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From Personalized Medicine To Personalized Diet Plans

First Posted: Apr 25, 2017 05:00 AM EDT
From Personalized Medicine To Personalized Diet Plans
Genetic variation in humans necessitates prescription of personalized diet plans for better adherence.
(Photo : list25/YouTube screenshot)

The completion of human genome project has revolutionized mankind's understanding of the probable causes and implications of genetic variations in human beings. On the one hand, it helped in developing better strategies for diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases on population level. On the other hand, it could help in the development of personalized medicines for better clinical outcomes against chronic diseases like cancer. But that is the past.

Recent research studies have proved that obesity is the main factor that instigates the occurrence of many chronic diseases including diabetes and cancer. Therefore, most contemporary biomedical research studies are focused on the prevention of obesity, and hence all the diseases associated with it.

Apart from devising suitable anti-obesity pharmaceutical formulations and diet plans, scientists are also trying to comprehend how the genetic variations in human beings is limiting the effectivity of these anti-obesity diet plans and drugs. Silvia Berciano from Tufts University in Massachusetts presented her research findings on the same topic at the Experimental Biology Conference, which is in progress in Chicago, News Medical reported.

Though genetic role in causing eating disorders viz. anorexia and bulimia have already been elucidated, the exact roles genes in peronal dietary preferences remained unexplored yet. Berciano and her team conducted a "nutrigenomics" survey on the possible correlations between the genetic makeup, physiology and food habits of 818 individuals of European descent. They found that certain genes had a profound influence on the food choices and eating patterns of these individuals, News Max Health reported.

They pinpointed the influence of genetic variations in obesity-related genes and oxytocin receptor genes on the vegetable and fiber-rich food intake and intake patterns of fat-rich foods and salt, respectively. These findings could explain the variation in physiological outcomes of anti-obesity diet plans. Furthermore, it could also provide the most plausible explanation regarding the non-adherence of diet plans in certain individuals.

The researchers propose that genetic analysis of individuals, especially those who have a family history of obesity, can help in prescribing compatible dietary plans. These personalized diet plans are more likely to prevent obesity in future.

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