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News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.bbc.co.uk

The latest health and fitness trend involves taking a DNA test to find out more about how our bodies respond to different types of food and exercise. But how accurate and effective are these kits? Fitness fanatic Mandy Mayer, 56, exercised several times a week but felt like she'd hit a plateau. Her personal trainer suggested she try a DNAFit test, which tests the body's genetic response to key foods and exercise. "I jumped at the chance," she says. "I thought I'd love to have that kind of knowledge." After sending off a swab of her saliva, she received a report on her fitness and diet in January. She was impressed. "I was like 'wow'. They told me I don't tolerate caffeine and refined foods very well, and I respond better to endurance training than anything else." Three months later and she has dropped from a size 12 to a size 10 and lost several kilos. She attributes her leaner figure to understanding more about her genetic code. "Without a shadow of a doubt it was down to the test," says Mandy, who lives in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. "It's made me follow the right training and make little changes to my diet." A growing number of start-ups, such as 23andMe, FitnessGenes, UBiome, DNAFit, Orig3n and Habit, are moving into this space, promising that mail-order genetic tests can change your life for the better. Some researchers believe the global market for such kits could be worth more than $10bn (£7.7bn) by 2022. But how do they work and how reliable are they? Avi Lasarow, chief executive of DNAFit, explains that everything about who we are is the unique combination of what we are born with - our genetics - and how we live - our environment. "The biggest 'environment' factor that we can control in our day-to-day lives is our diet," he says, "so by understanding more about the static part, the genetics, we can better tweak the bit in our control." He gives the example of the CYP1A2 gene, which controls around 95% of caffeine metabolism. "Some people are fast metabolisers, some are slow, depending on their variants of this gene. Once you know this, however, you can make a better informed decision on your caffeine intake than you could without your genetic data." Robin Smith, chief executive of Orig3n, which offers a range of health and wellness DNA tests costing from $29 to $149, says the results can help people make educated choices about what works for their bodies. "If a person's DNA suggests that she is more likely to be deficient in B vitamins, she can pay attention to that in her daily life. "Knowing what your DNA says about your body's food sensitivities, food breakdown, hunger, weight, vitamins, allows you to become a more informed consumer. "You can become smarter about what you choose to eat, and smarter about what supplements you choose to buy, saving you time, energy, and money while getting the results you want faster." So much for the sales pitch, but some genetic experts are concerned that the efficacy of such kits may be overhyped. "I'm not against people being able to access genetic information about themselves if they wish to do so, provided the test results and limitations are clearly explained," says Dr Jess Buxton, a geneticist at University College London. "However, I do think that the amount of useful information that personalised health tests can offer is very limited at present because we still know very little about the effect of most SNPs [genetic variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms] and other types of genetic variation on a person's health." While there are a few conditions, such as lactose intolerance, for which the genetic variations are very clear and well understood, the same cannot be said for most other conditions, she says. "These [genetic variations] interact with each other and with non-genetic factors in ways that we don't fully understand, so it's impossible to make accurate predictions based on information about just a few of the gene variants involved, as many of these tests do." That said, some studies do suggest that this kind of analysis might work. For example, the University of Trieste and the IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health in Italy found that those following diet based on genetic analysis lost 33% more weight than a controlled group. Some start-ups are not just relying on a person's genetic make-up to make their diet and exercise recommendations. San Francisco-based Habit's home kit includes a series of DNA samples, blood tests and a shake to drink so that the company can measure how your body metabolises fats, carbohydrates and proteins. "Unlike other at-home tests that measure DNA alone, Habit looks at how the entire body works together," explains founder and chief executive Neil Grimmer. Habit, he says, measures more than 60 nutrition-related blood and genetic biomarkers, biometrics and lifestyle choices, to make personalised nutrition recommendations for each individual. "Personalised recommendations should be based on your entire biology, not just your DNA," says Mr Grimmer. One early adopter is Thierry Attias, president of Momentum Sports Group, a firm managing the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team. "Even though I cycle a few times a week, I carry an extra couple of pounds and I was curious to learn more about myself," says Mr Attias, who lives in Oakland, California. He discovered that he's caffeine sensitive, his diet needs to include more plant-based food, and his body is slow at processing fats. While Habit was still in testing phase, he opted to receive personalised ready-to-eat meals from the company for three days. "An interesting thing happened," he enthuses. "I lost 4lbs (1.8kg) in a few days. I learnt portion size and how much more veg I needed in a serving." In two months he has lost about 11lbs, he says. But do we really need a testing kit to tell us to eat more vegetables and fewer fats as part of a healthy balanced diet - advice that has been around for decades?


