TNO (Netherlands Organization of Applied Scientific Research), Utrechtseweg 48, 3704 HE Zeist, P.O. Box 360, 3700 AJ Zeist, The Netherlands
In this paper, the nutrigenomics approach is discussed as a research tool to study the physiological effects of nutrition and consequently how nutrition affects health and disease (endpoints). Nutrigenomics is the study of the effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression; the analyses include analysis of mRNA, proteins and metabolites. Nutrigenomics may be useful in dealing with the challenges that nutrition research is facing; by integrating the description of numerous active genes and metabolic pathways stronger evidence and new biomarkers for subtle nutritional effects may be obtained. Also, a new definition of disease and health may be needed. The use of tests challenging homoeostasis is being proposed to help define health. Challenge tests may be able to demonstrate in a better way subtle beneficial effects of nutrition on health. The paper describes some basic concepts relevant to nutrition research as well as some of the possibilities that are offered by nutrigenomics technology. Some of its applications are described.
(Online publication May 28 2013)
Corresponding author: Henk F. J. Hendriks, email firstname.lastname@example.org