Israel, a pioneer in research on the impact of food on general health, has developed what is now know around the world as the nutrigenomic field. Nutrigenomics studies the effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression and analyzes nutrition as a way to adapt personal diet to each person’s genetic profile.
Researchers at the Robert H. Smith faculty of agriculture, food and environment at the Hebrew university of Jerusalem have been researching the extent of the connection between food and gene expression, with the aim eventually to create personalized nutrition according to a person’s genes.
Nutrigenomics implies that current recommendations provided today by nutritionists in respect to one’s vitamin intake through various foods are too general and compatible for only part of the population.
According to Oren Froy, the director of the nutrigenomics institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, one of only a few such centers around the world, the variations within the human population’s genes are too vast and it is therefore crucial to customize the nutritional intake for each person according to his or her specific needs.
This procedure would help ensure normal functioning of the body and as it has been proven that food affects genetic expression, the focus should be on specificity and the identification of personal nutritional needs, Froy wrote in Haaretz newspaper.
Scientists hope that in the near future it will be possible to perform a simple blood test to analyze a person’s genes and based on the results, advise them on what foods they should and shouldn’t eat in order to prevent diseases they are inclined to develop.
Photo By Michal Divon