Nutrigenomics or are we really what we eat? | Статья в сборнике международной научной конференции

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Сидоренко, Малина. Nutrigenomics or are we really what we eat? / Малина Сидоренко. — Текст : непосредственный // Новые задачи современной медицины : материалы II Междунар. науч. конф. (г. Санкт-Петербург, май 2013 г.). — Т. 0. — Санкт-Петербург : Реноме, 2013. — С. 8-18. — URL: (дата обращения: 21.05.2022).

Nutrigenomics is a novel trend in science, which examines the relationship between food consumption and gene expression. This means that nutrigenomics is research focusing on identifying and understanding molecular-level interaction between nutrients and other dietary bioactives with the genome. [1] The aim of this branch of nutritional genomics is to develop rational means to optimise nutrition with respect to the subject's genotype, respectively human health. Nutrigenomics has been associated with the idea of personalized nutrition based on genotype. [1] 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] Nutrigenomics involves the characterization of gene products and the physiological function and interactions of these products. [1] This includes how nutrients impact on the production and action of specific gene products and how these proteins in turn affect the response to nutrients. [1]

Описание: HippocratesQuote.jpg

The concept that diet influences health is an ancient one. Ancient Greeks believed that good health was dependent on maintaining the balance of the body’s four “humors”—black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood—and that modifications in diet could restore balance if levels got out of whack. [4] Hippocrates, Plutarch and other thinkers wrote books on the relationship between food and health, including Galen’s On the Power of Foods. [4]

The tradition of preventative medicine in the Western World has strong root in the Hippocratic approach (460–377 B.C.). [5] In 400 B. C. Hippocrates advised physicians: ‘Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal your patient with food.’ Likewise it has long been known that individuals can differ in their requirements for a given nutrient. [6] Another his advice is “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” which is well-known nowadays. We also have to mention another great doctor and psychologist — Galen (129–199 A.D.). In contrast to Celsus, who believed that the temperate Roman had little need for medical advice, Galen argued that a highly individualized regimen was essential. [7] The individualized health-promoting regimen prescribed by the physician required constant attention to the six factors [7] These factors are:

-        Food and drink you consume

-        Getting the right amount of exercise

-        Living and working in an environment conductive to wellbeing

-        Getting the right amount of sleep

-        Actively caring for your mental wellbeing

The sixth factor is maintaining balance in all of the other five factors. [5]

Avicenna(980–1037 A.D.), was a Persianpolymath [8, 9, 10, 11], who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In particular, 150 of his surviving treatises concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on medicine. [1] One of his most famous works is The Canon of medicine which was used in some universities as late as XVII century. (Canon of Medicine provides a complete system of medicine according to the principles of Galen (and Hippocrates). [12, 13]

By the word “diet” we do not refer to our current understanding of the word — only with choosing our food. In the Graeco-Roman world, the original word “diaita” meant “way of living” or “mode of life”. [5] The verb form, “diaitao”, also means “to lead one’s life” but in addition means “to investigate”. [5] We are constantly learning what works and what does not work for our health and wellbeing. [5] The first person to go on a recorded weight-loss diet was England's first king, William I. Better known as William the Conqueror. [16] The modern conception of dieting can probably be traced to the 19th century. [14] This was when a formerly portly London undertaker, William Banting, published a pamphlet called Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public. [14] This described the ailments he attributed to his former fatness, including “failing sight and hearing, an umbilical rupture requiring a truss, bandages for weak knees and ankles.” [14] His recommendations, also reminiscent of contemporary diet advice, were to abstain from or greatly reduce consumption of bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer and potatoes. The pamphlet sold tens of thousands of copies around the world, and was translated into several other languages. [14]

In 1820 Lord Byron popularizes the Vinegar and Water Diet, which entails drinking water mixed with apple cider vinegar. [15]

In 1918, California doctor Lulu Hunt Peters introduced the concept of calories to the general public in a pithy book called Diet and Health with Key to the Calories. She offered advice for both those who wished to lose weight and those who wished to gain. [14] Peters set forth a formula for determining ideal weight, amount of calories necessary for maintaining, losing or gaining weight, and a list of the caloric values of foods—exactly the same sort of thing you’ll find on diet Web sites today. [14] Countless similar diet books, usually targeted at women, filled bookstores in the following decades, especially the second half of the 20th century. [14] For example the Atkins Diet, which continues to be popular, debuted in the 1970s. [14]

