precision nutrition

Lancet has an article on precision nutrition and diabetes. Precision nutrition is the idea of a diet tailored specifically to an individual based on analysis of factors such as their genetics, proteins, and gut bacteria.

Precision nutrition for prevention and management of type 2 diabetes

Precision nutrition aims to prevent and manage chronic diseases by tailoring dietary interventions or recommendations to one or a combination of an individual’s genetic background, metabolic profile, and environmental exposures. Recent advances in genomics, metabolomics, and gut microbiome technologies have offered opportunities as well as challenges in the use of precision nutrition to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. Nutrigenomics studies have identified genetic variants that influence intake and metabolism of specific nutrients and predict individuals’ variability in response to dietary interventions. Metabolomics has revealed metabolomic fingerprints of food and nutrient consumption and uncovered new metabolic pathways that are potentially modified by diet. Dietary interventions have been successful in altering abundance, composition, and activity of gut microbiota that are relevant for food metabolism and glycaemic control. In addition, mobile apps and wearable devices facilitate real-time assessment of dietary intake and provide feedback which can improve glycaemic control and diabetes management. By integrating these technologies with big data analytics, precision nutrition has the potential to provide personalised nutrition guidance for more effective prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Despite these technological advances, much research is needed before precision nutrition can be widely used in clinical and public health settings. Currently, the field of precision nutrition faces challenges including a lack of robust and reproducible results, the high cost of omics technologies, and methodological issues in study design as well as high-dimensional data analyses and interpretation. Evidence is needed to support the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and additional benefits of precision nutrition beyond traditional nutrition intervention approaches. Therefore, we should manage unrealistically high expectations and balance the emerging field of precision nutrition with public health nutrition strategies to improve diet quality and prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications.

I don’t want to be cynical, but I can imagine a scenario where this technology really catches on, but is accessible only to the rich. The result would be the rich living much longer than the rest of us (and they already live longer).

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