The relationships between food, nutrition science, and health outcomes have been intensively analyzed over the past century. Genomic variation among individuals and populations is a new factor that enriches and challenges our understanding of these complex relationships. Hence, the rapidly emerging intersection of nutritional science and genomics – nutrigenomics – was the focus of a special issue of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology in December 2008 (Part 1).
The OMICS February 2009 Nutrigenomics Special Issue (Part 2) is now available free online at http://www.liebertpub.com/omi
"Together, these two issues expand the scope and depth of critical scholarship in nutrigenomics, in keeping with an integrated multidisciplinary analysis across the bioscience, omics technology, social, ethical, intellectual property and policy dimensions," write Guest Editors Vural Ozdemir, MD, PhD, and Béatrice Godard, PhD, from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Canada.
"Nutrition impacts people on a daily basis in both health and disease, as well as in prevention and treatment of certain multifactorial diseases. Nutrigenomics thus offers a significant promise for public health genomics and development of customized nutritional interventions guided by human genomic variation. Importantly, nutrigenomics may also suggest further omics biotechnology applications for investigations of host-environment interactions such as in environmental health and ecology (ecogenomics) and agriculture (agrigenomics). Hence, nutrigenomics is a timely and valuable field of inquiry for omics science and integrative biology," says Eugene Kolker, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of OMICS and Chief Data Officer at Seattle Children's Hospital and Head, Bioinformatics and High-throughput Data Analysis Lab at Seattle Children's Research Institute.
This special nutrigenomics issue of OMICS presents articles on the following themes and findings:
- Genome-environment interactions and prospective technology assessment in omics science and innovations
- Three weeks of nutritional intervention with virgin olive oil, at doses common in the Mediterranean diet, may alter the expression of genes related to atherosclerosis development and progression
- Study of the biophysical, biochemical and metabolic changes during weight loss, maintenance and regain
- Qualitative research in the form of focus groups reports on the knowledge and attitudes of consumers and health care professionals regarding nutritional genomics
- Risk assessment and communication frameworks and socio-ethical standards on genotype-phenotype associations in nutrigenomics, and measures to bridge the gap between omics science and society
- Ethical, legal and social issues (ELSIs) associated with commercialization and patenting in nutrigenomics
- Taste is a nutritional gatekeeper for the body influencing which foodstuff is ingested or rejected
- Present state of the knowledge on genetic variation in taste, and how such variation might influence food intake behaviors is discussed
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