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Biomarkers of Nutritional Status

Humans have individual differences in response to diet and nutrition should take into account differences in their genetics and metabolic needs. The available diagnostic biomarkers for disease may not be appropriate or adequate to distinguish the nutritional status of humans or form a basis for recommending appropriate diets for optimal metabolic health. Metabolic profiling by use of metabolomics is required for this purpose. There is a need for measuring metabolites to assess human metabolism prior to onset of disease. The current use of single biomarkers as indicators of disease will be replaced by comprehensive profiling of individual metabolites linked to an understanding of health and human metabolism as determined by metabolo- mics. Industrial and academic initiatives are currently developing the analytical and bioinformatic technologies needed to assemble the quantitative reference databases of metabolites as the metabolic analog of the human genome. With these in place, dietetics professionals will be able to assess both the current health status of individuals and predict their health trajectories. This will facilitate integration of metabolism with the genetic and dietary variables that affect health and lead to personalized nutritional counseling. There is, however, a paucity of good studies on nutritional biomarkers. Nutritional biomarkers are shown in Table 12.1.

 
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