What if there was one easy test that could tell you exactly what you should and shouldn’t eat and how often? Introducing nutrigenomics: the perfect diet to end all diets. Is this the diet of the future? Or is it all just too good to be true?

After the completion of the Human Genome Project, we have learned so much about how our DNA makes us unique. In fact, lately, genetic testing has become very trendy, making its way to A-list celebrities. Genetic testing can tell us a lot about ourselves and we are just beginning to discover its potential. Nutrigenomics is the study of how certain nutrients and chemicals in food affect your genes by finding out how these nutrients to gene interactions impact your health. The ultimate goal of nutrigenomics is to reduce illnesses by finding out what foods work and don’t work with our genetics1,2.Tons of research is currently going on in this up-and-coming field, as there’s still a lot we don’t know. We are just beginning to discover the true power of food through its impact on our genes. Although all human DNA is fairly similar, we all have slight variations, which make us unique and respond to the nutrients and chemicals in food very differently2. Many genes that are affected by the food you eat have been discovered. This is one of the reasons why one diet may work for some but not everyone2.With more and more people becoming interested in genetic testing, it has become more accessible to the public and less expensive. In fact, many dietitians are starting to use nutrigenomics in their practice to help them make more effective recommendations3.

Dietitians aren’t the only ones using genetic testing either! Many other healthcare providers such as doctors and pharmacists are using genetic testing to make more effective treatment decisions4,5Nutrigenomics plays just a small part in the world of personalized medicine, where your health-related decisions, practices and products are tailored to each individual patient.6 With tons of research going on, personalized medicine might just be a few years away.

Only time will tell if nutrigenomics is truly the way of the future for nutrition. With so many dietitians currently using genetic testing as part of their services, it definitely seems pretty promising!  

Jane Skapinker

Registered Dietitian

References

  1. The science behind personalized nutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.food4me.org/about/nutrigenomics
  2. Nutrigenomics – PEN Pathway – Dietitians of Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  3. Cianfrini, L. (2015, January 8). A career in nutrigenomics: Addressing three key questions. Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.dietitians.ca/Learn/Practice-Blog/January-2015/A-career-in-nutrigenomics-Addressing-three-key-qu.aspx
  4. Personalized Medicine: Matching Treatments to Your Genes. (2013, December 1). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/dec2013/feature1
  5. Scott, S. A. (2011). Personalizing medicine with clinical pharmacogenetics. Genetics in Medicine : Official Journal of the American College of Medical Genetics, 13(12), 987-995. doi:10.1097/GIM.0b013e318238b38c
  6. Personalized Medicine. (2015, January 30). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/scienceresearch/specialtopics/personalizedmedicine/default.htm  

Monday, November 27, 2017 in
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