DNA Diet

Reporter: Damien Hansen

It's the exercise and eating plan so scientific, so personal, it took a team of geneticists to design it -- heralded as the latest summer fitness regime; it promises results by harnessing your own DNA.

Michelle Casey wants to trim her post baby body. "I've been working really hard trying to lose that baby weight. The last five kilos is always the hardest to lose, so that is really what I am trying to achieve over the next eight weeks", Michelle said.

For the next two months Michelle will join Simon and Jenny in trialling a new weight loss program based entirely on their genetic make-up.

"It is quite a simple process. We use a swab that collects cheek cells from the inside of the mouth and then we analyse the DNA from these cheek cells, in our lab", said Graham Smith is from Mygene.

Mygene is a Melbourne based company, specializing in genetic testing. "The goal of DNA testing is to put people into subgroups or to subgroup individuals and to then treat these subgroups individually", Graham added.

Effectively, Mygene categorise body types and match them with the most effective types of exercise. "So you might have one subgroup that is more suited to endurance, so for that subgroup you'd recommend an endurance program; or you may have a subgroup that has a collection of genetic variance associated with the way we process carbohydrates", Graham said.

"You can't hide from the fact that it is your genetics. Everyone has their own genetic makeup and having something as specific as this, to be able to tailor something to their training, is really important", said Jake Henley from Snap Fitness.

Jake is taking our DNA dieter's measurements and swabs. Forty four year old Simon Runge is overweight -- he weighs 120 kilos and needs a new liver. He needs to drop at least five kilos to stay on the transplant list. "You are going to be more suited to high intense, power exercises which is stuff like weightlifting, sprinting that sort of stuff", Jake said.

Which means endurance isn't Simon's strength. And he could be more prone to injury than others -- but just weeks into the challenge Simon has already lost seven kilos.

Sixty year old Jenny Smerdon is fit, but a recent heart attack and strokes means she's extra cautious when it comes to exercise. "When you are doing all your cardio we just want a low heart rate and just walking that's better suited to your body type", he added.

Jenny's genes tell us she has low endurance and moderate power, she has high muscle recovery but has a moderate risk of injury. "So keep it to short intervals - running, walking, running, walking", Jake said.

As for Michelle - "Michelle you're DNA results come back as a very moderate candidate. Your endurance DNA shows you are in the middle of low and high and so is your power", Jake said.

Michelle recovers okay after exercise but is prone to some sports injuries.

Eight weeks on and each of our DNA dieters have had success. "We were a bit sceptical at first but then after seeing the results they got from all the training, we were really happy with the way it went", Jake said.

"I'm very happy. I've lost 8.1 kilos in the eight weeks", Michelle said.

Jenny dropped two. "I'm happy with that. As long as I look fit and toned I think that will be great benefit", she said.

But the biggest loser was Simon who shed just under ten kilos but gained something much more important. "I'm very pleased to say I've got a new liver. It happened on the eighth week of the challenge. I couldn't ask for a better result really", Simon said.

"The key is to train smarter and not harder", Graham said.

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