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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Precision nutrition in obesity and weight loss: the significance of gene-diet interactions

Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"The rapid rise of obesity during the past decades has coincided with a profound shift of our living environment, including unhealthy dietary patterns, a sedentary lifestyle, and physical inactivity. Genetic predisposition to obesity may have interacted with such an obesogenic environment in determining the obesity epidemic. Growing studies have found that changes in adiposity and metabolic response to low-calorie weight loss diets might be modified by genetic variants related to obesity, metabolic status and preference to nutrients. This review summarized data from recent studies of gene-diet interactions, and discussed integration of research of metabolomics and gut microbiome, as well as potential application of the findings in precision nutrition."

Covered topics (the letter size corresponds to the frequency of mentioning in the text):

Self-made word-cloud on precisionmedicine in obesity and weight loss

Conclusions (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"The obesity epidemic during the past decades has coincided with a profound shift of unhealthy dietary patterns, a sedentary lifestyle, and physical inactivity. Genetic predisposition to obesity may have interacted with such an obesogenic environment in determining the obesity epidemic. Increasing evidence has shown the potential effects of gene–environment interactions on obesity. Data from dietary intervention trials suggest that changes in adiposity and metabolic response to low-calorie weight-loss diets could be significantly modified by genetic variants, especially those related to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolism and food preference. While further external replication and a large-scale analysis would be necessary to confirm these findings, the positive results obtained thus far tend to support precision dietary interventions considering genetic predisposition to diseases, genetic variants determining dietary preference and metabolites, as well as phenotypes and intermediate metabolites. The idea of precision nutrition and dietary intervention is considered as each dietary habit and advice is individually tailored to prevent chronic diseases on the basis of genomic background, habitual food and beverage consumption, nutrient intake (especially those contributing to risks of diseases), and also a person’s metabolomics, microbiome, and other omics profiles. On the other hand, few studies investigate potential roles of metabolomics mechanisms and gut microbiome that may act at the interface of genetic variation and environment in affecting obesity and health. Research integrating data on genes, dietary habits, metabolites and gut-microbiome in investigation of human health would be one of the most exciting areas in precision nutrition in the near future."

Full-text access of the referenced scientific work:

Heianza Y, Qi L. Gene-Diet Interaction and Precision Nutrition in Obesity. Int
J Mol Sci. 2017 Apr 7;18(4). pii: E787. doi: 10.3390/ijms18040787. Review. PubMed
PMID: 28387720; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5412371.

Further reading:

Nutrigenomics (Wikipedia): "Nutrigenomics is a branch of nutritional genomics and is the study of the effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression.[1] This means that nutrigenomics is research focusing on identifying and understanding molecular-level interaction between nutrients and other dietary bioactives with the genome. Nutrigenomics has also been described by the influence of genetic variation on nutrition, by correlating gene expression or SNPs with a nutrient's absorption, metabolism, elimination or biological effects. By doing so, nutrigenomics aims to develop rational means to optimise nutrition with respect to the subject's genotype. By determining the mechanism of the effects of nutrients or the effects of a nutritional regime, nutrigenomics tries to define the causality or relationship between these specific nutrients and specific nutrient regimes (diets) on human health. Nutrigenomics has been associated with the idea of personalized nutrition based on genotype. While there is hope that nutrigenomics will ultimately enable such personalised dietary advice, it is a science still in its infancy and its contribution to public health over the next decade is thought to be major.[2] Whilst nutrigenomics is aimed at developing an understanding of how the whole body responds to a food via systems biology, research into the effect of a single gene/single food compound relationships is known as nutrigenetics.[3] ...read more".

Obesity (MedlinePlus): "Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what's considered healthy for his or her height. Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Factors that might affect your weight include your genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods, and not being physically active. Being obese increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers. If you are obese, losing even 5 to 10 percent of your weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases. For example, that means losing 10 to 20 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds... read more".

Precision nutrition (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health): "Precision medicine—tailoring drugs and therapies to a person’s genetic profile—has been touted in recent years as a way to maximize the benefits of treatment while minimizing side effects. Experts are now wondering if personalizing an individual’s diet according to their DNA profile—called precision nutrition—can also improve health... read more".

Weight loss (Wikipedia): "Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health, or physical fitness, refers to a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon, and other connective tissue. Weight loss can either occur unintentionally due to malnourishment or an underlying disease or arise from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state. "Unexplained" weight loss that is not caused by reduction in calorific intake or exercise is called cachexia and may be a symptom of a serious medical condition. Intentional weight loss is commonly referred to as slimming... read more".


Prof. Atanas G. Atanasov (Dr. habil., PhD)

Keywords relevant for this post: diet, gene-diet interactions, genetic predisposition, genes, genetics, genetic variants, healthy diet, microbiota, nutrients, nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics, nutrition, obesity, precision nutrition, precisionmedicine, precision medicine, personalized treatment, personalized medicine, weight loss, open access, journal, open access journals, science journal, free journal publication, online journal, open access publishing, open access articles, science magazine, journal science, journal of science, food and nutrition, diet, food, treatment, remedy, therapy, medicine, medication, medical treatment, relieve symptoms, relief, gut microbiota, probiotics, gut bacteria, gut flora, probiotic supplements, bacteria in stomach, prebiotics, stomach bacteria, intestinal flora.


  1. Good one on obesity. If WHO is to be believed, If current trends continue the number of overweight or obese infants and young children globally will increase to 70 million by 2025.

    Would like to invite you to my page @scienceandsamosa.com

    1. Thanks a lot for the feedback and for the invitation, I will check out your page

  2. Excellent website you have here, so much cool information!..