What is Nutrigenomics?
Food is the main energy source for our body. It plays a huge role in our health as what we eat can affect our skin, organs, immune system, mental health, and the development of diseases and illnesses. Food is also partially responsible for the way our body reacts and changes.
Nutrigenomics is the concept of how our body changes and adapts to the foods that we consume. Our bodies have biomarkers that may be triggered by the foods that we eat. These biomarkers can be for obesity, diseases, and even cancer.
We are born with certain genes, but not all genes are expressed. These unexpressed genes can be triggered by certain diets and lifestyles. Someone who has a history of obesity in the family may be more prevalent to have obesity, however this can be affected by the food they eat. If that individual eats a diet that does not trigger the obesity biomarker, that person may not experience obesity. However, if that individual eats a diet that triggers obesity, that individual has the preexisting biomarker that makes it easier for them to experience obesity. this is how nutrigenomics works.
So what shall you do with this information? There are tests that you can take that will automate a personal diet according to your genes. This new way of personalizing nutrition can impact individuals on a higher level. Nutrigenomix is a new biotechnology company that offers test kits for individuals who would like a personalized diet according to their genetic profile. Simply spit saliva in a tube and submit your test to Nutrigenomix, your test results will then be interpreted by a Registered Dietitian. A Registered Dietitian (RD) is a health professional that specializes in nutrition. There are even companies that meal prep according to your genetic profile. Companies like GenoPlate will prepare ready to eat meals delivered to your door.
Taste buds are also genetically influenced, everyone has different tongue sensitivity and reaction to foods. The tongue contains around 10,000 papillae, these small bumps on the tongue are responsible for tongue sensitivity. This can be tested by placing a few drops of blue dye on your tongue. If your tongue turns dark blue, it means you have higher tongue sensitivity, and if it is light blue, it means you have lower tongue sensitivity. Foods that are more acidic or spicy are well managed by some, whereas some people cannot deal with spicy foods. Blame it on the papilla!
Remember that food is the main form of fuel for our body, and your genetic profile results can give you a better understanding of what foods you should eat in abundance to nurture your genes.
Written by Katie Alfaro, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern