Nutrigenomics is the study1 of how different foods may interact with specific genes to increase the risk of common chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Nutrigenomics initially referred to the study of the effects of nutrients on the expression of an individual’s genetic makeup. More recently, this definition has been broadened to encompass nutritional factors that protect the genome from damage. Ultimately, nutrigenomics is concerned with the impact of dietary components on the genome, the proteome (the sum total of all proteins), and the metabolome (the sum of all metabolites). As in pharmacogenomics, where a drug will have diverse impacts on different segments of the population, researchers recognize that only a portion of the population will respond positively to specific nutritional interventions, while others will be unresponsive, and still other could even be adversely affected (see: Wikipedia).
- 1.Mead MN. Nutrigenomics: The Genome–Food Interface. Environmental Health Perspectives. Published online December 2007. doi:10.1289/ehp.115-a582