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Nutrients. 2012 Dec 3;4(12):1898-944. doi: 10.3390/nu4121898.

Molecular nutrition research: the modern way of performing nutritional science.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway. frode.norheim@medisin.uio.no

Abstract

In spite of amazing progress in food supply and nutritional science, and a striking increase in life expectancy of approximately 2.5 months per year in many countries during the previous 150 years, modern nutritional research has a great potential of still contributing to improved health for future generations, granted that the revolutions in molecular and systems technologies are applied to nutritional questions. Descriptive and mechanistic studies using state of the art epidemiology, food intake registration, genomics with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, advanced biostatistics, imaging, calorimetry, cell biology, challenge tests (meals, exercise, etc.), and integration of all data by systems biology, will provide insight on a much higher level than today in a field we may name molecular nutrition research. To take advantage of all the new technologies scientists should develop international collaboration and gather data in large open access databases like the suggested Nutritional Phenotype database (dbNP). This collaboration will promote standardization of procedures (SOP), and provide a possibility to use collected data in future research projects. The ultimate goals of future nutritional research are to understand the detailed mechanisms of action for how nutrients/foods interact with the body and thereby enhance health and treat diet-related diseases.

PMID:
23208524
PMCID:
PMC3546614
DOI:
10.3390/nu4121898
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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