Friday, April 07, 2006

What is nutrigenomics ?

Nutrigenomics is a new field that tailors your food to your genes. Built around the idea that one person's medicine is another's poison, nutrigenomics, and its related technologies of proteomics (the proteins that genes order up) and metabolomics (the soup of molecules that results from metabolic activity), provide a personalized dietary road map. Customizing one's diet to one's genes and metabolism isn't anything like the traditional, one-size-fits-all food pyramid.
Imagine a doctor's being able to quickly identify a patient's DNA profile for type 2 diabetes or obesity and then get a dynamic snapshot of the patient's metabolic response to a particular diet. Food shopping might be like going to the shoe store. You'd have the size and, combined with your taste and energy expenditure, you'd select what fits.
Nutrigenomics might be the answer to our epidemic of obesity and metabolic syndrome. It could even improve how we age, better our bone and brain health, and lower our risks for certain cancers. But this approach is several years away, as our knowledge of chronic disease susceptibility genes is limited, and metabolomics is an entirely new endeavor. Although few companies are already pushing DNA diets, I believe this is way premature.


sleepy mouse said...

A beautiful theory. I hope it pans out. I wonder if there is a link between those people for whom foods heal and those people for whom the same foods are poisons.

lisalee said...

I agree the nutrigenomics is not here yet, but the genomic science for pharmaceuticals has arrived - and I expect it will be growing rapidly. See our discussion of this at DNA Direct Talk:

Annie said...

I believe this. I come from a very large family with common food allergies and diabetes. I always thought there was a connection. Thank you for sharing your insight.