The Relationship Between Your Genes and the Food You Eat

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What is nutrigenomics?

Nutrigenomics, also known as nutritional genomics, looks at the relationship between genes and nutrients

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The science

The Human Genome Project, which ran from 1990 until 2003, allowed scientists to generate the sequence of the human genome.

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The ultimate goal

The ultimate goal is to understand the messages certain foods tell our genes and their consequences. “If you can learn the language of your genes and control the messages and instructions they give your body and your metabolism

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Personalized diet

Every individual has specific nutritional and genetic interactions. Understanding these is key to prescribing a tailored diet for that individual, depending on the goal.

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Your DNA, your food

Some basic dietary notions apply to many people, but not all. DNA is unique to each individual, and knowing our genetic information can change the way we eat.

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Cholesterol

One example is how our bodies metabolize cholesterol. It turns out one specific gene plays a huge role in this.

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Obesity

Obesity has been linked to a number of medical conditions, including type-2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s currently one of the biggest public health problems in the developed world

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Nutrigenomic testing

Your genes can also signal how much you crave sweets, and therefore be helpful in preventing type-2 diabetes.

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Food additives

Food additives are pretty common. Things such as folate, which is used to enrich cereal and bread, may play a role in the incidence of colon cancer in Western countries

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The link between appetite and genes

The study, which included half a million volunteers, found that naturally lean people who showed small changes in the MC4R gene were able to control their appetite and therefore not gain weight

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Genetics and food preferences

We know that appetite can be influenced by our genes, but why do we love or hate certain foods? Are we genetically programmed to do so? Apparently yes.

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