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

The latest health and fitness trend involves taking a DNA test to find out more about how our bodies respond to different types of food and exercise. But how accurate and effective are these kits? Fitness fanatic Mandy Mayer, 56, exercised several times a week but felt like she'd hit a plateau. Her personal trainer suggested she try a DNAFit test, which tests the body's genetic response to key foods and exercise. "I jumped at the chance," she says. "I thought I'd love to have that kind of knowledge." After sending off a swab of her saliva, she received a report on her fitness and diet in January. She was impressed. "I was like 'wow'. They told me I don't tolerate caffeine and refined foods very well, and I respond better to endurance training than anything else." Three months later and she has dropped from a size 12 to a size 10 and lost several kilos. She attributes her leaner figure to understanding more about her genetic code. "Without a shadow of a doubt it was down to the test," says Mandy, who lives in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. "It's made me follow the right training and make little changes to my diet." A growing number of start-ups, such as 23andMe, FitnessGenes, UBiome, DNAFit, Orig3n and Habit, are moving into this space, promising that mail-order genetic tests can change your life for the better. Some researchers believe the global market for such kits could be worth more than $10bn (£7.7bn) by 2022. But how do they work and how reliable are they? Avi Lasarow, chief executive of DNAFit, explains that everything about who we are is the unique combination of what we are born with - our genetics - and how we live - our environment. "The biggest 'environment' factor that we can control in our day-to-day lives is our diet," he says, "so by understanding more about the static part, the genetics, we can better tweak the bit in our control." He gives the example of the CYP1A2 gene, which controls around 95% of caffeine metabolism. "Some people are fast metabolisers, some are slow, depending on their variants of this gene. Once you know this, however, you can make a better informed decision on your caffeine intake than you could without your genetic data." Robin Smith, chief executive of Orig3n, which offers a range of health and wellness DNA tests costing from $29 to $149, says the results can help people make educated choices about what works for their bodies. "If a person's DNA suggests that she is more likely to be deficient in B vitamins, she can pay attention to that in her daily life. "Knowing what your DNA says about your body's food sensitivities, food breakdown, hunger, weight, vitamins, allows you to become a more informed consumer. "You can become smarter about what you choose to eat, and smarter about what supplements you choose to buy, saving you time, energy, and money while getting the results you want faster." So much for the sales pitch, but some genetic experts are concerned that the efficacy of such kits may be overhyped. "I'm not against people being able to access genetic information about themselves if they wish to do so, provided the test results and limitations are clearly explained," says Dr Jess Buxton, a geneticist at University College London. "However, I do think that the amount of useful information that personalised health tests can offer is very limited at present because we still know very little about the effect of most SNPs [genetic variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms] and other types of genetic variation on a person's health." While there are a few conditions, such as lactose intolerance, for which the genetic variations are very clear and well understood, the same cannot be said for most other conditions, she says. "These [genetic variations] interact with each other and with non-genetic factors in ways that we don't fully understand, so it's impossible to make accurate predictions based on information about just a few of the gene variants involved, as many of these tests do." That said, some studies do suggest that this kind of analysis might work. For example, the University of Trieste and the IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health in Italy found that those following diet based on genetic analysis lost 33% more weight than a controlled group. Some start-ups are not just relying on a person's genetic make-up to make their diet and exercise recommendations. San Francisco-based Habit's home kit includes a series of DNA samples, blood tests and a shake to drink so that the company can measure how your body metabolises fats, carbohydrates and proteins. "Unlike other at-home tests that measure DNA alone, Habit looks at how the entire body works together," explains founder and chief executive Neil Grimmer. Habit, he says, measures more than 60 nutrition-related blood and genetic biomarkers, biometrics and lifestyle choices, to make personalised nutrition recommendations for each individual. "Personalised recommendations should be based on your entire biology, not just your DNA," says Mr Grimmer. One early adopter is Thierry Attias, president of Momentum Sports Group, a firm managing the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team. "Even though I cycle a few times a week, I carry an extra couple of pounds and I was curious to learn more about myself," says Mr Attias, who lives in Oakland, California. He discovered that he's caffeine sensitive, his diet needs to include more plant-based food, and his body is slow at processing fats. While Habit was still in testing phase, he opted to receive personalised ready-to-eat meals from the company for three days. "An interesting thing happened," he enthuses. "I lost 4lbs (1.8kg) in a few days. I learnt portion size and how much more veg I needed in a serving." In two months he has lost about 11lbs, he says. But do we really need a testing kit to tell us to eat more vegetables and fewer fats as part of a healthy balanced diet - advice that has been around for decades?


