Date of Issue2013
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
The growing epidemic of obesity, as well as the alarming rise in associated pathologies, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, reflects a mismatch between modern diet and lifestyle and our thrifty human genome. At the turn of the millennium, application of high-performance technologies associated with genomics to nutritional sciences catalysed the emergence of nutritional genomics, a revolutionary research area that focuses on characterising the bidirectional interactions between genes and nutrition. In particular, nutrigenomics uses the so-called “omics technologies” to define and characterise “dietary signatures” that may reflect the actions of nutrients on the structure and expression of the whole human genome, as well as the final impact on health. In this article, we review how food components interact with our genes and how new insights in the field of nutrigenomics are leading to individualised nutrition, which may be of benefit in disease prevention, as well as in combination with medical treatments. Repercussions for the food chain are presented, such as the development of a new generation of foods of high nutritional value with regard to nutrition and health promotion. In addition, some social and ethical implications are discussed.
© 2013 Springer Healthcare-CEC Editore.