Nutrigenetics The Relationship between Genes and Diet
Does food cause cancer? Yes.
Does food protect us from cancer? Yes.
Food produces different effects in different people. Because of the genetic differences between people, nutrients may benefit some of us, while others may experience no benefit, or even find them harmful. Just think about milk, caffeine, alcohol, honey… Do they all have the same effect on us?
Nutrigenetics studies how our genetic differences change the balance in our body, and focuses on fighting diseases and taking action before they occur. Having a better understanding of our genetic differences and making even small changes to our lifestyle on that basis can go a long way towards protecting us from diseases.
In fact, that is the tricky part. Yes, we can even cure cancer with the aid of technology, but the goal is not to be sick at all!
We can safely argue that the relationship between genetics and nutrition was deciphered thanks to the Human Genome Project. The Human Genome Project was a research project to determine the DNA sequence of the entire human genome.
The project helped us to find a link between some changes in our genetics and nutrition. It also provided us with a vital piece of information: that the interaction between nutrition and the human genome occurs on a two-way basis, and nutrition determines how our genes function and how we respond metabolically to nutrients.
Firstly, we observed that a person’s genetic structure influences their metabolic reactions and susceptibility to nutritional diseases. Secondly, we concluded that nutrients regulate the factors that alter gene expression and thus metabolic reactions (at the molecular level). We therefore reached the conclusion that nutrigenetic methods can provide strong insights into susceptibility to diseases and their prevention.
The origins of a cancer and how it develops are the result of an intricate mechanism of interactions that involve genetical and environmental factors. We now know that diet and nutrients can play an important role in the development of cancer. Although there are currently no large-scale studies on nutrigenetics, we cannot ignore the current scientific evidence.
Today, nutrigenetics is widely used as a point of reference when discussing diet-related diseases, as well as the origins of cancer and how it develops. And that gives us hope that in the near future we will have customized diets tailored to the genetic profiles of individuals to help better manage cancer.
I will never tire of saying one thing. And that is that we should make just as much time for self-discovery, listening to ourselves and improving our living conditions as we do for fighting cancer.