Researchers looked at the gene that signals the manufacture of a salivary enzyme, amylase, that begins the process of carbohydrate digestion. Some people have extra copies of this gene and therefore do a better job of digesting and subsequently absorbing carbohydrates, the food form of glucose. Researchers further find that more copies of the salivary amylase gene have evolved in response to a shift towards diets containing more starch since prehistoric times.
The people who have fewer copies of the gene – and are at higher risk of obesity. Huh. It may be that the absence of the gene implies that evolutionarily, there was not adequate time to adapt to a high carb diet, or perhaps the environment in that region had fewer or no starch foods that would favor the amylase mutation. This is the kind of headline that supports Paleo diets for people with weight issues.
The simple take home message is not to run out and check how many AMY1 copies you carry, simply look to see if you are doing poorly with carbs. Check your body fat with skin fold calipers and look at your blood test results. If you are trending toward higher blood sugars or higher central body fat, reduce your carbs! How much? Step Three of The Blood Code spells it out. In the meantime there are countless Paleo resources that help people naturally lean away from the foods that require excessive salivary amylase. And if you question whether it is worth a try, realize that it has been tried for hundred’s of thousands of years.
The researchers have it wrong when they claim this could become a modifiable mechanism for obesity treatment. This is merely association. Many people, like me and likely many of you, have not evolved for the carbohydrate heavy diet of our modern industrialized world. If you have insulin resistance, you are likely one of those people that has fewer AMY1 gene copies – which means that you don’t absorb the carb heavy starch very well – And you likely have a history of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other digestive problems.
A Paleo diet lifestyle is a useful path that parallels The Blood Code Diet to correct insulin resistance. I know that the AMY1 gene discovery is merely one, of what will be many, discovery which reinforces that many of us require a lower carb way of life for health and longevity.
- M. Falchi et al. Low copy number of the salivary amylase gene predisposes to obesity. Nature Genetics, 2014 DOI: 10.1038/ng.2939