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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Jul 5:1-12. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1348335. [Epub ahead of print]

21st century toolkit for optimizing population health through precision nutrition.

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a University College Dublin , Dublin , Ireland.
b Foods for Health Institute , University of California , Davis , USA.
c Food Science and Technology , University of California , Davis , USA.
d Department of Nutrition , University of California , Davis , USA.
e USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center , Davis , USA.
f Nutritional Biology , University of California , Davis , USA.
g University of California , Davis , USA.
h Department of Food Science and Technology , University of California , Davis , USA.


Scientific, technological, and economic progress over the last 100 years all but eradicated problems of widespread food shortage and nutrient deficiency in developed nations. But now society is faced with a new set of nutrition problems related to energy imbalance and metabolic disease, which require new kinds of solutions. Recent developments in the area of new analytical tools enable us to systematically study large quantities of detailed and multidimensional metabolic and health data, providing the opportunity to address current nutrition problems through an approach called Precision Nutrition. This approach integrates different kinds of "big data" to expand our understanding of the complexity and diversity of human metabolism in response to diet. With these tools, we can more fully elucidate each individual's unique phenotype, or the current state of health, as determined by the interactions among biology, environment, and behavior. The tools of precision nutrition include genomics, metabolomics, microbiomics, phenotyping, high-throughput analytical chemistry techniques, longitudinal tracking with body sensors, informatics, data science, and sophisticated educational and behavioral interventions. These tools are enabling the development of more personalized and predictive dietary guidance and interventions that have the potential to transform how the public makes food choices and greatly improve population health.


Precision nutrition; big data; food science and technology; omics; phenotyping

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