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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 135  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 924-925

Personalized nutrition: Translating nutrigenetic/nutrigenomic research into dietary guidelines

1-2-98/2, Sriniketan, Kakateeya Nagar, Habsiguda, Hyderabad 500 007, India

Date of Web Publication23-Jul-2012

Correspondence Address:
Kamla Krishnaswamy
1-2-98/2, Sriniketan, Kakateeya Nagar, Habsiguda, Hyderabad 500 007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Krishnaswamy K. Personalized nutrition: Translating nutrigenetic/nutrigenomic research into dietary guidelines. Indian J Med Res 2012;135:924-5

How to cite this URL:
Krishnaswamy K. Personalized nutrition: Translating nutrigenetic/nutrigenomic research into dietary guidelines. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Sep 25];135:924-5. Available from:

Personalized nutrition: Translating nutrigenetic/nutrigenomic research into dietary guidelines, A.P. Simopoulos, J.A. Milner, editors (Kargar, Switzerland) 2010. 180 pages. Price: not mentioned.

ISBN 978-3-8055-9427-1

The volume 101 of World Reviews of Nutrition and Dietetics series is a compilation of 17 selected papers of the Third Congress of the International Society of Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics (ISNN), which provides insights/predictions into the future of personalized diet/nutrition for several chronic diseases based on the genetic make up of individuals and bidirectional interactions of genes and nutrients/food. The futuristic and optimistic tenor of the papers promises individualization of diet therapy and prevention possibilities similar to the field of pharmacogenomics. The papers span several topics such as obesity, cancer, hypertension, foetal origins of adult diseases, effects of choline, polyphenols, dietary influences on epigenetics, inflammation, toxicogenomics, oxidative stress in neurologic diseases, plausibility in agriculture and also on consortia efforts. The key note address delivered by the Vice President of the Society forms the opening paper which has delineated the opportunities and challenges in nutrigenetics and genomics field. Though variability in responses to diet due to the bidirectional effects of nutrients and gene interactions and probability of risks modifiable by diet/nutrients exist, these need to be translated into clinical practice very carefully. The contrasting effects of nutrients, surrogate end points, premature health claims, ethical/legal implications are the challenges on the road to personalized nutrition and scientists need to communicate and clarify the complex issues.

The next paper focuses on genome wide association studies (GWAS) and diet. The human genome project has certainly fuelled studies on genetics and disease, but information on environment and diet is not precise enough for clinical implications due to innumerable interactions of environmental agents inclusive of diet with multiple genes for particular phenotypic manifestations. The enabling technologies of gene profiling and databases available have thrown light on Crohn's and Celiac diseases and are likely to yield more information on genetic basis of other diseases. The following paper illustrates that the differential responses of Huntington's disease and retrovirus induced myalgic encephalomyelitis to a synthetic pro drug ethyl EPA are a function of copy number variation.

The subsequent paper on obesity is not only interesting but more of practical significance for the obese world today. Literature is replete with theories on aetiological issues of obesity but the paper highlights associations of genetic variants of appetite regulation/energy intake, lipid metabolism, thermogenesis and adipokines in relation to differential responses to dietary macronutrients on weight loss regimes. The detailed review provides evidence and need for gene profiling to arrive at best responses to dietary macronutrient impacts on weight loss and its sustainability. It is apparent that the best responses to dietary intervention are mediated through genetic polymophisms (gene and gene expressions). The other papers on xenobiotic metabolising enzymes, genotypes and adenocarcinoma of colon in relation to meat related carcinogens, the polygenic nature of hypertension with causative and compensating genes with small effects towards the phenotype and how to arrive at these delicate balance (candidate genes) through large scale clinical /population intervention studies, can stimulate researchers to think and plan studies with better designs to be translated into practice.

The size at birth (weight and length), growth performance during early childhood and adult onset diseases discussed illustrate how the same gene expressions vary depending on in utero nutritional environment and risk of chronic diseases in later life. It is important for interventions to strike a proper balance in nutrition. The authors interpret the results considering that the time related stress during critical/vulnerable periods of growth (stage of development) can activate genes involved in several functions through an orchestrated process of gene action, nutrients availability/partitioning, cellular, functional maturation and metabolic efficiency. These alterations are mostly mediated through epigenetic regulation or hypo/hypermethylation of nucleotides. In addition, elegant animal experiments have been reviewed.

The next paper not only emphasizes on statistics required for clinical studies vs GWAS, but also illustrates the case studies on SNPs of choline biosynthesis which is a methyl donor , its requirements and enhanced demand during pregnancy and lactation being satisfied through estrogen stimulated choline biosynthesis. The paper on polyphenols, genes mediating inflammatory and oxidative stress effects, histone modifications on lysine residues, transcriptional regulation, steroid resistance in chronic respiratory disorders and cancer is of topical interest. Use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) in cancer prevention and dietary regulation of histone structure and function (gene silencing) are discussed in the next paper. The area is evolving and clinical trials are in progress with HDAC inhibitors in colon and prostate cancer. It is a promising area and dietary modifiers with specific effects on epigenetic mechanisms may enhance the scope of treatment and prevention possibilities. Expression profile of genes in adipose tissue during weight loss is covered in the next paper. Toxicogenomic changes precede molecular, cellular, physiological and biochemical changes. The paper on this specialized subject enlightens on how consortial approach has sharpened microarrays and helped to enhance laboratory proficiency to arrive at expressions and molecular end points. The molecular signatures can increase the mechanistic understanding of toxicity / adaptive responses of clinical relevance. In the next paper, microRNAs affecting cell proliferation and liver carcinogenesis as a result of methyl deficiency is described with dysregulated, microRNAs affecting several cellular processes.

The paper on schizophrenia documents a candidate hub related to dysregulation of oxidative stress with genetic impairment of glutathione synthesis due to both genetic and environmental insults. N-acetyl cysteine, precursor of GSH improves negative symptoms of the disease, a proof of concept of oxidative stress.

It is important that agriculture science is tailored to nutritional needs. This concept finds its expression in the paper on nutrigenomics and agriculture. A commercially available SNP chip can predict whether a dairy cow has the necessary traits for milk production. The nutrigenomic approach has wider applications for agriculture and would help in selecting plant varieties with desired nutritional and storage potentials. It perhaps can predict the capacity to withstand abiotic and biotic stress.

The last two papers are on partnership approaches between industry-academia for shared goals and ethical values. The nutripharmacology has helped private sector to develop technology for designer oils for functional and medicinal foods. The paper indicates how basic scientists in academia and technologists together can pave way for personalized nutrition. Networks, shared ground and anatomy of partnership approach are well illustrated. The last paper is on collaborative efforts in New Zealand on Crohn's disease with different genetic variants showing differential responses to food.

The book is an excellent collection on all existing interactions of genes and dietary factors as well as complexity of chronic diseases. As on date the book is useful for molecular biologists, geneticists and nutritional researchers. Interested clinicians can enhance their knowledge but the subject is far from translation to clinical practice. Several investigations are in the stage of infancy and some in foetal stage and the tools of investigations and the science have to become more relevant and less expensive for clinical applications. Agricultural scientists can enhance the nutrition traits and build on it to produce better crops. The book should find a place in all academic institutes and industries.


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