Our burgeoning knowledge of the interaction between genes and nutrition is leading to a greater understanding of favourable and adverse effects of diet on specific health conditions or to put it succinctly, nutrigenomics.
Nutrigenomics is, according to Dr. Nancy Fogg-Johnson who delivered a paper this week at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, a genetically-based, nutrition and dietary intervention approach that will result in dietary supplements, functional and medical foods that maximise the health of each individual.
Dr. Fogg-Johnson stated that subpopulations respond to dietary patterns in ways that are different yet predictable based on knowledge of genetic profiles. Patterns of dietary and biological response can lead to health or disease and examples in the area of cardiovascular and central nervous system health demonstrate the strong connection between nutrition and genotype.
She added that while enabling basic science exists and expands daily, moulding this information into viable products/services is at the early stages.
Beyond the obvious improvements to quality of life and health, Dr. Fogg-Johnson stressed that nutrigenomics can provide a new mode for market segmentation as well as new markets for the food industry and that the technology to accomplish this is rapidly becoming a reality.