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THERE IS NO ONE-FITS-ALL HEALTHY DIET.
May 10, 2017
A study in mice suggests that weight gain may depend on how an individual’s genes react to certain diets.
Four genetically distinct strains of mice fared differently on four different diets, as reported at the Allied Genetics Conference. One strain, the A/J mouse, was nearly impervious to dietary changes. The A/J mice didn’t gain much weight or have changes in insulin or cholesterol no matter what they ate: a fat-and-carbohydrate-laden Western diet; a traditional Mediterranean diet or traditional Japanese diet (usually considered healthy); or a very low-carbohydrate, fat-rich diet known as the ketogenic diet.
In contrast, NOD/ShiLtJ mice gained weight on all but the Japanese diet. The NOD/ShiLtJ mice’s blood sugar shot up — a hallmark of diabetes — on a Mediterranean diet, but decreased on the Japanese diet.
FVB/NJ mice didn’t get fat on the Western diet, but became obese and developed high cholesterol and other health problems on the ketogenic diet. But the opposite was true for C57BL/6J mice. They became obese and developed cholesterol and other problems linked to heart disease and diabetes on the Western diet, but not on the ketogenic diet. They also fattened up on the Mediterranean diet.
The results indicate that “there’s no universally healthy diet,” according to the study authors. The findings echo results of a human study in which blood sugar rose in some people after eating some foods, even when the same food had no effect on other people. Such individual reactions to food suggest that diets should be personalized.