Losing weight is not easy, and with so many diets to choose from, it’s tough to know which one works best.
Now Avon naturopathic physician Dr. Jennifer Stagg is offering her patients a genetic test from a saliva sample. From the results, she can determine to which diets their bodies would best respond.
Stagg said it takes guessing out of the process.
“We don’t have to say, 'Well, let’s maybe try a low-carb diet, let’s try a Mediterranean diet," she said. "Now we can actually use genetics to tell us what would be right for you."
Heather Sanford went to Stagg for help losing a final 10 pounds. She has been on the paleo diet, which cuts out processed foods and relies on things like meats, nuts, vegetables and olive oil.
“It worked well for a couple of months, the pounds were coming off – slowly, but they were still coming off,” said Sanford.
Recently, though, she hit a wall.
Stagg took a saliva sample from Sanford and will have her results in three weeks. The Pathway Fit Test will reveal a genetic panel with 75 genetic markers, who will also look at the micronutrient content.
Stagg will then devise a custom diet for Sanford based on fat, protein and carbohydrates best suited to her body.
The doctor can also determine other factors that will determine Sanford's ability to lose weight and keep it off.
“Whether you’re at risk of gaining your weight back, there are genetics behind that. When you lose weight and then you’ll be likely to gain it back... these patients need to be monitored more closely,” said Stagg.
Stagg said she can also determine what kind of exercise works best for each person's body, which could solve an unknown mystery for some.
“Some people are exercising with weights a lot, but there’s actually a gene that is associated with increasing fat mass as a response to weights versus cardio would be better for you,” said Stagg.
“For me it’s going to be the missing link. The missing piece of the puzzle,” said Sanford, who is looking forward to getting her results.
The test costs between $100 and $300 depending on your income, said Stagg. She said some insurance companies cover it.