Personalised Nutrition, part 1: Where we are now and where to go
We all are different from each other by an average of over 3 million genetic variations in our DNA. This genetic diversity makes many of the interindividual differences in relation to food preferences, nutritional needs, and dietary responses between humans. Human desire for individuality is not new. It embedded in all ancient civilizations and traditional healthcare system such as Traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic system.
In Western-style modern medicine model the concept of “one disease – one target – one size-fits-all,” is shifting towards more personalization, including the use of multiple therapeutic agents and the consideration of nutritional, psychological and lifestyle factors when deciding the best course of treatment. Based on the robust evidence, healthcare professionals are now able to control gene-specific physiological expression with specific dietary intervention based on personalisation.
WHY WE NEED PERSONALISATION?
Today’s food and dietary supplement market is considerably different than it was 10-15 years ago. Consumer demands for healthy foods have been changing considerably every year, particularly in the last decade. Consumers are more and more believing that foods with specific functionality contribute directly to their health. Foods today are not only considered as a vehicle to satisfy hunger and to provide necessary nutrients but also to prevent nutrition-related diseases and improve physical and mental well-being. In this scenario, functional food and ingredients play an outstanding role. From economic perspective, this increasing demand of such foods can be justified by the increasing cost of healthcare, the steady increase in life expectancy including infants and the aspiration and desire of older people for improved quality of their later years (1).
Each individual is different from the next by an average of over 3 million genetic variations in their DNA. This genetic diversity makes many of the interindividual differences in relation to food preferences, nutritional needs, and dietary responses between humans. ...