Bava M.,IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health | Bava M.,University of Trieste | Bradaschia F.,IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health | Rovere F.,IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health | And 5 more authors.
Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation | Year: 2010

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) is defined as feeding a patient by infusing nutrients intravenously, bypassing the usual process of eating and digestion. There are two kinds of TPN: short-term TPN may be used when a patient's digestive system is temporarily nonfunctional because of an interruption in its continuity; long-term TPN is used to treat patients with an impairment or a lack in nutrient absorption. TPN has extended the life of children born with nonexistent or severely deformed digestive organs and is a vital support for these patients. In Burlo's Pediatric Department, pediatricians fill in a pharmacy request form in which nutritional needs are included for each patient. Subsequently, clinical pharmacists evaluate the patient's individual data and decide which TPN formula to prepare. To enhance the TPN prescription process, an intranet web-based system has been developed to replicate the original paper-based forms. The software, developed in PHP and based on open source tools and services, has been constructed according to pharmacists' requirements. These professionals, together with the Hospital Information System technicians, thanks to the availability of affordable instruments, perceive the advantages that such a system would have in improving clinical practice and quality of care. The system was devised with the goal to avoid common reading errors, to improve the correct text comprehension, to ensure prescription preparation, administration and tracking. According to a process of total quality control, the system reduces clinical risks regarding issues such as the correct and rapid availability of medical prescriptions and the incorrect identification of the patients. In comparison with paper-based TPN prescriptions, electronic-based forms have reduced the incidence of errors, the possible lack of patient data and reading misunderstandings. Regarding future improvements, IT technicians are defining the procedures to implement digital signature and medical aspects of the electronic TPN medical prescriptions.


Zotti D.,IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health | Zotti D.,University of Trieste | Bava M.,IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health | Bava M.,University of Trieste | Delendi M.,IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health
Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation | Year: 2010

According to the Italian law which regulates executive healthcare contracts, the professional evaluation is mandatory. The goal of the periodic evaluation is to enhance and motivate the professional involved. In addition this process should 1. increase the sense of duty towards the patients, 2. become aware of one's own professional growth and aspirations and 3. enhance the awareness of the healthcare executive regarding the company's strategies. To satisfy these requirements a data sheet has been modeled for every evaluated subject, divided in two sections. In the first part, the chief executive officer (CEO) scores: 1. behavioral characteristics, 2. multidisciplinary collaboration and involvement, 3. organizational skills, 4. professional quality and training, 5. relationships with the citizens. The scores for these fields are decided by the CEO. In the second part the CEO evaluates: 1. quantitative job dimension, 2.technology innovation, 3. scientific and educational activities. The value scores of these fields are decided by the CEO together with the professional under evaluation. A previously established correction coefficient can be used for all the scores. This evaluation system model has been constructed according to the enhancement quality approaches (Deming cycle) and a web-based software has been developed on a Linux platform using LAMP technology and php programming techniques. The program replicates all the evaluation process creating different profiles of authentications and authorizations which can then give to the evaluator the possibility to make lists of the professionals to evaluate, to upload documents regarding their activities and goals, to receive individual documents in automatically generated folders, to change the correction coefficients, to obtain year by year the individual scores. The advantages of using this web-based software include easy data consultation and update, the implementation of IT security issues, the easy portability and scalability of the system itself in different contexts even beyond healthcare. Copyright 2010 ISA. All Rights Reserved.

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