About Nutrigenetics

Scientifically, nutrigenetics is the study of how genetic variation in individual genes affects an individual's response to particular nutrients and toxins in the diet.
Genetic information is used both to guide dietary choices and to inform individuals about the importance of diet, food and metabolism. Nutrigenetics enables us to use genotype and phenotype to improve our understanding of how food works together with the body. The information aspect of the service is extremely important – Scientists use it and learn from it so why shouldn´t the public? As long as the information is provided in a serious, responsible and appropriate manner then the results should be of benefit to the customer.
Nutrigenetics aims to use genotype information from an individual to determine the properties of the proteins coded by certain genes and the effect this has on metabolism, transport and assimilation of nutrients in the diet and the effect on elimination of toxins. A genetic variation, i.e. a SNP, can affect the activity of an enzyme which can affect the metabolism of a nutrient such as folic acid. This is exactly analogous to pharmacogenetics where the variation in a gene affects the rate of drug metabolism.
We have standard guidelines on healthy eating which are based on many years of accumulated scientific evidence mainly from observational and intervention studies (NOT clinical trials). These guidelines have been developed to help maintain a healthy lifestyle for as long as possible. The aim of nutrigenetics is to be able to modify standard dietary guidelines according to the individual genotype and phenotype – again based on many years of accumulated scientific evidence mainly from observational and intervention studies. The level of evidence for nutrigenetics is similar to that used to develop and justify standard guidelines.

Yes, a lot. Apart from our own studies there are literally thousands of peer reviewed studies that have been published over the last two decades that demonstrate gene-diet interactions. The level of scientific study is in general very high and is of similar quality to the scientific evidence used to justify standard dietary advice such as high fruit and vegetables, low saturated fats, low sugars etc.  Please contact us should you require additional information - Contact Us
Nutrigenetics is not a diagnostic nor a predictor of disease. It makes no attempt to determine relative risks and odds ratios of complex diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. The focus of attention of nutrigenetics is generally not the final disease but the many intermediate "risk factors” such as homocysteine, LDL cholesterol, hypertension etc. cardiovascular disease for example has many possible causes (hypertension, high cholesterol, inflammation, etc) and each gene-diet interaction focuses on just one area. For example the knowledge of the MTHFR genotype is not used to predict the risk of heart disease or stroke but to define the daily requirement for folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that individuals with the 677TT version of the enzyme WILL have raised homocysteine if there is not adequate folic acid in their diet. Therefore the nutrigenetic test advice will be to consume an adequate amount of folic acid (600-800 µg / day) – and this WILL keep homocysteine levels lower. Most doctors who find a patient has high homocysteine levels will treat it with folic acid, B6 and B12, the aim of the nutrigenetic test is to ensure adequate amounts of these vitamins are in the diet BEFORE the levels become raised.