Nutrigenomics (How Food Affects Our Genes and Our Genetic Expression)
What is Nutrigenomics?
Nutrigenomics is the study of nutrition and genetics which focuses on the different responses of people to food based on their genetic make up. Each person is unique and that can be proven through the different genetic blueprints we are made of. Although humans are quite similar genetically, our bodies react differently to nutrients. It is believed that the nutrients we take in can affect our genetic expression through transcription and translation.
Scientists aims to unravel the complex interaction between nutrients and genes in order to come up with a diet designed to complement the genetic makeup of a person. Berit Johansen a professor of biology at NTNU, supervised students conducting this research said that it did not only affect the genes that caused the inflammation in the body. This will not only will optimise the health of the individual, but it may also work on a larger scale to help prevent society-wide diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and malnutrition.
How Can Food Affect Our Genetic Expression?
In research conducted by Ingerid Arbo and Hans-Richard Brattback, both NTNU researchers. They fed slightly overweight individuals with different diets and studied the effects of gene expression; they found out that a diet with 65% carbohydrates can actually cause a number of classes of genes to work more than the usual and affect genes associated to several health illnesses.
Nutrition Personalised To Individual Genetic Profile
By choosing the right food to eat, you are optimising your health to its full potential. The effect of some nutrients on a person will help you understand what specific types of food you need to consume for a long, healthy and vital life. This approach helps individuals achieve optimum nutrition and ultimately satisfy needs through personalised diet.
Our lifestyle plays a big part when it comes to our health, just as our diet and nutrition does too and how we manage our emotions. Let’s all take control and be the best versions of us we can possibly be. Researchers encourage intake of plant based foods, this can alter the genes but will never ever change their basic structure.
Reasons to love a plant based diet more:
- Plant based diet can slow the ageing process.
- Plant based diet can prevent prostate cancer in men.
- Plant based diet can result to significant changes in weight, vascular health and can improve inflammation.
Food is not just a source of protein, carbohydrates and fats. The next time you eat, think about how food can affect your future children and if you already have kids then please pass on this article to them if they’re planning a family or don’t yet have one of their own.
Remember, what goes into your mouth is information that can be viewed as a control to our genes, it modifies itself depending on the nutrients your body receives.
Benefits of Nutrigenomics
The National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) mission is to reduce or eliminate racial and ethnic health imbalance that affects interactions between genes and the environment.
The benefits for nutrigenomics are limited (for now) but scientists have a vision of the potential benefits which may be useful in the future:
- It encourages people to become more aware of their diet.
- Knowing one’s genetic susceptibilities can motivate a person to live a healthy lifestyle and make changes to the diet.
- Prevention of diseases.
- No need for unnecessary vitamins.
If you liked this article, you might like another recent one titled ‘Epigenetics: What’s it’s role in human health’?
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