Nutrigenetics and personalized nutrition

January 5, 2022

A few years ago, when the nutrition revolution had not yet broken out, patients who went to see a dietician-nutritionist (DN) had the sole objective of losing weight. The role played by this health professional was to guide a diet, almost always restrictive, to starve and lose those extra kilos that are so bothersome. This was the opinion that the population had of nutrition in general and of the DN in particular. However, this approach has undergone a radical change in recent years, where nutrition and a "healthy" lifestyle are on everyone's lips. And to a large extent, this change is due to the power of social networks, which have helped and continue to help make the population aware of the importance of food to achieve good health.

Nutrigenomics it is the science that defines the relationship between diet and our genetically determined response (and predisposition) to it. We know, for example, that our genes influence food preferences and tolerances. In addition to this, we are now also beginning to understand how dietary components influence the expression of genes that modulate our physiological response to the foods we eat. Many foods are now identified with direct health benefits in addition to their nutritional value.

May your medicine be your food, and food your medicine. But eating when you're sick feeds the disease


What does personalized nutrition take into account?

Beyond the objective and the specific nutritional needs of each individual, personalized nutrition takes into account other factors that shape day-to-day life and therefore influence the ability of each patient to adhere to a diet. Some examples are:

– Food intolerances or allergies that must be considered

– The free time we have to dedicate ourselves and prepare the different recipes

– The emotional state at that particular moment

– food tastes

– The work environment, since we spend most of the week at work and, therefore, the nutritional strategy must be able to adapt to it

– Genetics, since each person has different genes that determine the response to different nutrients or eating patterns. This science is called nutrigenetics.

What is nutrigenetics?

Nutrigenetics is a discipline of both nutrition and genetics that is gaining prominence in recent years, as it contains the key to achieving unprecedented health promotion.

Nutrigenetics defends that, as we already know, we are all different, that is, there is no other human being who shares the same genes with us, not even in the case of identical twins. Our genes are totally unique.

Since the sequencing of the human genome, we know that there are some 35,000 coding genes in our cells, that is, those that actually give rise to proteins and, therefore, all allow the physical, chemical, physiological and metabolic processes of our body. In these 35,000 genes is "written" everything we are and, above all, what we can become.

And we emphasize this second part because this is where nutrition comes in. And it is that we should not think of genes as something static or as if their expression were a simple mathematical sum (If I have gene A I will be in the way A”). In biology, and more at molecular levels such as genetic material, things are not so simple.

The expression of genes to give rise to our tissues, organs, face, abilities, capacities, way of being, etc. It is a very complex process that depends on the environment. That is, nature gives us the genes, which are the "ingredients." Depending on how you live, you are going to "cook" them in a certain way, making the way in which the genes express themselves and the degree to which they do so vary enormously.

And it has been observed that one of the environmental factors that has the greatest influence on gene expression is diet. The nutrients and all the components present in food are processed by our cells, so let's not forget that we eat to feed each and every one of the billions of cells that make up our body.

And once processed, these nutrients have a huge impact on gene expression, modulating DNA activity and thus influencing countless aspects of our physiology and anatomy. And this is what nutrigenetics is based on: the power of food to determine how we are (and how we will be), thus bringing into play the entire field of disease prevention, something in which nutrigenetics has much to do. tell.

personalized nutrition in Oorenji

Combining all these factors so that they are reflected in a nutritional strategy is the task of the DN, which is facilitated by the use of a platform to manage all this information. Mefood is one of them, which stands out for its modern and intuitive interface and for being up-to-date with the latest advances in nutrition, such as nutrigenetic information, which can be obtained from a saliva sample and whose analysis and integration is available in Oorenji.

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