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Adv Nutr. 2014 May 14;5(3):352S-7S. doi: 10.3945/an.113.005496. Print 2014 May.

Nutritional phenotype databases and integrated nutrition: from molecules to populations.

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Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland; and School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Ulster, Northern Ireland
Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland; and.


In recent years, there has been a great expansion in the nature of new technologies for the study of all biologic subjects at the molecular and genomic level and these have been applied to the field of human nutrition. The latter has traditionally relied on a mix of epidemiologic studies to generate hypotheses, dietary intervention studies to test these hypotheses, and a variety of experimental approaches to understand the underlying explanatory mechanisms. Both the novel and traditional approaches have begun to carve out separate identities vís-a-vís their own journals, their own international societies, and their own national and international symposia. The present review draws on the advent of large national nutritional phenotype databases and related technological developments to argue the case that there needs to be far more integration of molecular and public health nutrition. This is required to address new joint approaches to such areas as the measurement of food intake, biomarker discovery, and the genetic determinants of nutrient-sensitive genotypes and other areas such as personalized nutrition and the use of new technologies with mass application, such as in dried blood spots to replace venipuncture or portable electronic devices to monitor food intake and phenotype. Future development requires the full integration of these 2 disciplines, which will provide a challenge to both funding agencies and to university training of nutritionists.

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