DNA could hold secrets of your ultimate health regime

It's that time of year when we start thinking about resolutions to improve our health.

Finding the right plan can be tough, but your DNA could help.

There's a growing trend in personalised fitness, using gene testing to determine what you should eat - and which exercise regime suits you best.

We all respond to diet and exercise in different ways - and it seems our genes could help to determine which foods we should eat to optimise health and lower our risk of chronic disease.

"One in five people carry a particular gene which means you don't metabolise vitamin C," says Dr Sharad Paul. "What that means is, simply eating an orange a day or an extra capsicum a day will lower your risk."

Dr Paul has developed a simple saliva test that claims to unlock the secrets of your genetic code.

The test discloses how your body responds to fats, salt, sugar and vitamins, and whether you're suited to endurance or power sports.

"Some people have ultra-endurance genes or ultra-power genes, real super athlete genes," he says.

Which helps explain why some people prefer the gym over running, and why some people are more motivated to exercise than others.

Our genes can also determine whether we tolerate things such as lactose in milk, gluten in bread, and caffeine in coffee.

Dr Paul says half of us metabolise caffeine slowly and shouldn't exceed a double shot a day.

"If you exceeded 200mg, it increases your risk of longer term of things like heart disease and kidney disease."

He says our genes are our blueprint, but not our destiny.  He says genetic testing just gives us a guide to improve our own personal health.

"I think for an individual, if you could know your risk and you could prevent getting blood pressure or diabetes, you not only save healthcare costs and avoid a big personal cost later on."

  • The test analyses 21 genes. Dr Paul says it is meant to provide general health advice, and not intended as treatment for medical conditions.

Whether it's finding your athletic edge or helping you to look and feel better, eating according to our gene type could be the future of health.