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What is Nutrigenomics?
NUTRIGENOMICS is the study of the effects of foods and food constituents (nutrients) on gene expression. It is about how our DNA is transcribed into mRNA and then to proteins and provides a basis for understanding the biological activity of food components.
NUTRIGENOMICS has also been described by the influence of genetic variation on nutrition by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a nutrient’s absorption, metabolism, elimination, or biological effects. By doing so, NUTRIGENOMICS aims to develop rational means to optimize nutrition, with respect to the subject’s genotype. Research also demonstrates that these nutrient-based compounds can have significant epigenetic influences on genetic codes through methylation, demethylation, acetylation, and so on; actions that don’t change the genomic constitution but literally function to turn on or turn off or even turn up or down the activity of genes.
By determining the mechanism of the effects of nutrients or the effects of a nutritional regime, NUTRIGENOMICS tries to define the causality or relationship between these specific nutrients and specific nutrient regimes (diets) on human health.
NUTRIGENOMICS has been associated with the idea of personalized nutrition based on genotype. While there is hope that nutrigenomics will ultimately enable such personalized dietary advice, it is a science still in its infancy and its contribution to public health over the next decade is thought to be major.