UK trial finds DNA-tailored diet could help reduce diabetes risk

UK trial finds DNA-tailored diet could help reduce diabetes risk

A UK trial has found a DNA-tailored diet could help manage blood glucose and reduce risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals.

The findings come from a small Imperial College London and DnaNudge pilot study involving 148 people with high blood sugar levels who were at risk of going on to develop type 2 diabetes (T2D).  

It found that following personalised dietary advice informed by genetic information, in combination with face-to-face dietary coaching from a healthcare professional, was more effective at reducing blood glucose levels than standard dietary coaching based on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, which are the current standard of care in the UK. 

While the work is at an early stage, the researchers say it is a promising example of how genetic data might help to prevent long-term conditions and improve health.  

They note that larger trials are needed to verify their findings and ensure the approach is suitable for use in clinical practice and for a range of people and conditions. 

Joint senior author Regius Professor Chris Toumazou, from Imperial College London’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and DnaNudge, said: “Genetic profiles of chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and blood cholesterol can tell us which foods individuals might be better or worse at reducing the risk of these conditions, allowing us to specifically tailor advice around their dietary intake of fats, carbohydrates, and other macronutrients. Our pilot study, where we apply this to pre-diabetes, shows promising results, suggesting that genetically-informed diets could be an effective intervention compared to, or combined with, standard NICE-guided advice.” 

The results are published in Scientific Reports and further information is available here: Could a ‘DNA diet’ help to reduce health risks linked to high blood sugar? | Imperial News | Imperial College London