Learning about the emerging science of Nutrigenomics

It has been a month since I subscribed myself to the certified e-online course offered by the European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO).It is a network connecting researchers from across Europe and beyond to work together and share their expertise upon linking genomics and nutrition with research on health.

Nutrigenomics can be defined as the study between food constituents (macronutients and micronutrients)and its effect on gene expression. Many articles show that nutritional supplements improve many metabolic abnormalities by enhancing specific biochemical pathways. The aim is to find genetic markers that have an impact on diet related diseases like diabetes type 2, obesity etc..
There are already several association studies available that explain to which extent an individual is susceptible for the development of that disease, once a marker has been found and analyzed, personalized dietary recommendations can be given to the patients that are most likely to be effective with less implications and side reactions that affect a patient in a negative way

Through enrollment to 2 training courses (Molecular Nutrition and Genomics, Polymorphism and Responsiveness to Diet) I have access to the NuGO site for 3 months. Weekly I get newsletters from renowned scientific and medical magazines and read about newly published articles.
Though the Courses are directed towards dietitians and Nutritioners to explore the emerging science of nutrigenomics, it invites also other work fields related to biological science or equivalent to participate and contribute to the NuGO community.

What I learned from NuGO so far,What You can learn, benefit

New findings in nutrigenomics will be important because testing for associated genes may be useful for advising personal diets based on genetic tests.
There are several companies around the world profiting from consumers by giving them the illusions of advising personalized diets through testing the consumers genes. The fact that remains unsaid is that all testing constitutes of screening for variations in 19 genes, which is less than 0.1% of all the genes ( approximately 30000 genes in human).There are many more (unknown) variations which could be important for a personalized diet advice but these are ignored by those companies. These so called advertised personalized diets are in fact general diets and are nearly advising the same as the dietary guidelines of “The American Hearth Association”. Other companies base their advice on results of lifestyle and food questionnaires the customer filled in. This advice is of course personal, but not based on the genome. Some times such advice is called personalized diet advice. However, most of the time this advice is called tailored advice. Before I visited NuGO I was myself lured into that lie believing that it is true and not thinking about the idea that people do market the idea of testing the individual’s genetic makeup. For myself as an emerging biotechnologist I found those topics very much interesting and wanted to learn more about it, this way I can profit from the new knowledge that I acquire and expand thereof my scientific know-how in nutrigenomics and biotechnology.


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