Nutritional Genomics Reviewed

Jim Kaput and Raymond L. Rodriguez, Nutritional genomics: the next frontier in the postgenomic era, Physiol. Genomics 16: 166-177, 2004.  (only abstract available free) (UPDATE: now full-text available online for free here)

"The interface between the nutritional environment and cellular/genetic processes is being referred to as "nutrigenomics." Nutrigenomics seeks to provide a molecular genetic understanding for how common dietary chemicals (i.e., nutrition) affect health by altering the _expression and/or structure of an individual’s genetic makeup. The fundamental concepts of the field are that the progression from a healthy phenotype to a chronic disease phenotype must occur by changes in gene _expression or by differences in activities of proteins and enzymes and that dietary chemicals directly or indirectly regulate the _expression of genomic information. We present a conceptual basis and specific examples for this new branch of genomic research that focuses on the tenets of nutritional genomics: 1) common dietary chemicals act on the human genome, either directly or indirectly, to alter gene _expression or structure; 2) under certain circumstances and in some individuals, diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases; 3) some diet-regulated genes (and their normal, common variants) are likely to play a role in the onset, incidence, progression, and/or severity of chronic diseases; 4) the degree to which diet influences the balance between healthy and disease states may depend on an individual’s genetic makeup; and 5) dietary intervention based on knowledge of nutritional requirement, nutritional status, and genotype (i.e., "individualized nutrition") can be used to prevent, mitigate, or cure chronic disease."

Patrick J. Stover, Nutritional genomics, Physiol. Genomics 16: 161-165, 2004. (only abstract available free)

"The integration of genomics into nutritional sciences has illuminated the complexity of genome responses to nutritional exposures while offering opportunities to increase the effectiveness of nutritional interventions, both clinical and population based. Nutrients elicit multiple physiological responses that affect genome stability, imprinting, expression, and viability. These effects confer both health benefits and risks, some of which may not become apparent until later in life. Nutritional genomics challenges us to understand the reciprocal and complex interactions among the human genome and dietary components in normal physiology and pathophysiology. Understanding these interactions will refine current definitions of benefit and risk and lead to the establishment of dietary recommendations that have a high predictive value, minimize the risk of unintended consequences, and account for the modifying effects of human genetic variation. Furthermore, nutritional genomics will enable the design of effective dietary regimens for the prevention and management of complex chronic disease. This review focuses on new perspectives that have been presented to the nutritional sciences by the advent of genomics, and new challenges that demand attention because of their potential impact on, and immediate translation into, current public health nutrition recommendations and interventions."



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