Sacramento, and in particular, the University of California, Davis studies nutritional sciences and nutrigenomics or food sciences doing a variety of research that studies genetic variation to customize healthcare strategies include proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, biocomputation, and phenomics. It’s all about getting the details and the big picture of your nutritional status, requirements, and genotype. See the uTube video on how some people study sports nutrition at: Sports Nutrition Workshop.
You can eat better according to your genotype without having to wait another ten or twenty years before testing your entire genome is affordable. Start by observing your body’s reaction to the nutritional and exercise environment. It’s about personalized nutrition and medicine. Nutrients are not just nutrients.
You have macronutrients, micronutrients, and antinutrients. The details come out in gene expression. Nutrients can alter your gene expression without changing your genes. Look at your metabolism, DNA, and gene expression the way you use your DNA test results to trace your ancestry. The door is open to personalize diets and customize your medical care. Under the umbrella of smarter nutrition, DNA plays a role that treats you as an individual rather than a member of a special group.
If you’re an older individual, it’s not possible to wait another decade to look for a customized smart diet to eat “bright” for your genotype. You can have your DNA tested now. Only be on the alert and research the company you’re working with so you don’t get scammed. A DNA test of your mtDNA or Y chromosome for deep ancestry is not enough of a test.
Neither is a test of your racial percentages. You need more clues—metabolic, chemical, and genetic clues. There are plenty of books on how to eat according to your metabolism or chemical clues, but you need more genetic information. What you need is your entire individual genetic makeup. If you can get a company to give your entire genome a pass-through and genetic printout, it could be helpful in preparing a customized diets to help prevent and ease chronic disease.
The only obstacle is that you’d need either a professional to prepare the diet by interpreting your DNA test of your entire genome, and not all physicians can look at your genes and prescribe a diet. What you’d need would be a qualified, accredited, and experienced nutritional genomic specialist to consult with you, look at your genetic profile, and prescribe a diet.
You’d need someone with enough experience in nutrition and genetics to know what foods would be best for you as a person. No diet fits all people, not even all ethnic groups. It must be individualized.
That’s why it’s called “intelligent nutrition.” Smart menus are customized to your genomic profile. You eat at the molecular level. Eating smart for your genotype is science-driven nutrition. You can write a diet book for a specific individual, who’s a member of a specific ethnic group of whom you can’t prescribe a one-size-fits-all menu for that person within any group. There’s too much individual diversity.
Where do you start? Research is the first step for any smart nutritional genomics consumer. You start by reading and going to conventions of food technologists and nutritional genomics professionals and/or students.
Do your own homework. Start with reading about the metabolic diets based on an individual’s chemistry. A decade ago, it was eating according to your blood type or metabolic type. Now it’s eating according to your entire genetic profile, your genome. The trend is becoming molecular, eating down to the atomic level in your molecules.
That’s because your genes express themselves at the molecular level, within and from the cells. The eat according to your individual profile movement began with alternative healing movements who always are keyed into research at the genetic, molecular, and chemical/metabolic levels.
Only now it’s beyond looking at blood type or the lectins that agglutinate your blood from harsh reactions to foods, individual reactions. It’s beyond chemical and metabolic, it’s now genetic. You inherit and pass on recombination of genes that express themselves in various, individual ways, even within the same family. How you react to food is genetically determined and expressed not only in and through the genes, but also in behavior, mood, and sense of well-being.
Think of the potential for this science-driven food-for-health industry. You must explore the innovations and find professionals to network with to explore and evaluate the forthcoming innovations. Get on the mailing lists of the nutritional genomic research institutions.
Various research institutions may not do genetic testing of individuals for diets, but are engaged in the type of research you want to learn about before you put your health in the hands of a managing physician who must not only interpret your genome but prescribe diets and/or nutraceuticals. Make sure everything is supervised, but that you still have an opportunity to learn about why and how your genes respond to what’s prescribed, that is, you still have control over what goes into your body and knowledge of how it will affect your health.
Nutritional genomics is a science dedicated to researching smart diets customized for individuals with a purpose of creating a healthier population. Ask yourself as a consumer, how come it’s so expensive right now to test the entire genome of a human to get a prescribed diet and so cheap to test the entire genome of a dog or race horse for breeding or diet? Lobby for costs to come down so diets can be prescribed according to one’s genotype.
