Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Dubious Claims

New companies are popping up that claim to be able to tell consumers what sorts of foods they should eat based upon their genetic information, putting genetics at the heart of a new "pseudoscientific health fad," Gizmodo reports.

For instance, it notes that DNA Lifestyle Coach gave Vitaliy Husar specific advice after he sent them his 23andMe data, including to take vitamins B12, D and E supplements and to switch up his workout regimen to focus on endurance, and Husar says he saw results after making these changes. But Gizmodo adds that some of the recommendations the company provides are even more specific, such as recommending what SPF sunblock someone should wear or the number of cups of coffee they should drink daily.

While Scripps' Eric Topol says that someday diet and exercise advice might be gleaned from genetic information, we're not yet there and when we are, it likely won't be so specific. In addition "the information our genes offer up is probabilistic, not deterministic," and influenced by the environment, Gizmodo adds.

"We have much too many companies doing nutrigenomics and other unproven things like that," Topol tells Gizmodo. "That can give consumer genomics a really bad name. That's unfortunate."