Science has the potential to offer us plenty of ways to improve upon our quality of life. It has, over time, improved our lifespans and quality of life. Science is slow and we often forget that the truly large discoveries don’t happen every day. The big discoveries of the past were, in many ways, the low-hanging fruit of science. Most scientists work every day to figure out the minutiae that the larger discoveries pointed the way towards. Nutritional genomics is a particularly interesting branch of science concerning itself with the impact of our diets on the body. The goal being to find out the best ways to utilize diet to boost our health and how to figure out what specific malfunctions cause particular dietary issues. Notably, you may find nutritional genomics eventually becoming a part of your life.
What Is It Exactly?
The best way to talk about nutritional genomics is to acknowledge that it concerns itself with diet and the effects on the body in roughly two ways. It is highly concerned with understanding biology on a smaller level to understand why particular compounds work so well for our body and why others don’t. This helps scientists further understand the inner workings of the body so that they can more accurately predict illness and other effects. A similar, but slightly different strain of it focuses directly on the genetics of individuals to make a clear map of what particular changes to the genetics already do to the body. Most of the time such scientists study populations affected by diseases known to enforce particular dietary requirements or that are unable to process particular kinds of foods.
What Can It Do For Me?
In truth, you shouldn’t expect any immediate results from this branch of science. It is taking the long road to gather information. However, the potential applications in the future are quite interesting even for those of us who don’t have a diet affecting disease. This minute level of focus is gradually building on our knowledge of how our bodies process substances. Increasing this knowledge will provide insight into the ways to tailor diets to individuals. Everyone’s particular combination of genetics is different and as a result, we each have different dietary needs. We can absorb some things well, but other things we might have trouble with. The future of nutritional genomics is one where a doctor will be able to utilize tests to determine these factors in your health and give you a personalized diet that best supports your health.
A Long Road
As highlighted, science is slow. Most of us are used to instant gratification in the modern world. This leads to occasionally unwise decision or people taking advantage of our impatience. Unfortunately, nutritional genomics has not escaped this treatment. Some companies exist promising to provide you with clear and perfect nutritional guidelines based on it, but nutritional genomics is an active and evolving field. Some of the companies aren’t doing anything unethical, but marketing often oversells the potential of the science at the moment. Furthermore, the need for a fine understanding can lead to widespread misconceptions based on what constitutes a healthy diet. You can see this in the gluten-free fad diets that remain somewhat popular. Only people with highly specific dietary requirements need to avoid gluten and everyone else will suffer from avoiding it. Consequently, be wary of companies promising to give you a profile based on nutritional genomics at the moment as there is a distinct potential you won’t get the perfect customized science-fiction diet that you expect.
Nutritional genomics is a truly promising field of science. A clearer understanding of what our bodies need from our genetics up will ensure that doctors will be able to better identify deficiencies that might otherwise hide. You should be wary of expecting too much from the discipline at the moment if they lack any diseases that affect their dietary requirements. Broader applications are still being worked on to improve accuracy.