About Bill Barrington, PhD

PhD Geneticist with expertise in gut microbiome, personalized nutrition, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Science Shows Promise of Personalized Diets Over Universal Recommendations

mouse dietWhen I began my Ph.D. research comparing diet responses across varying genetic backgrounds, I ambitiously expected to identify the “best” dietary pattern for health. But, it was quickly apparent that the data did not match the story in my head. As highlighted in the journal Genetics, my study showed there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet for optimal health and personalized, or precision diets, should allow for better health outcomes. Continue reading

What can genetic tests tell us about our nutritional needs?

DNA manA number of companies have begun offering DNA tests to inform how your genetic makeup influences how you metabolize and respond to food. This exciting field of personalized dietary recommendations offers great promise. Yet, the field is new, and it can be difficult to determine what type of testing should be performed, what exactly the results mean, and the real-world implication of those results. It’s my goal to help explain this complex field. Today, we’ll start by asking, “How do genetic tests work?”  Continue reading

Fasting between meals can burn fat and improve metabolic health

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Eating three meals per day- breakfast, lunch, and dinner- has become engrained in many cultures. Many hold the notion that regular and frequent eating is vital for health. Yet, new research suggests that eating the same total amount of food, but increasing the duration of fasting between meals may yield better health outcomes. Continue reading

Misleading headline suggests “Paleo diet is dangerous, increases weight gain, diabetes exert warns”

A recent press release about a study at the University of Melbourne reads “Diabetes expert warns paleo diet is dangerous and increases weight gain.” The headline is based on a study by Dr. Andrikopoulos at the University of Melbourne. Being in my area of research (effects of diet in mice), I looked into this study and was surprised by the misleading nature of the press release.  Continue reading

Diet can Profoundly Change Colon Health in Two Weeks

DSC00476It is known that dietary alterations can cause rapid shifts in weight, but few studies have examined how quickly diet can impact other physiological parameters, especially those related to cancer. A recent study in Nature Communications has identified that diet can have profound health effects in as little as two weeks. The researchers investigated the impact of dietary change on markers of colon health and correlated these changes with shifts in gut microbiome composition. Continue reading

Dioxin in Salmon Presents Serious Health Concerns

salmonAs previously documented, a diet that balances omega-3 and omega-6 consumption seems to be optimal for human health. Today, omega-6 fats are prevalent in our diets because they are in many foods containing seed oils, such as corn and canola oil. To balance the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, many researchers have encouraged reducing seed oil consumption and increasing fish consumption. Wild salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and farmed salmon usually has an even higher omega-3 fatty acid content. However, salmon is also has high levels of dioxin, a carcinogen and endocrine disrupter. So, should salmon be included as a part of a healthy diet or avoided because of toxicity concerns?  Continue reading

Another Study Questions US Nutritional Recommendations

ImageFindings from the most recent review comparing the effects of fatty acids on heart disease do not agree with the current US nutritional recommendations. Current recommendations encourage replacing saturated fat intake with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to reduce heart disease risk. The meta-analysis, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, finds no association of saturated fat intake with heart disease.  Continue reading