What is Nutrigenomics?

Nutrigenomics is the science which studies the relationship between a patient’s genome, nutrition and health. Numerous studies indicate the diet-genome-health interaction:

1. “Numerous studies in humans, animals, and cell cultures have demonstrated that macronutrients (e.g. fatty acids and proteins), micronutrients (e.g. vitamins), and naturally occurring bioreactive chemicals (e.g. phytochemicals such as flavonoids, carotenoids, coumarins, and phytosterols; and zoochemicals such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) regulate gene expression in diverse ways. Many of the micronutrients and bioreactive chemicals in foods are directly involved in metabolic reactions that determine everything from hormonal balances and immune competence to detoxification processes and the utilization of macronutrients for fuel and growth.” – (M Nathaniel Mead – Nutrigenomics: the genome-food interface)

2. “Abdominal obesity, independent of generalized adiposity, predicts insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. Endocrinologist Jerry Greenfield and colleagues at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, recently reported that high polyunsaturated fat intake was associated with lower levels of abdominal fat in women at low genetic risk for abdominal obesity but not in women at high genetic risk. Also, a moderately high alcohol intake (1–1.5 drinks per day) was associated with approximately 20% less abdominal fat than lower intakes, but only in women genetically predisposed to abdominal obesity. ” – (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, November 2003)

This study indicates that various gene–diet interactions can be a key part of the abdominal obesity equation.

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