The Herman Trend Alert
May 16, 2018
In the past, we have covered personalized medicine, medical treatment based on genetics and it's coming sooner than we think. From television commercials, we have already heard about new pharmaceutical therapies for selected lung and breast cancers that are based on genetics. As a result of a recent conversation with Professor Fredric Abramson, PhD, SM, Esq., who teaches at Johns Hopkins University, we now know about a relatively new field, personalized nutrition, that is eating based on one's genetic profile.
More than differences in metabolism
We have all met people who seem to be able to eat mountains of food and not gain an ounce. In the past we credited those abilities to their "metabolisms". Many of us have also experienced a diet that works for some of us and not for others. The fact is that people do metabolize the same food at different rates---and genetics can give us that understanding.
Growing interest in the power of genetics
As 23 and Me, Ancestry.com, and National Geographic run their ads offering genetic testing to identify countries of origin, so, too, does genetics have the power to help us "unlock a path toward peak health, helping consumers make more informed food choices for improved fitness, mental and physical performance, weight management, and overall well-being".
Nutrition to match our exact profiles: Nutrigenomics
Known as nutrigenomics or nutrigenetics, personalized nutrition offers insights into what nutrients best match our genetic needs. Imagine being able to choose just the right foods for our particular bodies, based on our individual genetic maps. It has a huge potential for enhancing customer experiences in chain restaurant and food service areas.
Already being tested
Campbell's initiated a project in San Francisco where they use a person's DNA profile to prepare customized meals delivered to the customer's door and Nestle is investing millions in nutrigenomic research to create foods configured around people's genetic profiles.
A better-informed future
In the near future, food companies will increase brand attractiveness with new and improved products that match their customers' genetic makeups. Moreover, we expect to see restaurant menus include smartphone-friendly QR codes or barcodes that guests may scan to identify better food choices.
Helping people to know what to eat
Abramson and his team are working on a method to help consumers make the right food and lifestyle choices. For more information, email Professor Abramson at FDAbramson@digitalnutrition.net. We are personally looking forward to the day when we will be able to optimize our nutrition by choosing the right foods for our individual bodies. It won't be long now.
Special thanks to Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, university consultant and friend, for introducing us to Professor Abramson and this important topic.
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