DNA customized nutritional products are theoretically exciting. This revolutionary technology is the accumulated research in the branch of nutritional science known as nutrigenetics. The technology utilize the information obtained from an individual’s DNA test to specifically modify the formulation of the supplements or provide information resources, nutritional and life style advices.
GeneMe® represents the full scope of dietary supplement customization (see post”What Is GeneMe? A DNA Customized Supplement”). 12 genes with SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism – a concept of gene polymorphism that contributes to the differences in genotypes in different individuals). 12 well-characterized and biologically essential genes responsible for various areas of health are selected for assessment and included in the “panel”. “Gene-Specific Boosting Ingredients” are added or tailored for creating the final customized recipe for an individual in an attempt to achieve the optimal health maintenance.
Nutrigenetics based dietary nutritional customization can focus on the groups of genes that offer an All-In-One comprehensive supplementation solution as in the case of GeneMe®. Or they can focus only on one issues of the health such as bone health, cardiovascular health and etc.
In the long run, nutrigenetics should allow nutritionists and physicians to individualize health and diet recommendations and allow biotechnology companies to develop personalized wellness (nutritional and skin care) products and/or personalized medicine. Consequently preventative medicine and treatment could be optimized. Evidence did suggest that such an approach – the health counseling based on the results of genetic analysis can be more successful than conventional diet counseling or diet programs.
Several recent studies suggest that nutrigenomics is still a nascent field and that more research and stronger evidence is needed to confidently make genetically-tailored dietary supplement products. One NBC news report described the result from federal health officials using a number of pretend customers to purchase various DNA nutrianalysis kits which offer gene-based nutritional advice on the market ranging from $99 to $1000. The story (DNA based diets blasted by government probe) suggests that this area and industry is not mature to reach the final consumers. Academic studies also lead to the same conclusion. One study “Do we know enough? A scientific and ethical analysis of the basis for genetic-based personal nutrition) asserts that few diet-gene-health correlations (relationships) have been fully validated and tested for causality in clinical intervention studies, even though the individual genes are characterized for their biological functions. It is too simplistic to consider single gene variations as the causal factor for one aspect of the health. Biotech company’s stance is: “they are not harmful, but might be helpful”. Consumers are therefore advised to fully evaluate the cost-benefits tradeoff of DNA customized wellness products.