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Personalized Nutrition

Are We There Yet?

Bashiardes, Stavros; Abdeen, Suhaib K.; Elinav, Eran

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: December 2019 - Volume 69 - Issue 6 - p 633–638
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002491
Invited Review

ABSTRACT The human genome has been proposed to contribute to interpersonal variability in the way we respond to nutritional intake. However, personalized diets solely based on gene-nutrient interactions have not lived up to their expectations to date. Advances in microbiome research have indicated that a science-based generation of a personalized diet based on a combination of clinical and microbial features may constitute a promising new approach enabling accurate prediction of dietary responses. In addition, scientific advances in our understanding of defined dietary components and their effects on human physiology led to the incorporation and testing of defined diets as preventive and treatment approaches for diseases, such as epilepsy, ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, and type 1 diabetes mellitus. Additionally, exciting new studies show that tailored diet regiments have the potential to modulate pharmaceutical treatment efficacy in cancer treatment. Overall, the true therapeutic potential of nutritional interventions is coming to light but is also facing substantial challenges in understanding mechanisms of activity, optimization of dietary interventions for specific human subpopulations, and elucidation of adverse effects potentially stemming from some dietary components in a number of individuals.

Immunology Department, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Eran Elinav, MD, PhD, Immunology Department, Weizmann Institute of Science, 100 Herzl Street, Rehovot 7610001, Israel (e-mail:

Received 17 May, 2019

Accepted 28 August, 2019

Stavros Bashiardes and Suhaib K. Abdeen have equally contributed to this review.

S.K.A. is supported by the Dean of Faculty Postdoc Fellowship, Weizmann Institute of Science. E.E. is a senior fellow, Canadian Institute of Advanced Research (CIFAR) and an international scholar, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

E.E. is a payed consultant of BiomX and DayTwo.

© 2019 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,