Both the eastern and western approaches to health inherently rely on foods to sustain the body. Each system however, has a unique way of understanding the role of food and nutrition in their approach to health. [17] The western views measures health according to:

1.                 Body Mass Index (BMI)

2.                 Physical strength

3.                 Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

4.                 Aerobic Capacity

5.                 Blood-Sugar Tolerance

6.                 Cholesterol/HDL Ratio

7.                 Blood Pressure

8.                 Bone Density

The Eastern world measures health according to:

1.                 A feeling of lightness in the body

2.                 An ability to withstand change

3.                 A stable body

4.                 A focused mind

Each one of the western measures of health has values associated with it. [17] This western view of what is means to be healthy focuses on nourishing the body in a way that the health indicators are in a normal (healthy) range. [17] The underlying premise is that the physical body is of the most importance. [17] The western approach to health is evidence-based according to modern scientific ways of investigation that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. [17] The eastern perspective takes into account the mind, body, and spirit of the individual. [17] Nutrition is seen as nourishing the body and also maintaining a healthy inner environment, the mind. [17] One of the most well known approaches to taking care of the whole person is the system of Ayurveda that dates back to around 1000 BCE (Before the time of the Common Era). [17] So there are a few thousands of years more experience in the eastern view. [17]

The nature of food is inherent in any eastern or traditional culture. [17] Food tastes sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, or salty or a combination of these and eastern, as well as most traditional, cultures have developed a system around these tastes that explains how various foods affect the physical processes such as digestion and also how energy is moved through the body. [17] According to the Eastern mindset, humans do well if all of these types of foods are balanced, but balanced according to individual needs. [17] The east view recognizes that while all humans are at some level the same, they also recognize that individuals differ according to body type and constitution and will therefore need a different assortment of foods to balance their unique constitution. [17] The western view rely on external guidelines that are directed towards populations and not individuals. For example, the Food Pyramid is a guide that is published by the Department of Agriculture to tell people collectively how to balance their diets. [17] People with western mindset prefer mostly sweet, rich and thermally warm foods. So this is why they have a preponderance of overweight and obesity.

As we take a look at the statistics there are some important things I would like to pay attention to. At first place this is the meat consumption and how it has changed in time.

Описание: Annual meat consumption per capita, 1950-2000.JPG


Описание: China and USA -Meat-Consumption.jpg

Source, USDA

Meat Consumption: Per capita

Units: kg per person








United States




























Source: (FAO, FAOSTAT on-line)

Описание: World


In a UN and FAO research by 2007 leader in meat consumption is Luxemburg; United States consume 125.4 kg per person; China — 54.1 kg per person (66 place(According to Wall Street Journal by 2010 China is the world’s largest pork consumer and producer-with almost half a billion pigs); Bulgaria — 45.3 kg per person (84 place); Russian Federation — 60.3 kg per person (56 place)

Описание: Annual meat consumption per capita, 2009.JPG


According to the last diagram by 2009 United States eat 120.2 kg per person; China — 58.2 kg per person, Bulgaria — 53 kg and Russian Federation — 62.9 per person.

Fast Food Consumption (Invasion)

Americans work more hours today than a few decades ago, and some work more than one job. [19] Among married couples, the average combined weekly work hours increased by almost 20 percent over the past three decades. [20] More women are in the work force today than in the past. About seventy five percent of all mothers are in the labor force and unmarried mothers are more likely than married mothers to work. [21] This situation leaves adults with less time for food preparation which is reflected in the increase in away-from-home food consumption. [19] The number of fast food places increased by several fold and more people eat in fast food places today than three decades ago. [22–26] Fast food places are one of the popular sources of away-from-home foods. [19] Fast food is quick, convenient, relatively inexpensive for the amount of food obtained, and appeals to all age groups [22,24,25,27] As lifestyles become more hectic, fast-food consumption has become a growing part of the American diet. [28,29] More than one-third of U. S. adults are obese [30], and frequent fast-food consumption has been shown to contribute to weight gain [28,29,30,31,32,33] Biologically weight gain from fat consumption is caused by increased energy intake while maintaining a constant or decreased amount of energy expenditure. [34] This knowledge is coupled with also knowing thatfast-foodmealsarehighinfatandenergy(Paeratakul et al,2003) [29]

