Nutritional Genetics And The Relationship Between Food And Genes

Nutritional genetics, also called personal nutrition, examines the relationship between genes and food. It helps people figure out what diet they should follow based on their DNA in order to prevent disease in the future.
Nutritional genetics and the relationship between food and genes

Genetic information undoubtedly has an impact on our bodies. But other factors must also be taken into account, e.g. costs. This is where the relationship between your diet and the genes comes into play. Nutrition genetics is the science that helps explain this relationship.

It has enabled experts to answer questions such as: How can a person who eats what he / she wants not gain weight? Why do I not lose weight even if I follow a strict diet ? Although there are many factors to consider, it is important to know your genetics in order to adjust your diet accordingly.

What is nutritional genetics?

As we mentioned above, this scientific discipline, also known as personal nutrition, studies the relationship between food and genes. It deals with the following aspects:

  • The influence of genes on the foods we eat.
  • Increased or decreased risk of suffering from certain diseases.
  • Development of personal nutrition guidelines.

In addition, it is important to know that there is a concept that is similar to and complements this scientific discipline: Nutritional Genomics. Below you can see what it consists of, as well as similarities and differences between the two disciplines.

Nutritional genetics and nutritional genomics

Nutritional genomics studies the mechanisms by which nutrients act as chemical signals to influence gene expression. In fact, they alter protein synthesis and the function of several metabolic pathways.

At present, both concepts are particularly relevant in new medical disciplines. It is proposed to adapt preventive measures and treatments to the specific characteristics of humans.

Doctor holds luminous DNA

What is the significance of genetic variations?

All humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup. But in the remaining 0.1% lie the differences in hair, skin color, height or weight as well as an individual susceptibility to disease or health.

What we look like, or the diseases we can develop, are the result of differences in re-expression or altered processes. An example of a change in gene expression is a mutation that took place thousands of years ago and which causes lactose intolerance.

Nutritional genetics: The relationship between food and genes

As you probably know, the food you eat contains many active substances that can either be beneficial or have a negative impact on your health. The state of health is given by the interplay between the genetic map and the environment to which it relates.

Several studies suggest that this genetic map is sensitive to the nutritional environment, which is why gene expression will vary depending on a person’s diet. According to this, a genetic component is responsible for differences in the responses to the diet from person to person.

DNA in front of food symbolizes nutritional genetics

How can nutritional genetics help you?

Each person’s genetic information determines their nutritional status. Of course, even if you do not have control over your genes, it will be easier for you to act on the rest of the factors that you can change the more you know about this.

In this regard, diet is the most important environmental factor because we are always exposed to it. It can also be changed and adapted.

That is why nutritional genetics is so important. It gives you clues that allow you to counteract your negative genetic tendencies or the risk of certain diseases with a diet and a lifestyle that suits your particular needs.

How to use it

Until not so long ago, traditional diets only took into account environmental factors and certain aspects such as age, gender, height, physical exercise and certain biochemical variables.

Today, however, it helps people determine what diet they should follow based on their DNA in order to prevent disease in the future.

What we should clarify about nutritional genetics

It is undeniable that certain dietary components play a central role in the regulation of gene expression. Likewise, you need to know that the better you know your genes, the easier it will be for you to follow the correct diet.

Do not forget that a trained professional can best advise you on this issue. We must also note that while it is important to follow an appropriate diet to avoid disease, you need to accompany this with a healthy lifestyle.

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