10 Nutrigenomics Breakthroughs

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

‘You are what you eat’ is a phrase that might strike fear into your heart depending on what is in your mouth at the time! 

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Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

10 Nutrigenomics Breakthroughs from ten years of research (2008-2018)

By Aidan Connolly

If our genes are the blueprint that defines who we are, it is how they express themselves in the presence of nutrition, to produce proteins. ‘Gene expression’ patterns caused by food, also called nutrigenomics, tell us if we are sick, how we will react if we get sick, and if what we are eating or doing can make us better.

That’s the basic idea. We can see this play out in the way thoroughbred horses or zoo animals are fed. They’re given the highest quality food, it’s measured to the ounce and fed to the animals at specific times. There is a great deal about nutrigenomic data that has been gleaned from animal studies.

The Alltech Nutrigenomics Center has been studying animal nutrition’s impact on gene expression. This allowed scientists to determine in hours what outcomes to expect from feeding specific foods, feeds and dietary supplements to animals without waiting months or even years for results typical in farm trials.

Over the past ten years, nutrigenomics has now been used to

a)    Understand how specific foods change gene expression

b)    Quickly screen for new nutrients with similar benefits

c)     Predict responses to nutrients or foods.

What are the top 10 Highlights in Nutrigenomic research? Read more of Aidan Connolly’s article and be amazed at how much more we know now that we did ten years earlier.

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The Nutrition Science Behind Oranges

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

The Science Behind Oranges

Eating fresh, local, organic food is your best option. When it comes to oranges, forget about ascorbic acid. There’s loads of science behind the juice, the aroma and the peel.

The many medicinal properties of oranges makes it worth turning your foodie filter toward fresh oranges. As  you careen through your culinary landscape, knowing which foods offer you the biggest nutritional bang is more important today than ever before.

First it was oranges. Sweet oranges were mentioned in Chinese literature in 314 BC.[2] As of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world.[5]  As of 2012, sweet oranges accounted for approximately 70% of citrus production.[7]

The beginning of the citrus industry in the U.S. started in Riverside, CA. Eliza Tibbits planted the first navel orange tree. It came from Brazil and still grows today. At the turn of the last century, Riverside had the highest per capita income of any city in the U.S. based on the explosion of the citrus industry.

Riverside orange juice is uncommonly sweet. A combination of factors including excellent soil, abundant local water and a community that understands the value of real food, is reinvigorating local agriculture with it’s Grow Riverside Conference.

At the same time, the Asian Citrus Psyllid threatens citrus as we know it. It’s already destroyed 70% of Florida’s citrus industry. Find out what to look for on your citrus trees. Once infected, it takes about 5 years for the tree to die. In the meantime, the fruit quality drops dramatically.

Now might be a good time to start paying attention to fresh citrus. Oranges are definitely worth putting on your own favorite super foods list. Find out why.

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Personalized Diets Based On Individual Genetic Make-up Offer Promise

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

research suggests that blanket

public dietary advice is not

the most effective technique

for improving public health.

“In employing this holistic approach

we hope to draw together cutting-edge research

and instigate a significant step forward

in the field of personalised nutrition”

We Bring Two Things To The Dinner Table:

Our Appetites And Our Genotypes. 

Creating a diet tailored specifically for an individual, according to their individual physical and genetic make-up is what Food4Me is all about.

Food4Me is a new, EU (FP7) funded project investigating the potential of this personalised nutrition. When the human genome sequence was launched in 2000, it introduced the possibility of personalisation in health care.

Such personalisation can be applied to nutrition, a key health determinant.

Personalized Nutrition

Studies have shown that individuals respond differently to various nutrients. For example, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, the ˜healthy fats” found in oily fish that are believed to protect against cardiovascular disease, have been found to be more beneficial in individuals with a particular genetic make-up (Ferguson et al., 2010).

The point is, we are all different, and so the way we respond to our diet is also different. Such research suggests that blanket public dietary advice is not the most effective technique for improving public health.

Rather than applying overarching dietary guidance to the whole population, personalised nutrition sets the individual apart to consider their specific physical and genetic characteristics. This practice has been touted as the future of nutrition with significant potential to improve public health.

The early promise has not quite lived up to this expectation however, and despite the efforts of numerous companies there has been limited success.

Food4Me will investigate the possibility of designing better diets based on a person’s genetic make-up. A renowned group of experts will examine the application of nutrigenomic research (studies of the effect of food on gene expression) to personalised nutrition. How can we use our understanding of food and our genes to design a better, healthier and more individual diet?

Food4Me project

Food4Me, a 4 year project coordinated by Professor Mike Gibney of the Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin (UCD), will consider all aspects of personalised nutrition; from investigating consumer understanding to producing technologies for implementation and investigating gene expression in response to diet. “In employing this holistic approach we hope to draw together cutting-edge research and instigate a significant step forward in the field of personalised nutrition” said Gibney.

A major component of the study is a large multi-centre human intervention study investigating the effectiveness of personalised nutrition. The study will offer participants differing levels of dietary advice; tailored to individual physical characteristics, individual genetic make-up, as well as advice with no personalisation. Over a thousand subjects will be recruited from eight EU countries to take part in the study. Research to determine the effectiveness of personalised nutrition and develop appropriate technologies for its implementation will be supported by investigation of the public’s needs and perceptions.

