From nutrigenomics to personalised nutrition


It is quite clear that food intake is not only about avoiding deficiency diseases but also about optimal health and wellbeing and the prevention of age-related diseases, and that the risks and benefits of dietary choices differ among individuals. The molecular basis explaining food activities and individual responses to food and diets are becoming increasingly understood. To what extent this new body of knowledge, with Genes and Nutrition (Nutrigenomics) in the forceful nucleus of it, will apply to daily life depends on many factors. The European Nutrigenomics Organization (NuGO, a research European network of excellence funded by the European Commission) hosted recently in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) the International Conference ‘‘From Nutrigenomics to Personalized Nutrition’’ to think about these factors. Thanks to important networking efforts, we managed to join together a combination of worldwide relevant scientists and stakeholders in this field to realize where the science of Nutrigenomics is currently, how far we have progressed towards being able to provide personalized nutrition, and what scientific and socio-economic challenges are still ahead. The bases of our health, wellbeing and longevity are much related to the biochemical diversity of the foods we eat. Nutrition emerged as a solid science at the end of the last century and acquires predictive capacity as it becomes increasingly based on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Metabolism and General Physiology in an extended sense. This shift in focus, from classical epidemiology to molecular approaches, is directly related to the realization that the effects of food on health cannot be understood without a deeper comprehension of how nutrients act at the molecular and subcellular level. The holistic perspective offered by the application of postgenomic technologies (metabonomics, proteomics, transcriptomics) combining all available information about food and phenotypes is allowing us to assess in deep and in wide how food interacts with our genes, proteins and metabolism. It is within this framework that emerges Nutrigenomics, which can be defined as the study of how the information of food and genes interact and the consequences of this two-way interaction. Nutrigenomics is aimed at linking genome research, biotechnology and molecular nutrition research to provide new developments in the field of nutrition and health Nutrigenomics will provide a greater than ever understanding of food influences in our homeostatic systems, allowing approaches to estimate potential adverse or beneficial effects of foods in precocious phases, before a disease is committed to occur, and to what extent the influence of diet on health depends on the individual genetic makeup. Thus, Nutrigenomics will contribute in designing optimized dietary intervention strategies to restore and improve metabolic homeostasis, improve health and wellbeing and prevent diet-related diseases. Personalized diets that could be uniquely tailored according to the specific demands of a given individual considering his/her genetic background, life-style and history are also included A. Palou (&) Chair of the International Conference ‘‘From Nutrigenomics to Personalized Nutrition’’, Laboratório de Biologia Molecular, Nutrició i Biotecnologia, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, Spain e-mail:

DOI: 10.1007/s12263-007-0022-9

Cite this paper

@article{Palou2007FromNT, title={From nutrigenomics to personalised nutrition}, author={Andreu Palou}, journal={Genes & Nutrition}, year={2007}, volume={2}, pages={5-7} }