By Nmami Agarwal
Personalized nutrition is a conceptual analog to personalized medicine. While there are food products available that address requirements or preferences of specific consumer groups, these products are based on empirical consumer science rather than on nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics.
Personalized Nutrition is a large – scale nutrition initiative that aims to help people make healthier food choices. There are different stages of personalized nutrition; among all the phases the most important stage i.e. one has to be sure about the glucose level in the body.
The concept of “personalized” medicine is now being extended to the field of nutrition. It is now accepted that nutrientsalter molecular processes such as DNA structure, gene expression, and metabolism, and these in turn may alter disease initiation, development, or progression. Individual genetic variation can influence how nutrients are assimilated, metabolized, stored, and excreted by the body.
The application of nutritional genomics to personal and public health poses ethical issues similar to those of pharmacogenomics, particularly with respect to genetic privacy. In addition, some believe that the predictive power of a genetic test for diet advice is too low to be of concern.
The metabolic profiles are explored with sophisticated data mining techniques mainly based on multivariate statistics, which can recover key metabolic information to be further linked to biochemical processes and physiological events. The power of metabonomics relies on its unique ability to assess functional changes in the metabolism of complex organisms stemming from multiple influences such as lifestyle and environmental factors. In particular, metabolic profiles encapsulate information on the metabolic activity of symbiotic partners, i.e. gut microflora, in complex organisms, which represent major determinant in nutrition and health. Therefore, applications of metabonomics to nutrition sciences led to the nutrimetabonomics approach for the classification of dietary responses in populations and the possibility of optimized or personalized nutritional management.
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