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Nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics

Ordovas, Jose Ma; Mooser, Vincentb

Current Opinion in Lipidology: April 2004 - Volume 15 - Issue 2 - p 101-108
Genetics and molecular biology

Purpose of review Nutritional genomics has tremendous potential to change the future of dietary guidelines and personal recommendations. Nutritional genomics covers nutrigenomics, which explores the effects of nutrients on the genome, proteome and metabolome, and nutrigenetics, the major goal of which is to elucidate the effect of genetic variation on the interaction between diet and disease. Nutrigenetics has been used for decades in certain rare monogenic diseases such as phenylketonuria, and it has the potential to provide a basis for personalized dietary recommendations based on the individual's genetic makeup in order to prevent common multifactorial disorders decades before their clinical manifestation.

Recent findings Preliminary results regarding gene-diet interactions in cardiovascular diseases are for the most part inconclusive because of the limitations of current experimental designs. Success in this area will require the integration of various disciplines, and will require investigators to work on large population studies that are designed to investigate gene-environment interactions.

Summary Based on the current knowledge, we anticipate that in the future we will be able to harness the information contained in our genomes to achieve successful aging using behavioral changes, with nutrition being the cornerstone of this endeavor.

aNutrition and Genomics Laboratory, Jean Mayer-US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, and bGlaxoSmithKline, King of Prussia, Philadelphia, USA

Correspondence to JM Ordovas, Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory, JM USDA HNRCA at Tufts University, 711 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111, USA Tel: +1 617 556 3102; fax: +1 617 556 3211; e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.