Updated: Jul 31
Current Challenges of Utilizing Nutrigenomics
Mounting evidence suggests that diet-induced epigenetic abnormalities are one of the most crucial factors associated with cancer risk, indicating the power of diet in influencing the development and progression of cancer and other chronic diseases. However, in terms of applying nutritional genomic science to cancer patients and the overall population, I can think of the following limitations/challenges:
Nutritional genomics holds promise for taking a personalized approach to nutrition therapy. However, the clinical application of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics requires a solid understanding of the complicated connection between nutrition and genetics. It requires medical and nutritional professionals to receive specialized training in this area. It hasn’t become a commonly applied clinical utility in most clinical practices.
Nutritional genomics is a new frontier in nutrition science. Genetic science and other omics technologies are still in their infancy stage, and there is still so much we don’t understand about them and their connections with one another, making it challenging to transform these cutting-edge sciences into clinical practice.
Whether public health can be benefited from an individualized approach remains unclear, leaving many unanswered questions regarding the cost, motivation, and adherence associated with a personalized nutrition approach. (Fenech et al., 2011)
The cookie-cutter approach has never worked well, and providing generic nutritional advice is inadequate, especially regarding cancer care. As a board-certified nutritional genomic specialist, my experience and observation in my client population have been:
Applying nutrigenomics science can take a personalized nutrition approach to the next level as an ultimate tool to design a diet and supplement protocol for the specific individual by factoring in their genetic weakness and strength.
Educating patients to understand their unique genetic information helps improve their compliance with diet and lifestyle changes. More affordable nutrigenomic lab tests have entered the marketplace, which can be used as a valuable nutrition practice tool. I believe this personalized approach integrated with genomic science is necessary to improve both individual and public health. It will take some time to get there, but it should be the new direction for the future.
In Precision Nutrition Clinic, we offer highly personalized nutrition care for cancer patients to maintain their best possible nutrition status and mitigate side effects during and after cancer treatment. Please click here for more details. To learn if you are a good candidate, please schedule a 1-hour discovery call by clicking here.
Jenny Noland, MS, CNS, CNGS, CKNS, LDN, MBA
Functional Nutritionist in Eugene, Oregon
Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist
Board-Certified Nutritional Genomics Specialist
Board-Certified Ketogenic Nutrition Specialist
Certified Oncology Nutrition Specialist
Personalized Nutrition Therapy for Metabolic Dysfunction and Cancer Care
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Fenech, M., El-Sohemy, A., Cahill, L., Ferguson, L. R., French, T. A. C., Tai, E. S., Milner, J., Koh, W. P., Xie, L., Zucker, M., Buckley, M., Cosgrove, L., Lockett, T., Fung, K. Y. C., & Head, R. (2011). Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics: Viewpoints on the Current Status and Applications in Nutrition Research and Practice. Journal of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics, 4(2), 69. https://doi.org/10.1159/000327772