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Adv Nutr. 2014 May 14;5(3):368S-71S. doi: 10.3945/an.113.005686. Print 2014 May.

Personalized nutrition and cardiovascular disease prevention: From Framingham to PREDIMED.

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Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies-Food, Madrid, Spain;
Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies-Food, Madrid, Spain; Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA; and National Center of Cardiovascular Research, Madrid, Spain


Diet is considered the cornerstone for the prevention of age-related diseases, and a low-fat diet has been considered for decades as the most suitable alternative to achieve this goal. However, mounting evidence supports the efficacy of other alternatives, such as the Mediterranean diet. Nevertheless, it is well known that people present a dramatic range of responses to similar environmental challenges, and it has been shown that some of this variability is rooted in the genome. In fact, this knowledge is driving the field of nutrigenetics. The finding of interactions between diet and genetic variants has led to intense research and debate about the effectiveness of personalized nutrition as a more suitable tool for the prevention of chronic diseases than the traditional 1-size-fits-all recommendations. Here, we provide some of our own examples that illustrate the progression of nutrigenetics through the years, from the initial studies within the Framingham Heart Study, to the most recent use of large consortia, such as the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology, and ending up with large dietary intervention studies, such as the PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) study. These recent approaches are providing more robust and clinically relevant gene-diet interactions. Therefore, although the current evidence level of applying genomic information to tailoring is at its early stages, the prospect of widespread incorporation of nutrigenetics to the clinical practice is encouraging.

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