Nutrigenomics combines the study of nutrition and genetics to discover the different ways people respond to food based on their genetic make-up. While humans are very similar genetically, we all have slight differences in our genetic blueprints which set us apart from other people. These tiny variations determine both the effect nutrients have on our bodies and how we metabolize the food that we eat.
Personalized nutrition hinges on this two-way relationship between nutrients and genes. On the one hand, the nutrients we consume can affect the way our genes are expressed; on the other, our genes are able to influence how our bodies respond to these nutrients.
The goal for nutrigenomic scientists is to unravel this complex interaction so that tailored diets can be developed which complement a person’s unique genetic profile. Not only will this optimize 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.
We had the opportunity recently to talk by phone with one of the leading experts in the field of nutrigenomics, Dr. Pauline Gee. Click the play button below to listen to our interview with Dr. Gee who explains what nutrigenomics is and what it means for the future of healthcare.