Patients, friends, and family have been asking Dr. Jimenez what are nutrigenomics, and nutrigenetics?
Nutrigenomics: Is the study of how food and nutrients affect our gene expression.
Identify, and provide supplements to a woman who metabolizes folate poorly in order to reduce neural tube defects in pregnancy.
Recommending a low fat diet versus low carbohydrate diet as the best way to lose excess weight.
As technology advances along with medical breakthroughs, there is not a day without there being a new cure or treatment to learn about. The trend is currently focused on the field of genetics and genomics, which consists of having personalized nutrition.
In the past recommending nutritional plans was population based. The only difference was between age, sex and pregnancy.
There is mounting evidence that nutrition throughout one’s life course modifies the epigenome.
There has been an increase in studies, which have reported associations between gene polymorphisms, nutrition, and disease risk.
Epigenetic processes affect how the body uses nutrients.
The field of epigenetics explains unaccounted for variations in disease risk that is linked to the understanding of the interaction between nutrition and the genome.
A personalized nutrition dietary recommendation has the potential to decrease nutrition-related diseases.
There are still practical and economic challenges associated with this strategy.
Major epigenetic processes are DNA methylation, histone modification and noncoding RNAs.
This suggests the possibility that epigenotypes or (stable pattern of gene expression outside the actual base pair sequence of DNA) associated with disease risk can be changed.
The nature of an epigenetic change that is induced by specific nutrient/s intervention depends on the animal species, sex, genotype, and target gene, as well as, the timing of exposure and direction of the nutritional change.
There is also the possibility that epigenetic marks present at birth may act as predictors for future disease risk and pave the way to improve an individual’s health.
Nutritional Genomics goal is to prevent the onset and development of chronic diseases. This is done by targeting dietary recommendations based on an individual’s genetic profile. Discoveries being made in the field, demonstrate that individuals are benefitting from adhering to different nutritional guidelines. However, this also depends on their genotype.
Knowing an individual’s genetic code helps better understand the intricacies and complexities of a case and aids in guiding recommendations in line with an individual’s genetic requirements.
However, treating Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP’s) is not the aim of genomics.
However, even knowing someone’s SNP does not tell if a gene is on or off. This is where functional testing and case history come into play. Therefore, genomic testing is just a portion of the bigger picture.
Epigenetics is still a new science with the availability of new tools continually emerging. The field is rapidly progressing, and the findings reflect these advances in understanding and analyzing technologies.
And while trying to wrap your head around all of this can be daunting, don’t worry, it takes a few reps before it starts to make sense. And because of this, one of Dr. Jimenez’ goals is to simplify as much as possible. The program, terminology, and diet. And one way is going to be through SMOOTHIES! Putting it all into one easy drink will make it easier for everyone.
The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association advocate that many of the effects of diet on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and the outcomes are mediated by changes in gene expression. This means that the utilization of global transcriptional profiling is an important tool in nutrigenomics, and therefore cannot be denied that nutrigenomics is being taken seriously by those in the field of medical research.
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