Poor lifestyle trends and nutritional choices are the two major factors that are causing an increase in chronic diseases in patients. Also, an increasing geriatric population and increased life expectancy have led to an increased focus on health management parameters at later stages of aging. Nutrigenomics helps in assisting an individual to achieve a lasting dietary behavior change that is beneficial for health. The bioactive food compounds can interact with genes further affecting the functions of the body. With the help of nutrigenomics, one can study the inborn errors of metabolism, which are used to treat and manipulate diet.
Over the years, the progress in understanding genetic associations, particularly via genome-wide association studies, has disclosed a substantial contribution of genes to human aging and age related diseases (ARD). Conditions such as obesity have a significant link with the nutrition gene interaction and could be governed to manage the shooting prevalence of obesity globally.
The advancements in omics technology have opened the gateways to
- deliver biomarkers for health and comfort
- disclose early indicators for a disease disposition
- assist in differentiating dietary responders from non-responders
- discover bioactive beneficial food components.
The gene and nutrient interaction affect metabolism-associated genes that eventually impact the activities and the quantity of the enzyme produced to provide nutrition to the body. This interaction of genes and nutrients has the capacity to alter the molecular phenotypes that include disease expression. The gene-diet interaction is often impacted by environmental, biological, and genetic components of an individual.
According to the recently published market intelligence by BIS Research, the global nutrigenomics market was estimated at $903.0 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.26% during the forecast period 2021-2031.
The global nutrigenomics market is expanding from the time of its inception and therefore, its applications are also growing ever since. Currently, nutrigenomics can be used for applications in the following areas.
- Women’s health: Women’s health is a highly critical subject in the context of nutrigenomics studies. Women deficient in vaginal Lactobacillus species are at great risk of developing severe and costly reproductive diseases as well as adverse obstetric outcomes. The use of potential prebiotics assists in addressing the restoration of women’s health thus boosting the growth of nutrigenomics market. However, it is still a long way off before the prebiotics can be introduced into preventive and treatment guidelines in context of women’s health.
- Digestive health: The human gastrointestinal tract is home to a highly complex and diverse microbial community, with microbial cells outnumbering human cells with a ratio of 10:1. Disruption of the gut microbiota is a major cause behind several metabolic diseases such as malnutrition, diabetes, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease), and pathological diseases.
- Immune health: The immune system within the human body is composed of a highly complex network of components that have the ability to adapt and respond to several challenges. The alliance between the immune system and the microbiota results from interwoven innate and adaptive immunity mechanisms in the body. Any alteration in the functioning of the microbiota due to diet changes, antibiotic use, and elimination of specific microbial species can lead to microbes becoming more of a liability than an ally.
- Others: Oral health, skin health, and bone health are also areas where nutrigenomics plays a vital role.