The study of the relationships between dietary factors and individual genes is called nutrigenomics. Sometimes termed as nutritional genomics, nutrigenetics, and nutritional genetics, the scientists involved in this study seek to ascertain the nutritional requirements based on genetic constitution of an individual, and the relationship between diet and chronic diseases. It is part of a more in-depth movement toward customized medicine, concentrating on a custom-devised diet.
In studying these relationships, the scientists aim to determine the genes involved in physiological responses to diet and the genes in which small changes, known as polymorphisms may have significant nutritional consequences. The researchers in Kansas State University supported the claims made by many researchers concerning the potential capacity of nutrigenomics to prevent diet-related diseases from occurring.
Being the latest medical breakthrough of studying the genetic constitution of an individual and tailoring specific diet correspondingly, the scientists hope to reduce the incidences of contracting diseases related to diet, delay the process of ageing, and to extend the life expectancy.
In science, nutrition is the practice of utilizing and consuming foods. It is also the study of how our bodies break down food, repair and create cells and tissue.
Professionals involved in this study seek to examine the metabolic and physiological responses of the human body to diet. Human genome, on the other hand, is the whole hereditary information of an organism encoded in the DNA.
Included in the DNA are the genes. The DNA bears the information for making all the proteins, deciding how the organism look, and how the body fights infection. Having insights on the consequences of DNA variations may lead to new approaches in treatment of future chronic disorders. In nutrigenomics, it is believed that eating specific food can make the genes of an individual stop any illness before they can occur. It is achieved not through medicines, but through precise nutrition custom-planned for a particular individual.
Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy of Canada Research in Nutrigenomics explained that each individual responds distinctly from the others when it comes to how genes affect people's responses to the food eaten. As an example, a study on how human bodies respond to caffeine from coffee was published in the Journal of American Medical Association.
It says there that people having slow gene-CYP1A2-that breaks down caffeine have higher risk of heart attack. Hence, drinking caffeinate coffee is not for everyone, particularly those who have slow caffeine metabolism.
Another remarkable study of the intervention on genome is the capacity of fish oil to lower blood lipids. A specific version of PPARG or Peroxisome Proliferators-activated Receptor Gamma in an individual can react in lowering effects of fish oil. PPARG manages glucose metabolism and fatty acid storage, which is helpful in different ways for people who have Apolipoprotein E or APOE gene. APOE gene is important in lipoprotein metabolism and heart diseases.
Green tea, although popular for its health attributes may also have diverse reactions to people depending on how they can break down the compounds. Food manufacturers and Dieticians offer services to profile and analyze genes and personalize a nutritional plan for optimal health and disease prevention.