Journal Articles

Guide and Position of the International Society of Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics on Personalized Nutrition: Part 2 – Ethics, Challenges and Endeavors of Precision Nutrition

June 21, 2016

Kohlmeier M., De Caterina R., Ferguson L.R., Görman U., Allayee H., Prasad C., Kang J.X., Nicoletti C.F., Martinez J.A, 2016. Guide and Position of the International Society of Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics on Personalized Nutrition: Part 2 – Ethics, Challenges and Endeavors of Precision Nutrition, 9(1).

Author Affiliations

Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA;
Institute of Cardiology ‘G. d’Annunzio’ University and Center of Excellence on Aging, Chieti, Italy
Discipline of Nutrition, and Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, FM & HS, University of Auckland, and Nutrigenomics New Zealand, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Ethics Unit, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Department of Preventive Medicine, USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif.
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Tex.
Laboratory for Lipid Medicine and Technology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., USA;
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Physiology, and Center for Nutrition Research, University of Navarra, and Navarra Institute for Health Research (IdiSNA), Pamplona
CIBERobn, Physiopathology of Obesity, Carlos III Institute, Madrid, Spain


Nutrigenetics considers the influence of individual genetic variation on differences in response to dietary components, nutrient requirements and predisposition to disease. Nutrigenomics involves the study of interactions between the genome and diet, including how nutrients affect the transcription and translation process plus subsequent proteomic and metabolomic changes, and also differences in response to dietary factors based on the individual genetic makeup. Personalized characteristics such as age, gender, physical activity, physiological state and social status, and special conditions such as pregnancy and risk of disease can inform dietary advice that more closely meets individual needs. Precision nutrition has a promising future in treating the individual according to their phenotype and genetic characteristics, aimed at both the treatment and prevention of disease. However, many aspects are still in progress and remain as challenges for the future of nutrition. The integration of the human genotype and microbiome needs to be better understood. Further advances in data interpretation tools are also necessary, so that information obtained through newer tests and technologies can be properly transferred to consumers. Indeed, precision nutrition will integrate genetic data with phenotypical, social, cultural and personal preferences and lifestyles matters to provide a more individual nutrition, but considering public health perspectives, where ethical, legal and policy aspects need to be defined and implemented.

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