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J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Mar;106(3):403-13.

Nutrigenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and the practice of dietetics.

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  • 1Nutritional Science Research Group, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The human genome is estimated to encode over 30,000 genes, and to be responsible for generating more than 100,000 functionally distinct proteins. Understanding the interrelationships among genes, gene products, and dietary habits is fundamental to identifying those who will benefit most from or be placed at risk by intervention strategies. Unraveling the multitude of nutrigenomic, proteomic, and metabolomic patterns that arise from the ingestion of foods or their bioactive food components will not be simple but is likely to provide insights into a tailored approach to diet and health. The use of new and innovative technologies, such as microarrays, RNA interference, and nanotechnologies, will provide needed insights into molecular targets for specific bioactive food components and how they harmonize to influence individual phenotypes. Undeniably, to understand the interaction of food components and gene products, there is a need for additional research in the "omics" of nutrition. It is incumbent upon dietetics professionals to recognize that an individual's response to dietary intervention will depend on his or her genetic background and that this information may be used to promote human health and disease prevention. The objectives of this review are to acquaint nutritional professionals with terms relating to "omics," to convey the state of the science to date, to envision the possibilities for future research and technology, and to recognize the implications for clinical practice.

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