Diet Success May Be Genetic

Diet Success May be Genetic

A few years ago the book, Eat Right for Your (Blood) Type, was published by Dr. Peter D’Adamo with the premise that our present day nutritional needs are dependent on the types of food available to our genetic ancestors. For example, if your ancient ancestors evolved in a region of the world where protein was plentiful, then your body now requires a protein rich diet to stay healthy. According to the author your blood “type” is the clue to determining your nutritional heritage and your ideal diet type. I was never convinced of the usefulness of this blood type theory but agree that genetics strongly influences the way an individual stores fat and what constitutes their optimal nutritional requirements.

Along these lines recent research points to a connection between success with various weight loss diets and genetic differences between individuals. This was the conclusion of a study known as the A to Z Weight Loss Study. This study compared the results of 300 women who followed one of four possible diets ranging from those low in carbs (Adkins diet) to those low in fats (Ornish diet) to those high in protein (Zone diet). The women were then screened for genetic differences in specific genes that control fat metabolism.

Found was that some participants needed low carbs to lose weight while others required a diet low in fat to achieve weight loss. Analysis of the fat metabolizing genes showed that a specific favorable genetic profile was associated with up to a 6 fold increase in the amount of weight loss achieved with a particular diet. A participant was much more likely to lose weight if they were on the diet that harmonized with their particular genetic type.

How can you tell in advance if you are a carb sensitive or a fat sensitive dieter? For those with access to these experimental genetic tests (conducted by Interleukin Genetics) you could conceivable get the information you need. For the rest of us, starting with one type of diet and switching to the other type if weight loss isn’t achieved seems like a common sense approach.

Gary Pepper, M.D.

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  • mlsw kosicki

    On my mother’s side there was one enoormously fat woman- 4 generations back
    All the others seemed n ormal. My mother inherited that fat “gene” and battled weight gain all her l ife. I think I inherited the same gene- and have battled weight gain ever since I was 12 yrs old.
    On my faher’s side, I don’t have as much information- but his mother ( my paternal grandmother) was a short little roly poly …and my father was certainly “heavy” as I knew him…probably would have become fat- but he died at 49.
    Now what do I do? I have avoided sweets 9 that I don’t much care for in the first place) and I eat very lilttle and very njutritiously. Periodically my weight gets ahead of me- but I usually have managed to gtet it back down. Right now I am not suceeding- due I think to taking Cymbalty for the past 2.5 years. I have just stopped this med 3 months ago. Now what?

  • ron

    Genetics don’t determine whether or not you will be fat or lean. Helloooo out there people… Are you in la la land??

    Check out Matt Stone at 180degreehealth for the facts and the latest information on metabolism and how to make it work for you instead of against you. His new ebook 180degreemetabolism is totally cutting edge.

  • creeping puppy


    Oh really? I know people who are slim who are in their late 40’s who eat like whales and dont exercise if not much. not genetics? Then what?

  • Tony Kingkade

    FYI the test costs $149. Your results will tell you if you should be on a low carb, low fat or balanced diet for optimal results. The test also tells you which type of exercise, high MET or low MET, will produce better results. It is distributed by Inherent Health (, a subsidary of Interleukin Genetics. The results of the study referenced by Dr. Pepper have not been published yet, but were presented in early March at the American Heart Association’s Joint Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention and Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

    The A-Z Weight Loss study consisted of about 600 women who where randomly assigned to a low carb or low fat diet. Althought some women lost a lot of weight on each type of diet, there was not one type of diet that was clearly better than another overall. Stanford researchers were able to retrospectively test about 100 of these participants. They found that participants who had been randomly assigned to the correct diet for their genotype lost an average of over 2.5 times more weight than individuals on diets that were not appropriate.

    More studies need to be done, but this seems to shatter the understanding that a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from. It provides information that individuals can use to change the macronutrient ratio of their diets in order to achieve or maintain a healthy weight for the rest of their lives. And it does explain why some people do better on a low carb diet when others do better on a low fat diet.

  • March

    My friend has weight problem since we were in high school. Infact her entire family has the same problem. She was on diet for the last four years. After sometime, she came across a Schell abnehmen tips. She diligently followed the same routine fro 6 months and successfully lost 20 lbs. We were surprised to see her last year. She looks thinner and more beautiful. She never knew anyone from her family who had as much success as she had losing weight.

    I beleive that the genetic make-up of a person has nothing to do with diet success.

  • Tyson F. Gautreaux

    Hm, looks like some people comment without reading the post itself :/

  • It’s getting tougher as I get older, almost 35. I used to be able to drop 10 pounds pretty easily but now I have to put in a lot of effort just to MAINTAIN my weight. It sucks. Writing everything down is a good tip, and a real eye opener. Gives you solid evidence of what’s going into your body and which meals are doing the most damage.

  • I don’t believe that genetics have anything to do with bad health conditions. It’s all mental. If your a lazy, unmotivated person your obviously not going to succeed. However, if you have healthy eating habits and exercise and most importantly rest you can definitely change your life for the best.

  • Brynn

    Of course genetics plays a role in how we lose weight, to say it doesn’t is the same as saying genetics doesn’t determine your eye color.

    Whether or not the above mentioned types diets are the solution, I don’t know. My family tends to be “naturally’ athletic, we build muscle quickly, and lose weight fast if the effort is put in. I have a lot of friends who work out more than me, eat healthier than me, and still have weight issues.

    To say that only lazy unmotivated people are not able to achieve, or have trouble achieving their fitness goals is ignorant. Most likely you are the type of person who has had it fairly easy as far as achieving your results. Step into someone else’s shoes before you start making those kinds of statements.

    You even went as far to say bad health conditions as opposed to weight loss. Bad health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, thyroid issues and estrogen issues (to name a very small portion of the many possible health issues out there) are very much a result of your genetics AND can cause major weight management issues.

  • Loyd Testerman

    Very nice article. I have a problem with my weight, I can’t lose any.

  • I totally agree that genetics, has very important role in every human been, I know some people, two brothers and one of them very fat and the other is very slim, and that is because their mother is very fat and their father is slim, this is just one example that confirms the power of the genetics.