A study of 26 wealthy nations shows that countries with a higher density of fast food restaurants per capita had much higher obesity rates compared to countries with a lower density of fast food restaurants per capita. [35] For example, in the United States, researchers reported 7.52 fast food restaurants per 100,000 people, and in Canada they reported 7.43 fast food restaurants per 100,000 people. [35] The paper reported the obesity rates among US men and women were 31.3 percent and 33.2 percent, respectively. [35] The obesity rates for Canadian men and women were 23.2 percent and 22.9 percent, respectively. [35] Compare that to Japan, with 0.13 fast food restaurants per 100,000 people, and Norway, with 0.19 restaurants per capita. [35] Obesity rates for men and women in Japan were 2.9 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. In Norway, obesity rates for men and women were 6.4 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. [35]The relationships remain consistent even when researchers controlled for variables such as income, income inequality, urban areas, motor vehicles and internet use per capita. [35]

Описание: demotivation-posters-auto-467277.jpeg

Modern fast food industry in China started relatively late along with the implementation of China's reform and opening up. [36] In 1987, KFC established China's first fast food restaurant in Beijing. [36] In recent ten years, with the quickening pace of social life, China's fast food industry has maintained annual growth rate of 10 %-20 %. [36] McDonald’s expects to double the number of locations in China in the span of three years. [37]In 2010, it had about 1,100 outlets but expects to grow to a total of 2,000 stores by 2013. McDonald’s opened its first outlet in Shenzhen in 1990 and employs more than 60,000 people throughout the country. [Wall Street Journal blog, March 29, 2010] [37]

Average consumption of added fat, USA, 1950–2000

Описание: Average consumption of added fat, US, 1950-2000.JPG

Source: [38] from USDA (

Average daily calories per capita, US, 1970–2008





Meat, eggs and nuts




















Added fat




Added sugar








Source: USDA

Описание: Energy consumption (kcal person day) per country in 1961.JPG

World map of Energy consumption 1961, (kcal/person/day)


Описание: Energy consumption (kcal person day) per country in 2001-2003.JPG

World map of Energy consumption 2001–2003, (kcal/person/day)


According another source by 2003 the daily caloric intake per capita is as follows: USA- 3754 kcal, China — 2940 kcal, Bulgaria — 2885 kcal, Russian Federation — 3118 kcal.

Описание: Daily caloric intake per capita, kcal. 2003.JPG


As we can see the diagrams above the average consumption of fats and calories intake increase in time worldwide. Increased caloric intake triggers to overweight and obesity. The World Health Organization predicts there will be 2.3 billion overweight adults in the world by 2015 and more than 700 million of them will be obese. [39]

Описание: global_obesity_map416.gif

Описание: global_obesity_gr2003.gif

Описание: global_child_obesity_gr416.gif

Obesity is a modern problem — statistics for it did not even exist 50 years ago. [40] The increase of convenience foods, labour-saving devices, motorised transport and more sedentary jobs means people are getting fatter. [40] Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for serious diet-related chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. The health consequences range from increased risk of premature death, to serious chronic conditions that reduce the overall quality of life. [40]

According to WHO estimates, 17 million people around the globe die of cardiovascular disease (CDV) each year. [41] According to data published in the CVD News section of the World Health Organization Web site, there were 7.1 million deaths from coronary heart disease globally. [41] The WHO predicts that in 2020 this figure will have risen to 11.1 million. [41] The prevalence of diabetes in adults globally was estimated to be 4.0 percent in 1995 and was projected to rise to 5.4 percent by the year 2025. The number of adults with diabetes in the world is estimated to rise from 135 million in 1995 to 300 million in 2025. [41] There were an estimated 12.7 million cancer cases around the world in 2008 (6.6 million cases were in men and 6.0 million in women). This number is expected to increase to 21 million by 2030. [42]

To address the increasing incidence of these diet-related-diseases, the role of diet and nutrition has been and continues to be extensively studied. [1]

Описание: frame-BATUT.v1353515201.jpg

The decision?

Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., a former internationally known surgeon, researcher and clinician at the Cleveland Clinic, argues that conventional cardiology has failed patients by developing treatments that focus only on the symptoms of heart disease, not the cause. [43] Based on the groundbreaking results of his 20-year nutritional study—the longest study of its kind ever conducted—in his book “Prevent and reverse heart disease” he explains how we can end the heart disease epidemic forever by changing what we eat. Dr. Esselstyn convincingly argues that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease, but also reverse its effects. [43] The proof is in the results. [43] The patients in Dr. Esselstyn’s initial study came to him with advanced coronary artery disease. [43] Despite the aggressive treatment they received, among them bypasses and angioplasties, 5 of the original group were told by their cardiologists they had less than a year to live. [43] Within months on Dr. Esselstyn’s program, their cholesterol levels, angina symptoms, and blood flow improved dramatically. Twelve years later 17 compliant patients had no further cardiac events. [43] Adherent patients survived beyond twenty years free of symptoms. [43]

-          Drop in cholesterol levels: After 5 years on Dr. Esselstyn’s plant-based diet, the average total cholesterol levels of his research group dropped from 246 milligrams per deciliter to 137 mg/dL (Above 240 mg/dL is considered “high risk,” below 150 mg/dL is the total cholesterol level seen in cultures where heart disease is essentially nonexistent.) This is the most profound drop in cholesterol ever documented in the medical literature in a study of this type. [43]

-          Cardiac events: The 17 patients in the study had 49 cardiac events in the years leading up to the study, and had undergone aggressive treatment procedures. Several had multiple bypass operations. After beginning the eating plan, there were no more cardiac events in the group within a 12-year period. [43]

-          Angiogram evidence: Angiograms taken of the participants in the study show a widening of the coronary arteries, and thus a reversal of the disease. [43]

“The doctor of the future

will no longer treat the human frame with drugs

but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition”

Thomas Edison

Dr. Colin Campbell is an American biochemist and one of the lead scientists in the 1980s of the China-Oxford–Cornell study on diet and disease, set up in 1983 by Cornell University, the University of Oxford, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine to explore the relationship between nutrition and cancer, heart and metabolic diseases. [44] According to Dr. Campbell there are 8 carefully formulated principles based on decades of research, policy, and observation in the field of human nutrition. [45]

-          Nutrition represents the combined activities of countless food substances, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

-          Vitamin supplements are not a panacea for good health

-          There are no nutrients in animal foods that are not better provided by plant foods

-          Genes do not determine disease on their own

-          Nutrition can substantially control the adverse effects of noxious chemicals

-          The same nutrition that can prevent disease in its early stages can also halt or reverse it in its later stages

-          Nutrition that is beneficial for a particular chronic disease support good health across the board

-          Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence

In 2010 after cardiac surgery, former U. S. president Bill Clinton mostly adopted the plant-based diet recommended by Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish and T. Colin Campbell. [44]

The Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements. [46] Max Gerson (October 18, 1881 — March 8, 1959) was a German physician who developed the Gerson Therapy, an alternative dietary therapy, which he claimed could cure cancer and most chronic, degenerative diseases. [46] After Gerson's death, his daughter Charlotte Gerson continued to promote the therapy, founding the «Gerson Institute» in 1977. [46] The American Cancer Society reported that «there is no reliable scientific evidence that Gerson therapy is effective in treating cancer, and the principles behind it are not widely accepted by the medical community. It is not approved for use in the United States». [46]

On 16.04.2013 the results from another study have been published. A study of more than 5,000 civil servants found those who ate the most fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, white bread and butter and cream doubled their risk of premature death or ill health in old age. [47] It adds to evidence that 'Western style food' is the reason why heart disease claims about 94,000 lives a year in the UK — more than any other illness. [47] The findings published in The American Journal of Medicine are based on a survey of British adults and suggest adherence to the diet increases the risk of premature death and disability later in life. followed 3,775 men and 1,575 women from 1985–2009 with a mean age of 51 years. [47]


There are still many opponents of changing their feed habits. This is also a policy of each country to protect the population and invest in science and disease prevention not in a treatment. YOU choose.



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35. (University of Michigan School of Public Health), published in the December 2011 of the journal Critical Public Health













Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): BCE, BMI, BMR, FAO, FAOSTAT, HDL, USDA.

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