All results will be consolidated in the design of business and value creation models for the development, production and distribution of personalised foods. These will be tested throughout the project in order to consider the feasibility of future personalised nutrition approaches. Ethical and legal issues will also be assessed and will help shape the framework for the outcomes of the consumer studies, business models and human intervention research.

The data gathered in the project will feed into the development of services to deliver personalised advice on food choice.

http://www.eufic.org/jpage/en/page/PRESS/fftid/New-EU-funded-project-changing-the-way-we-eat/

  • Full bibliographic informationFerguson, J., F., Phillips, C., M., McMonagle, J., Perez-Martinez, P., Shaw, D., I., Lovegrove, J., A., Helal, O., Defoort., C., Gielstad, I., M., F., Drevon, C., A., Blaak, E., E., Saris, W., H., M., Leszczynska-Golabek, I., Kiec-Wilk, B., Riserus, U., Karlstrom, B., Lopez-Miranda, J. and Roche, H., M. NOS3 gene polymorphisms are associated with risk markes of cardiovascular disease, and interact with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Atherosclerosis. 2010; 211(2):539-544.

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The Science Based Arms Race For The Consumer’s Trust

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Ask Your Doctor If Good Nutrition Is Right For You

Consumer Confusion Over Supplements Calls For Clarity

When the natural products industry began to mature and started using science based claims for their ingredients, formulations and products, they gave up a very big advantage they had.

That advantage was in the obvious connection between good food and good health. Food was cool back in 431 BC when Hippocrates allegedly admonished us to make food our medicine and medicine our food. This food as medicine connection has been deeply rooted throughout human history. Food and nutrition were the at the root so to speak, of ‘natural’ products. This was somewhat of a backlash against large scale processed foods that started taking on forms that were unrecognizable, yet immensely compelling from the standpoint of convenience and taste.

As the market grew, it became necessary to address convenience, efficacy and safety factors. Distinguishing natural remedies as ‘just as good as’ or ‘better’ than pharmaceuticals, the need for scientific validation for the claims to good health became more important than the common sense experiences traditionally associated or attributed to their use.

The results have been mixed. We have a treasure trove of existing and ongoing science supporting food as medicine. Yet we can’t say so for fear of running afoul of some Federal regulation or monopolistic protection.

Drug companies buy up nearly every inch of ad space in scientific journals, so the argument persists that there’s little scientific basis for natural product claims. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it . . .

We have good manufacturing practices and we have dozens of third party certification organizations. The message to the consumer is that there must be a problem with food standards somewhere.

In the meantime, we’ve seen a proliferation of new ingredients, formulations and products clamoring for shelf space. Consumers have never had so many choices, yet confusion has never been greater.

They don’t understand the reason behind pricing for the same item from different manufacturers. The whole shopping experience can be overwhelming and intimidating.

Most of this confusion could have been avoided. If the industry had led with nature as the gold standard, we could have more easily validated our claims to efficacy and safety. Instead of copying big pharma’s model, we could have copied nature’s.

Many pharmaceuticals were derived from plants from nature. We could have framed big phama as copying  nature and following those of us with a food and nutrition based approach to health instead of playing the never-catch-up with their marketing and budgets game. .

Now we have an arms race to invent and patent more and more products designed for a specific effects. We pile on tons of scientific evidence and expect consumers to feel secure in their purchases.

We can’t say ‘ask your doctor’ if product ‘X’ is right for you because there are too few doctors who know what to answer. Based on the amount of nutrition education they were exposed to in medical school, most doctors look like a deer in the headlights when a patient asks a nutritional question.

It’s no wonder we’re in such a sorry state of health. Don’t despair. It’s not as difficult as it seems. Self education is the first step to understanding how food and nutrition are essential to optimal health. After all, they don’t call them “vitamins” for nothing.

Fortunately, consumer awareness about the medicinal benefits of knowing about food and how to best use it for our optimal health, is a secret that’s no longer so secret. Despite attempts to separate us from food’s full story, consumers are causing a major upheaval in the food and consumer packaged goods sector. This is good news for food and nutritional supplement manufacturers. There’s a pretty compelling story to tell about their products. The more the good food story is told and circulated, the faster new shelf space will appear. In the stores, on the web and ultimately on consumers pantry shelves.

 

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It’s Coming Up Coconuts

The Many Forms In Which To Consume Coconuts
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Everything’s Coming Up Coconuts

There’s coconut everywhere. Consumers can’t get enough of  the tropical food. It’s in water, milk, flour, oil and snacks. Is coconut the latest kale or quinoa? Don’t bet on it. Versatile, healthy and delicious, what’s not to like? The Wall Street Journal went coconuts and interviewed many of your favorite coconut companies about their success in keeping up with our growing coconut appetites..

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Guess what? Some saturated fats are healthy! Until recently few researchers were familiar with the incredible health benefits of the unique saturated fats found in coconut oil. For several decades coconut oil was shunned because of misconceptions regarding dietary fat This situation is beginning to change as the amazing nutritional and therapeutic benefits of tropical oils become better known. As adapted from Jon J. Kabara, PhD, Foreword, The Coconut Oil Miracle, Bruce Fife, ND
What Do You Know About Coconut? What Are Its Health Benefits? How Does It Promote Weight Loss? How Does It Relate To Alzheimer’s? Why Is It A Perfect Sports Drink? You Can’t Imagine How Great This Food Is For Us.
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