Personalized Medicine

I think the future of avoiding the degenerative diseases of aging is not drugs but getting your metabolism and nutrition tuned up. In the future, you will put your finger in a machine and have all the marker proteins in blood analyzed from a finger prick. The machine will say, ‘You’re low on magnesium’ and send a message to your iPhone that you should eat a big plate of spinach or kale every once in a while. Everybody knows their cholesterol number, but in the future they’ll know their magnesium number, vitamin D number, and more.”

Bruce Ames, PhD

Mutagens and Multivitamins

by Megan Scudellari, The Scientist, June 1, 2014

This quote from Bruce Ames that predicts a future of personalized nutrition approaches based on instantaneous readouts from one’s biomarkers is not all that far-fetched. Nutrigenomics, the study of the relationship between genes, diet, and eating behaviors [18], and personalized nutrition, the tailoring of diet to individual needs which can be gene based, has emerged as its own entity in nutritional care. Much of our past knowledge about vitamin requirements has stemmed from population studies that have not accounted for genetic differences. However, many investigations have emerged that show that versions of a gene can make individuals respond differently to specific components of foods, such as vitamins. For example, variations in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene determine the way individuals utilize dietary folate [19]. In the future, the testing of biomarkers and genomic markers as well as gene-based personalized nutrition approaches will improve our ability to provide definitive individualized recommendations for vitamin intakes.

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