Diet & Genetic Expression

by Trace on April 26, 2010

Diet can alter our genetic expression because nutrients in food can alter our DNA!

What is Nutrigenomics?

Nutrigenomics focuses on using foods’ natural components to promote better health.Nutrigenomics

Nutrigenomics is NOT when scientists modify a food’s DNA by splicing and adding genes. This is genetic modification of foods. This is not nutrigenomics.

Personalized Medicine with Personalized Nutrition

The concept of “personalized” medicine is now being extended to the field of nutrition.  It is now accepted that nutrients (i.e., macronutrients, micronutrients) alter molecular processes such as DNA structure, gene expression, and metabolism, and these in turn may alter disease initiation, development, or progression. Individual genetic variation can influence how nutrients are assimilated, metabolized, stored, and excreted by the body.


It’s called Nutrigenomics.

“Studies on nutrients, gene expression could lead to tailored diets for disease prevention”

Kansas-State University researchers say Nutrigenomics likely to change the future of public health

Personal health recommendations and diets tailored to better prevent diseases may be in our future, just by focusing on genetics.

Researchers at Kansas State University recently published an academic journal article discussing the potential for nutrigenomics, a field that studies the effects of food on gene expression. The researchers discussed the possibility of using food to prevent an individual’s genes from expressing disease. The researchers said nutrigenomics could completely change the future of public health and the food and culinary industries.

Nutrigenomics involves tailoring diets to someone’s genetic makeup,” said Koushik Adhikari, Kansas-State assistant professor of sensory analysis.

“I speculate that in five to 10 years, you would go to a genetic counselor or a physician who could help you understand your genetic makeup, and then a nutritional professional could customize your diet accordingly.”

Nutrigenomics is a fast-moving field of research that combines molecular biology, genetics and nutrition to regulate gene expression through specific nutrients. Nutrients have been Genes.Blueshown to affect gene expression through transcription factors, which are biochemical entities that bind to DNA and either promote or inhibit transcription of genes. By understanding the roles of specific nutrients and how they might cause diseases, scientists could recommend specific foods for an individual based on his or her genetics.

“That is where I think the main focus of nutrigenomics is going to be in the future,” Adhikari said. “It could tell you that you have the propensity for certain chronic diseases so that you could modify your diet accordingly. With a better understanding of how nutrients alter gene expression, there is a potential that food could be used instead of medication to combat problems like high cholesterol.”

In Australia … CSIRO & Nutrigenomics
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science agency. Formed in 1926, CSIRO is one of the largest and most diverse scientific institutions in the world with more than 50 sites throughout Australia and overseas. CSIRO has a long history of research excellence in the food and genetics areas, including nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics.


For More Information:

3rd Asia Pacific Nutrigenomic Conference was in Melb, Australia May 6-9, 2008

4th Asia Pacific Nutrigenomics Conference was in Auckland, NZ  Feb 21-26, 2010

5th Asia Pacific Nutrigenomics Conference … to be announced

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