Role of Biomarkers in the Development of Personalized Nutrition

Role of biomarkers in the development of personalized medicine is discussed in Chap. 18. Personalized nutrition has been traditionally based on the adjustment of food and diet according to individual needs and preferences. With advances in molecular biology, there is a shift in focus from epidemiology and biochemistry to an understanding of how nutrients act at molecular level. Advances in genomics have led to recognition of the importance of genes in human nutrition. Nutrigenomics or nutritional genomics implies the study of effects of nutrition at the genome level. Nutrigenetics examines the effect of genetic variation on the interaction between nutrition and disease.

The optimal development of evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health requires an adequate assessment of nutrient bioavailability, bioactivity, and bioefficacy. To achieve this, reliable information about exposure to nutrients, their intake, and functional effects is required; thus, the identification of valid biomarkers using standardized analytical procedures is necessary (Rubio-Aliaga et al. 2012). a comprehensive set to assess the nutritional status and metabolic conditions of nutritional relevance is not yet available. Also, there is very limited knowledge on how the extensive human genetic variability influences the interpretation of these biomarkers. Nutrigenomics, along with other ‘omics’ such as transcriptomics, pro- teomics, metabolomics, and epigenomics, is a promising approach for identifying new biomarkers of nutrition.

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