Blood, DNA tests may be key to weight loss

HOUSTON - Gaining weight and then losing weight is a life-long rollercoaster for some people.

Cheryl Mergo of Houston was tired of yo-yo dieting and wanted to get fit as she was turning 50.

"I tried different things to lose weight over the years. Sort of overweightness runs in my family," she said.

So her physician, Dr. Dian Ginsberg, recommended a blood test to find out what was going on inside her body.

The test consists of an analysis of cholesterol, micro-nutrients and DNA.

"The micronutrients will tell you of 33 different nutrients …  what you are missing personally in your cells. Telemeres are the caps on your DNA. The longer your telomeres, the better you'll age, the better you'll feel and the longer you'll live," said Ginsberg.

Once you get the blood test results, nutritionist Sheila Vuckovic conducts an analysis.

It's a complete mind shift. So instead of dieting, the focus is on living clean.

Ginsberg cautions that many people look at the analysis as a way to lose weight and reach a certain goal.

"I don't want anybody looking at it that way. I want people to look at lifestyle changes. l want them to actually look at longevity," she said.

With so many fad diets on the market, it seems like we're bombarded with quick fixes.

Local 2's Courtney Zavala tried a few of those diets after the birth of her second child. She was struggling to get back to her pre-baby body and was often feeling run down and bloated. So she took the blood test to analyze her body's condition.

The results showed she's in overall good health, but she is deficient in Vitamin D, B-12 and Manganese. The cholesterol was good, but her triglycerides were a little high.

"These are a product of too much carbs and sugars in the diet," Vuckovic said.

Ginsberg added, "When we eat the heavy grains and we eat the processed foods, our body doesn't know what to do with it. It gets terribly inflamed and that's when it stores it as fat. That's when people say, 'I don't feel good. I'm tired and I can't lose this gut.'"

Mergo got a handle on her vitamin deficiency. She dines out less and cooks at home. By adding fresh vegetables and fruits, eliminating grains and eating organic meats, she has successfully kept off 30 pounds for more than a year.

"Recently, I joined the gym because I have the confidence now. Before it would have been intimidating," Mergo said.

Ginsberg said knowing your body and eating clean, healthy food is a long term solution to losing weight.

"If we feed our body the healthy clean food that it has wanted from years ago, it will process better, the weight will come off. People won't feel as bad."

The blood test by Ginsberg is covered by health insurance. The results take about three weeks to come back.

If you'd like to reach her, visit

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.