As science peers deeper into the genetic make-up of humans, a new branch of study, nutrigenomics, seeks to explore the correlation between people’s “gene expressions” and the diets best suited to them.
A gene expression is the conversion of information encoded in a gene first into messenger RNA and then into a protein. Nutrigenomics studies genetic factors that influence how a body responds to different diets as well as agents in food that can affect gene expression.
Hopes are that this relatively new branch of science will be able to match each person’s unique genetic make-up with the foods that help it function best. If successful, the approach could work as a preventive measure, forestalling the development of such diseases as diabetes through the creation of custom diets.
The December 2008 Special Issue of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, carries part 1 of a two-part series on the topic. The second part will be published in spring.