Mixed Messages in the World of Nutrition
December 20, 2012
“Coffee is bad for the heart.” “Coffee is good for the heart.” “Coffee has no effect on heart health.” What are the reasons for these conflicting diet and nutrition messages we hear so often?
Many times we are faced with confusion when trying to make healthy nutrition choices in our daily lives. For many people, this is because we are provided with mixed messages about the effect that certain foods have on our health. These mixed messages come from different research studies that have been conducted over the years and although they have tried to take as many external factors and variations into consideration, many of them are still missing one key component; genetics! Two research studies can be identical in the way they are conducted but if one group of people vary ‘genetically’ than the other group, then you are likely to get conflicting results. This is why, in the last 10+ years, a field of research called Nutritional Genomics, or Nutrigenomics, has rapidly emerged and grown.
Nutrigenomics uses modern genomics technology to study the relationship between genes, nutrition and health. It has long been apparent that some people respond differently from others to certain foods. For example, individuals with lactose intolerance experience gastrointestinal discomfort after consuming certain dairy products, while other individuals can consume dairy with no problems. Nutrigenomics allows us to understand how our genes affect the way we respond to the foods, beverages and supplements we consume.
“What does this all mean to me? How do I find out the way I respond to certain foods?”
Nutrition consultation is a service that we all may require or just desire at some point of our lives, but too often the advice provided is generic (general population based) and missing key information. We know that our genetics play a significant role in how we respond to the foods we eat. Hence, this genetic information would be crucial to provide the most effective nutritional advice. Furthermore, research shows that people respond better to nutrition advice based on their genes.
The science of Nutrigenomics is fairly new, and for a long time there haven’t been any genetic tests based on scientifically sound evidence to help individuals learn how to eat according to their genes. Earlier this year, Nutrigenomix Inc., a University of Toronto startup biotechnology company, dedicated itself to empowering registered dietitians and their clients with comprehensive, reliable, genomic information with the ultimate goal of improving health through personalized nutrition. The Nutrigenomix® test kit enables dietitians to counsel their clients according to their unique genetic profile. The service includes the genetic test kits (using only saliva), genotyping and customized reports based on cutting-edge research and stringent standards of scientific evidence.
The Nutrigenomix® Test allows the optimization of your diet to your genes in order to reduce your risk of certain health conditions and diseases. Currently there are 7 nutrient-genetic panels tested, and as the scientific evidence grows, more nutrient-gene interactions will be added to that list:
- Vitamin C and risk of low blood levels of vitamin C; related to the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes
- Folate and risk of low blood levels of folate; related to the risk of heart disease, stroke and giving birth to a child with neural tube defects
- Whole Grains and risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Omega 3 Fat and risk of elevated triglyceride levels; related to the risk of heart disease
- Saturated Fats and risk of obesity/high BMI
- Sodium and risk of high blood pressure; related to risk of chronic hypertension and heart attack
- Caffeine and risk of high blood pressure and heart attack
“How do I get this test done? Where do I learn more?”
At MyDiet Clinic we provide personalized nutrition assessments by using the Nutrigenomix® Test to define how our clients respond to their diet and understand what changes they could make to improve their overall long-term health. With a team that has both research and clinical experience, we are able to provide the most effective dietary consultation service possible and help individuals optimize their diet and health, one gene at a time.