for important functions like transporting oxygen and producing energy in our bodies. Low iron can lead to anaemia, causing symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, and heart palpitations.

Iron comes in two forms in our diet: haem iron from meat, which is absorbed well, and non-haem iron from plants, which may require vitamin C for better absorption. Genetic factors, especially variations in the transferrin (TF) gene, can affect how iron transports around your body, increasing the risk of deficiency. If you're at risk, focus on eating iron-rich foods alongside vitamin C-rich foods to improve absorption, and avoid consuming dairy and caffeine close to mealtimes as they can interfere with iron uptake⁶.

Nutrition plan motivation

Research from Food4Me reveals that individuals who took part in DNA testing were more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables and follow a stricter nutrition plan⁷. This highlights that customising your diet to include recommendations that align with your genetic profile could not only enhance your awareness of personal health requirements, but also help you to follow healthier eating practices.

With MyHealthChecked’s Weight Management DNA Test, you can understand your genetic predispositions, from appetite control and carbohydrate response to saturated fat sensitivity and protein metabolism. You can also access personalised insights to help you tailor your diet, meal timing, and exercise routine for effective weight management.

In summary

While genetic factors play a crucial role in shaping your nutrition plan, it's important to remember that other non-genetic factors such as lifestyle, environment, age, and current health status also significantly influence your nutritional needs and goals. Factors like physical activity levels, stress, sleep patterns, and exposure to pollutants can impact nutritional requirements and effectiveness. Therefore, while DNA tests provide valuable insights, they should not be the sole basis for dietary decisions. Discussing your DNA test results with a healthcare professional, who can consider both your genetic background and current habits, is essential. Combining this information allows for a more comprehensive and effective approach to achieving your nutrition and health goals.


  1. Shyam, S., Lee, K.X., Tan, A.S.W., Khoo, T.A., Harikrishnan, S., Lalani, S.A. and Ramadas, A., 2022. Effect of personalized nutrition on dietary, physical activity, and health outcomes: a systematic review of randomized trials. Nutrients, 14(19), p.4104.
  2. Coltell, O., Martínez González, M.Á., Salas-Salvadó, J., Arós, F., Lapetra, J., Serra-Majem, L., Gómez Gracia, E., Fiol Ramis, M., Sáez Tormo, G., Pintó, X. and Muñoz, M.Á., 2012. Associations of the FTO rs9939609 and the MC4R rs17782313 polymorphisms with type 2 diabetes are modulated by diet, being higher when adherence to the Mediterranean diet pattern is low.
  3. Stutzmann, F., Cauchi, S., Durand, E., Calvacanti-Proenca, C., Pigeyre, M., Hartikainen, A.L., Sovio, U., Tichet, J., Marre, M., Weill, J. and Balkau, B., 2009. Common genetic variation near MC4R is associated with eating behaviour patterns in European populations. International journal of obesity, 33(3), pp.373-378.
  4. Frayling, T.M., Timpson, N.J., Weedon, M.N., Zeggini, E., Freathy, R.M., Lindgren, C.M., Perry, J.R., Elliott, K.S., Lango, H., Rayner, N.W. and Shields, B., 2007. A common variant in the FTO gene is associated with body mass index and predisposes to childhood and adult obesity. Science, 316(5826), pp.889-894.
  5. Ahn, J., Yu, K., Stolzenberg-Solomon, R., Simon, K.C., McCullough, M.L., Gallicchio, L., Jacobs, E.J., Ascherio, A., Helzlsouer, K., Jacobs, K.B. and Li, Q., 2010. Genome-wide association study of circulating vitamin D levels. Human molecular genetics, 19(13), pp.2739-2745.
  6. Blanco-Rojo, R., Baeza-Richer, C., López-Parra, A.M., Pérez-Granados, A.M., Brichs, A., Bertoncini, S., Buil, A., Arroyo-Pardo, E., Soria, J.M. and Vaquero, M.P., 2011. Four variants in transferrin and HFE genes as potential markers of iron deficiency anaemia risk: an association study in menstruating women. Nutrition & Metabolism, 8, pp.1-8.
  7. Celis-Morales, C., Livingstone, K.M., Marsaux, C.F., Macready, A.L., Fallaize, R., O’Donovan, C.B., Woolhead, C., Forster, H., Walsh, M.C., Navas-Carretero, S. and San-Cristobal, R., 2017. Effect of personalized nutrition on health-related behaviour change: evidence from the Food4Me European randomized controlled trial. International journal of epidemiology, 46(2), pp.578-588.