Nutrigenomics – what is it and how can it benefit you?
DNA sequencing has opened the door to personalised approaches to health and fitness, enabling a more intelligent and forensic approach to nutrition, training, recovery and performance.
By Neil Bridgeman
Jul 31, 2023 • 2 min read
Nutrigenomics is a rapidly evolving field of study that explores the interaction between an individual’s genetic makeup and their response to specific nutrients in their diet. It aims to understand how genetic variations can influence the body’s metabolism, nutrient absorption, and overall health outcomes. By uncovering these genetic insights, nutrigenomics seeks to provide personalised dietary recommendations tailored to an individual’s unique genetic profile.
The process of nutrigenomics involves analysing an individual’s DNA through DNA testing. This can be done through various methods, such as collecting a saliva sample or a cheek swab. Once the DNA sample is obtained, specific genes related to metabolism, nutrient processing, and other relevant aspects are analysed to identify genetic variations, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), that may impact how the body processes nutrients.
Although an individual’s genetic code cannot be altered, the rate and manner of how genes are expressed can be influenced through diet and lifestyle modifications – this is where nutrigenomics steps in.
The benefits of DNA testing and nutrigenomics include:
1 – Personalised Nutrition: DNA testing can help reveal an individual’s specific nutritional needs based on their genetic makeup. This information allows for personalised dietary recommendations, which can lead to more effective and targeted nutrition plans.
2 – Optimal Health Outcomes: By understanding how genetic variations may affect nutrient metabolism, individuals can make informed choices about their diet and lifestyle to optimise their health and prevent or manage certain health conditions.
3 – Weight Management: DNA testing in nutrigenomics can shed light on how a person’s genetics influence their metabolism and response to different types of diets. This information can aid in creating personalised weight management strategies.
4 – Disease Prevention: Identifying genetic predispositions to certain nutrient deficiencies or metabolic pathways can help individuals take preventive measures to reduce their risk of developing certain diseases.
5 – Improved Athletic Performance: For athletes, nutrigenomics can offer insights into their unique nutrient requirements and optimal dietary strategies for enhanced performance and recovery.
6 – Targeted Supplementation: Based on genetic variations, individuals can determine whether they may benefit from specific nutrient supplements to address potential deficiencies or support particular health goals.
7- Enhanced Nutrient Absorption: Understanding how genetic factors influence nutrient absorption can guide individuals in making dietary choices that optimise the absorption of essential nutrients.
It’s important to note that while nutrigenomics holds promising potential, it is still a relatively new and developing field. DNA testing should be interpreted in conjunction with advice from qualified healthcare professional or registered nutritionist who has undertaken the correct training to interpret test results.
If you’re interested in nutrigenomics and DNA testing, get in touch. It is particularly useful in sports nutrition as DNA sequencing has opened the door to personalised approaches to health and fitness, enabling a more intelligent and forensic approach to training, recovery and performance with specific focus on cardiac output, circulation, fuel adaptation, musculoskeletal function and inflammatory responses.