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What Is The Difference between Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics?

What Is The Difference between Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics?

The study of nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics has moved to the forefront of modern health and wellness. Many people are interested in how their genetic makeup can be affected by the way they absorb nutrients. Understanding that your overall well-being is connected to the food you put in your body is the first step to a healthier lifestyle. But what do words like nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics mean, and how can they improve your health? 

Keep reading to learn the key differences between nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics and how these studies can be used to change the world of healthcare.

What is Nutrigenomics?

Nutritional genomics, or nutrigenomics, is the study of how food and nutrients affect the expression of your DNA. For example, consuming certain foods that alter your health will also affect your genetic composition, influencing the DNA you pass on to your children. If you don’t achieve your recommended nutrient intake, it’s possible that you could create life-altering health conditions that will pass down through your bloodline. 

Nutrigenomic studies are key to preventing hereditary diseases like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and high cholesterol. These conditions are common in families with poor health histories and can take generations to rectify. 

The Future of Nutrigenomics

By predicting hereditary illnesses, nutrigenomics can help prevent the continuation of harmful genetic conditions by identifying them in the early stages of life, or even before conception. 

Many chronic health conditions are made more manageable when diagnosed at an early age. Children who are born with genetic conditions, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, have a much higher chance of managing and limiting their illness than those diagnosed during adulthood. Many of these conditions will still require lifelong treatment, but the severity of their impact can be reduced through treatment in the early stages.

Nutrigenomics can also help identify the conditions you may pass on to your future children. This could help parents decide if having biological children is the best choice for them, or better prepare them for the possible conditions their child may have.

What is Nutrigenetics?

Nutrigenetics is the scientific term used to describe how your body responds to nutrients based on your genetics. Nutrigenetic research can determine which nutrients your body absorbs efficiently, possible food sensitivities, and nutrient deficiencies. This information can also outline how your body composition and weight respond to macronutrient intake - carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. 

Using nutrigenetics, experts can identify your ideal nutrient intake, including core vitamins and minerals. In doing so, nutrigenetics can identify serious health conditions, like B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia. GenoPalate uses the results of your nutritional DNA test to create personalized supplements based on your genes that are vegan-friendly and cost-effective.

The Future of Nutrigenetics

Nutrigenetic research is a powerful tool that can be used to unlock your body’s full potential. 

Through nutrigenetics, nutritionists can identify which nutrients your body needs to perform optimally. By using this method of science-based nutrition, human beings could thrive on personalized nutrition plans from childhood. This could lead to longer, healthier lives, reduced chronic illness, and promote healthier lifestyles worldwide.

Many people spend years or even decades suffering through preventable and manageable illnesses because they aren’t able to receive a proper diagnosis. Many of these conditions, deficiencies, and intolerances can be identified through the study of nutrigenomics.

The future of nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic research is implementing them in everyday healthcare and normalizing the idea that our quality of life is dependent on the food we put in our bodies.

Want to harness the power of nutrigenetics yourself? Discover how and why a DNA test can tell you how to eat.

Updated on
Photo of Kristin Ricklefs-Johnson

Kristin Ricklefs-Johnson, Ph.D., RD

Director of Nutrition Sciences

Kristin is an RDN who also earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition from Arizona State University with an emphasis on insulin resistance, lipid metabolism disorders, and obesity. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Mayo Clinic where she focused on nutrition-related proteomic and metabolic research. Her interests include understanding the exact mechanism of action of various genetic variations underlying individual predispositions to nutrition-related health outcomes. Her goal is to help all individuals prevent chronic diseases and achieve long, healthy lives through eating well.

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