Should we advise patients to eat a diet based on their DNA?
- Post by: Dr Lauren Ball
- July 28, 2019
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What is nutritional genomics?
How can we predict which diets will work for which patients? Nutritional genomics may be able to help in the future.
Nutritional genomics is the science that looks at the relationship between our genes, nutrition and health. The techniques of this science can help categorise optimal nutrition for various groups and individuals. This may be useful in promoting the development of food treatments and functionally enhanced foods that will help achieve optimal health.
Should I tell my patients to follow a DNA-diet?
While this is definitely an exciting time for nutrition science, we cannot yet look at someone’s genes and advise of an exact diet. There is definitely a growing body of evidence regarding gene-nutrient interactions, however less is known about how we translate this research into practice.1 Currently, there are no evidence-based guidelines or systematic
reviews that focus on the effect of utilising nutritional genomics in nutrition practice.1
It is also important to note that most chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer are multigenetic and multifactorial.2 This means that genetic mutations are only partially predictive of disease risk! Other factors including: family history, biochemical parameters, and the presence of risk factors in individuals are important to consider.2
So, watch this emerging research space!
- Rozga, M., & Handu, D. (2019). Nutritional genomics in precision nutrition: An Evidence analysis Center Scoping review.Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,119(3), 507-515.e7. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2018.05.022
- Camp, Kathryn M., MS, RD, CSP, & Trujillo, Elaine, MS, RD. (2014). Position of the academy of nutrition and Dietetics: Nutritional genomics.Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,114(2), 299-312. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2013.12.001