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Indian J Med Res. 2018 Nov;148(5):632-641. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1738_18.

Nutrigenomics: Opportunities & challenges for public health nutrition.

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Department of Biochemistry, ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India.


The hierarchical information flow through DNA-RNA-protein-metabolite collectively referred to as 'molecular fingerprint' defines both health and disease. Environment and food (quality and quantity) are the key factors known to affect the health of an individual. The fundamental concepts are that the transition from a healthy condition to a disease phenotype must occur by concurrent alterations in the genome expression or by differences in protein synthesis, function and metabolites. In other words, the dietary components directly or indirectly modulate the molecular fingerprint and understanding of which is dealt with nutrigenomics. Although the fundamental principles of nutrigenomics remain similar to that of traditional research, a collection of comprehensive targeted/untargeted data sets in the context of nutrition offers the unique advantage of understanding complex metabolic networks to provide a mechanistic understanding of data from epidemiological and intervention studies. In this review the challenges and opportunities of nutrigenomic tools in addressing the nutritional problems of public health importance are discussed. The application of nutrigenomic tools provided numerous leads on biomarkers of nutrient intake, undernutrition, metabolic syndrome and its complications. Importantly, nutrigenomic studies also led to the discovery of the association of multiple genetic polymorphisms in relation to the variability of micronutrient absorption and metabolism, providing a potential opportunity for further research toward setting personalized dietary recommendations for individuals and population subgroups.


Biomarkers; micronutrients; molecular fingerprint; nutrigenomics; recommended dietary allowances; stunting

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