Nutrigenetics (DNA-Based Diet and Nutrition) can be used to modify existing standard guidelines and provide an element of personalisation to the otherwise “one size fits all” advice. It can be beneficial when it is added to other information such as gender, height, weight, age, state of health etc., it is not used in isolation nor does it override other parameters. Nutrigenetics is part of everyday nutrition – it is not specifically therapeutic and does not depend on the use of nutraceuticals or supplements.
In general use, it is not intended for specific disease prevention but as an aid in optimising diet and lifestyle for promoting long term health based on the best evidence that is available. Nutrigenetic, and indeed nutritional advice in general, is useful for maintaining health and its primary purpose is not for treating disease.
These points are all important for determining the threshold of evidence required to support nutrigenetic advice and in this context the appropriate level of evidence should be the same as that applied to existing nutritional guidelines in the first place. This is the case for several gene x diet interactions and there is evidence that nutrigenetic advice is better understood and more likely to be followed compared to general dietary advice plus it can be beneficial for example in long-term weight control.
Nutrigenetics represents right now a valuable tool in the hands of the individual and the health professional, especially for dieticians and nutritionists who should incorporate evidence-based gene/diet information when devising nutrition programs for their clients. Health professionals routinely evaluate a range of biological data (biomarkers, height, weight, gender, ethnicity, health issues, etc.) when formulating personalised diets and it is entirely logical that genotype should also be included where the evidence is sufficient.
Nutrigenetics involves the study of how individual genetic variation affects interaction with components of the diets, including micro & macronutrients and toxins. Genetic variation has been demonstrated to affect uptake, transport, metabolism and elimination of food components and also affects individual daily requirements for some essential nutrients. Indeed there has been good evidence available for at almost 20 years that: “With the identification of polymorphisms, or common mutations, in vitamin metabolism, large percentages of the population may have higher requirements for specific vitamins” -Prof. Rima Rozen, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 76(2), 301–2 (2002)
Healthy eating is not a straight forward proposition in the modern world, and expert committees charged with the responsibility of making dietary recommendations have to do so in the context of complex and incomplete information. The goal of personalized nutrition is not to substitute the official guidelines but to enhance or modify them for the individual where there is available evidence to do so. The level of evidence for nutrigenetic advice should be assessed according to the same standards as traditional nutritional advice.
Test your DNA for a selection of key genes to help you truly understand your genetic response to training.
- Diet Type Recommendation
- Carbohydrate Response
- Saturated Fat Response
- Lactose Intolerance
- Gluten Intolerance
- Detoxification Profile
- Anti-Oxidant Need
- Omega-3 Need
- Vitamin B Need
- Vitamin D Need
- Alcohol Sensitivity
- Salt Sensitivity
- Caffeine Sensitivity