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Physiol Genomics. 2004 Jan 15;16(2):166-77.

Nutritional genomics: the next frontier in the postgenomic era.

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Laboratory for High Performance Computing and Informatics, Section of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California at Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.


The interface between the nutritional environment and cellular/genetic processes is being referred to as "nutrigenomics." Nutrigenomics seeks to provide a molecular genetic understanding for how common dietary chemicals (i.e., nutrition) affect health by altering the expression and/or structure of an individual's genetic makeup. The fundamental concepts of the field are that the progression from a healthy phenotype to a chronic disease phenotype must occur by changes in gene expression or by differences in activities of proteins and enzymes and that dietary chemicals directly or indirectly regulate the expression of genomic information. We present a conceptual basis and specific examples for this new branch of genomic research that focuses on the tenets of nutritional genomics: 1) common dietary chemicals act on the human genome, either directly or indirectly, to alter gene expression or structure; 2) under certain circumstances and in some individuals, diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases; 3) some diet-regulated genes (and their normal, common variants) are likely to play a role in the onset, incidence, progression, and/or severity of chronic diseases; 4) the degree to which diet influences the balance between healthy and disease states may depend on an individual's genetic makeup; and 5) dietary intervention based on knowledge of nutritional requirement, nutritional status, and genotype (i.e., "individualized nutrition") can be used to prevent, mitigate, or cure chronic disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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