03 January 2017
The role of nutrigenetics in the personalized approach to nutrition
People who turn to nutritional counselling are generally seeking for answers and treatments that require a personalised approach. Personalized nutrition is an innovative type of approach that has shown excellent results in recent years also thanks to the valuable contribution provided by Nutrigenetics, the branch of genetics applied to the study of the interaction between the human body and food.
The main concerns patients seek advice about are weight management issues and health prevention, however more and more patients are also reporting a variety of disorders that are not classifiable as a diagnosed disease. The practitioner’s task is to present the patient with a functional diet plan, which will take into account all the information about the patient, their medical history, lifestyle and the surrounding environment.
Nutrigenetic testing is an innovative tool designed to analyse specific points of the DNA and provide professionals with specific information about a variety of key metabolic aspects of the patient which will allow for the highest degree of customization in the diet plan.
The variety of aspects investigated by DNA testing includes macronutrient metabolism and other aspects that affect the patient’s relationship with food under a motivational and behavioural point of view. Furthermore, DNA testing can also investigate functional aspects, such as the body’s capability of absorbing and metabolizing certain vitamins and minerals, the predisposition to food intolerances and to metabolic diseases linked to ageing.
The scientific literature surrounding Nutrigenetics has also extendedly studied the interaction between certain genes involved in the metabolic pathways of antioxidation and detoxification and their effect on the level of oxidative stress and on cell health. All this information deals with individual health in a synergistic way and can pave the way for an effective and targeted prevention plan.
Further applications of personalized nutrition and treatment can also be found in sport genetics, which is aimed at identifying individual athletic potential, improving physical performance and maintaining results and overall wellness over time.
The personalized approach based on Nutrigenetic testing involves a significant quantity of information about each single patient that wasn’t available before to practitioners. Thanks to the research lead on the human genome and to a vast literature of scientific publications practitioners today have access to this information which is shaping the future of nutritional therapy.