Scientists can predict how people will respond to specific nutrients by looking at their gene variants, a new study reveals.

To understand the bi-directional interactions between different genes and nutrients at the molecular level, researchers use a range of scientific fields, such as nutrition, genomics, epigenomics, biochemistry, proteomics, physiology metabolomics and transcriptomics.

By highlighting the relationship between an individual’s genes and nutrients, nutritionists can easily create personalised diets corresponding to their genotype.

A customised diet can ease symptoms of existing health conditions and can combat the development of future disease, such as non-transmissible chronic diseases (NTCDs).

Genes being responsible for the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and fats is an example of gene interaction with food.

A lowered carbohydrate output rate in cells can be caused by two gene polymorphisms related to the ADRB2 gene that encodes the β2-adrenergic receptor. This can then increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Otherwise known as PPARG, the gene that encodes the nuclear receptor (gamma receptor) induces the proliferation of peroxisomes, regulating the transcription of different genes involved in the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates in muscle tissue and inflammatory processes.

According to researchers, a section of the PPARG gene that consists of the oligonucleotide polymorphism increases sensitivity to insulin, high-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol.

In addition, it increases glucose utilisation, which can protect people from type 2 diabetes and obesity, the study has reported.

Prior research has discovered that people all have different reactions to the same dietary intake.

Therefore, the goal of customising nutrition is dependent on a person’s genotype and metabolic variations that first require identifying responders and non-responders to personalised diets.

In recent years, dietary health challenges can range from dealing with caloric imbalances that are caused by unhealthy diets to finding solutions for nutrient deficiencies as a result of poor food choices.

Nutrigenomics in healthcare may be a pioneering approach for preventive medicine and may trigger better management of chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.

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