Besides the research scientists working or studying the field of nutritional genomics in academic or consumer consulting capacities, you have food industry leaders flocking to hear the scientists specializing in genetics and nutrition because the field is potentially a money-making enterprise for nutritional genomics-based food industries.
The whole idea of nutritional genomics got its wings around the year 2000 when studies revealed that a “dumb diet” as opposed to a “smart diet” (based on your gene expression) can fan the flames of your chronic disease risk. So to prevent or delay the chronic diseases for which your genes may be at risk, a diet prescribed only for your genes would help delay or prevent those chronic illnesses. You would need a printout of your genes based on DNA testing to find out for what diseases you may be at risk. Then the diet would be prescribed to prevent or delay those diseases.
Not only the diet, but the exercises and lifestyle and any other nutritional supplements would be recommended. The idea of an intelligent diet would be to nourish your genes at the molecular level based on what the genes needed to express themselves in the healthiest way possible for you as an individual.
So why wait a decade for science to come up with prescriptive diets? There’s a lot you can do today with DNA testing and biotechnology before the impact on medical care, on the way foods are processed or not processed, and on your own health becomes influenced by the bottom line—profit.
Science has mapped the human genome. Back in 2001, you have the beginnings of the “marriage” between genomics—mapping your genes, and medicine. You have alternative medicine clawing at the door for decades demanding this knowledge and using it long before the medical fields ever thought of offering courses in nutrition beyond an introduction.
Now medicine and science is working to identify how genes work to change your health. In the meantime, the alternative health books have been emphasizing this all along—how to eat according to your body type, your blood type, your metabolic type, your chemistry, for years. Now medicine and the food industry is finally listening.
The turning point came when the functions of various genes were identified with the aim of finding out how these functions affect your health, your risk of disease, and how the genes interplay with your lifestyle, environment, stress level, and even how you spend your day, let alone what you eat.
What you want to know now, especially if you’re an older person who can’t afford to eat the wrong foods for the next decade, is how and why your genes predispose you to sickness, premature aging, or obesity.
While you’re out there fighting for organic food, or worried about how genetically engineered crops will make you ill, here’s one more concern: think how food is processed and how the process will express itself through your genes. Now customize your diet for your specific needs based on your genes—the expression of your genome based on the foods you eat and the lifestyle and exercise you do. In other words, eat “bright” for your genotype.
What is nutritional genomics? It’s a market. It has legal and industrial implications for the food industry. We anthropology and bioscience communicators have been writing about alternative health for decades, exploring the whole oat grains and raw vegetables diets for years, looking at whether fish diets give us lower blood pressure or just a dose of mercury and writing about all sides of the whole foods spectrum, the details and the big picture.
Looking out toward the next decade, nutritional genomics professionals want to attract the baby boomers because of the large size of its population. However, the need is great right now among us parents of baby boomers, the senior silent generation.
We who were born just before WW2 and are parents of boomers born in the early to mid-1960s want to reverse our age-related conditions that pop up in the sixties and seventies decade of our lifestyles. We want nutritional genomics now, and we won’t wait a decade. So how do we start, our little mtDNA or Y-chromosome DNA tests in hand that we sought to search for our deep maternal or paternal ancestry?
Don’t you dare wait for boomers to demand smart diets prescribed for individuals according to their genome. We won’t be scammed by diagnostics or counseling aimed at seniors by less than professional firms. We want the nutritional genomics professionals to be our entrepreneurs.
To ensure this, we stick to the whole organic foods, but wonder which foods are best to nourish our genetic needs? Cooked, or raw? What specific foods are good for us as individuals, and who will prescribe them? How much will it cost, and how scientific is the information?
Could the genomics revolution actually be the alternative health movement and the whole foods movement joining together? Its purpose would be to look at the molecular expression of specific foods on the body.
During the past 30 years, numerous nutritionists have been attending holistic health conventions hearing lectures on the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, flax seed oils, fish oils, whole grains, low-glycemic diets for hyperinsulinism, syndrome X diets, raw vegetables, juicing with the pulp, the affects of too much fruit on triglycerides, how to flatten big bellies caused by eating excess sugar and people with hyperinsulinism, enzymes, food supplements, vitamins, and minerals, and what’s needed to absorb calcium or magnesium, B-vitamins and TMG to reduce high homocysteine. Where is the study of smart foods headed here in Sacramento?