Friday, June 15, 2007

Genes may be the key to future diets

bacon ham eggs
Imagine you are overweight but love a double portion of bacon ham and eggs each morning. Today, every doctor will tell you this is no good because it puts you at risk of a heart attack. But in the future, such general advice may be outdated due to genetics. As we all know, general rules never apply to all people because all people are different. One main cause of these difference is the genes. So, after a screening of your genetic outfit, a future doctor may tell you: «No problem with bacon ham and eggs, eat as much as you like. Your (some cryptic letters and numbers you do not understand) locus (the place of that gene) tells me that you are not at risk from high cholesterol. But make sure you get enough selenium because your metabolism is not very effective in using it.»

Well, I admit that this vision is not reality. Not yet. But according to new research in nutrigenomics (the science of how genes and diets act together) personalized diet advice, based upon genetics, will be the future.

At the Genome Institute of Singapore, two gene loci (places) and their interactions with diet have been examined. For those who want to know the details: Peroxysome Proliferator Activated Receptor Alpha (PPARA) and Perlipin (PLIN, sorry, no Wikipedia entry, it is a gene involved in fat metabolism and obesity).

The Singapore researchers admit that there is still a far way to go and they invite the scientific community to challenge their findings.

(Picture by spo0nman @ Flickr)

No comments: