Nutrigenetics - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123859006, 9780123859013


1st Edition

Applying the Science of Personal Nutrition

Authors: Martin Kohlmeier
eBook ISBN: 9780123859013
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123859006
Paperback ISBN: 9780128100783
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 14th December 2012
Page Count: 396
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Nutrigenetics: Applying the Science of Personal Nutrition provides a fully referenced, readable guide to understanding the rationale and importance of nutrigenetic applications and explains why single nutrition recommendations will not fit everybody or even a majority of modern humans.

This books explains how genetic variation shapes individual nutrition requirements and sensitivities, presents questions to ask about reported gene-nutrient interactions, and what needs to be done before putting nutrigenetic tests to practical use. This book blends key concepts from the fields of genetics, biochemistry, epidemiology, public health, and clinical medicine to give a rich perspective on the genetically diverse nutritional needs and sensitivities of individuals in health and disease.

A steadily increasing number of people order genetic tests to find out what they should eat for better health, well being and performance, and an even greater number asks their healthcare providers about such tests. Most of the currently offered tests are not grounded in current knowledge, often absurdly so, but few professionals can explain why they are misguided. On the other hand, there are more evidence-supported genetic variants that can guide nutrition decisions, but again most healthcare providers know little about them, much less use them in their daily practice. There is a great need for a solidly evidence-based yet accessible book that explains the science of nutrigenetics and provides the tools to evaluate new nutrigenetic tests.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive coverage of the emerging science of nutritional genetics and its promise for individually tailored nutrition guidance
  • Presents practical examples to enhance comprehension and spur additional research
  • Offers a logical progression from what nutrigenetics is, to its possibilities in enhancing health


Nutritionists, genetic counselors, epidemiologists, pharmacists, physicians, epigeneticists, and other health care professionals

Table of Contents




Why Health Care Professionals Need to Learn About Nutrigenetics

Chapter 1. Has the Time Come for Genotype-Based Nutrition Decisions?

Terms of the Trade

1.1. Life is not Fair

1.2. A Genetic Framework for Nutrition Decisions

Summary and Segue to the Next Chapter


Chapter 2. How Genetic Transmission Works

Terms of the Trade

2.1. The Molecular Stage

2.2. Inheritance

2.3. Molecular Effects of Genetic Variation

Summary and Segue to the Next Chapter


Chapter 3. Where Nutrigenetic Differences Come From

Terms of the Trade

3.1. When our Ancestors could Still make their Own Vitamins

3.2. Recent Evolution of Genetic Differences

3.3. Mechanisms of Evolutionary Adaptation

3.4. Protection Against Infections

3.5. The Genetics of Taste and Smell

3.6. Gender Differences

Summary and Segue to the Next Chapter


Chapter 4. How Nutrients are Affected by Genetics

Terms of the Trade

4.1. If Something can go Wrong it Will

4.2. Proteins and Amino Acids

4.3. Fats

4.4. Sterols

4.5. Carbohydrates

4.6. Alcohols

4.7. Minerals

4.8. Trace Elements

4.9. Vitamins

Summary and Segue to the Next Chapter


Chapter 5. How does Nutrigenetics Influence Long-Term Health?

Terms of the Trade

5.1. Good Nutrition Means Different Things for Different People

5.2. It Starts Right at the Beginning—Preconceptual and Prenatal Nutrition

5.3. Boosting Cognitive Development of Infants

5.4. Cancer

5.5. Diabetes

5.6. Heart Disease

5.7. Thromboembolism

5.8. Asthma and Allergies

5.9. Gout

5.10. Those Clingy Love Handles

5.11. Fatty Liver Disease

5.12. Bone Health

Summary and Segue to the Next Chapter


Chapter 6. How Can we Know What the Latest Findings Mean?

Terms of the Trade

6.1. Tools for Nutrigenetic Research and Practice

6.2. In Vitro and Animal Models

6.3. Nutrigenetic Studies in Humans

6.4. Most First Reports of Nutrigenetic Interactions are False

Summary and Segue to the Next Chapter


Chapter 7. Practical Uses of Nutrigenetics

Terms of the Trade

7.1. Genetic Inheritance is just a First Offer

7.2. Personal Nutrition

7.3. Transcending Personal Interests

7.4. Focus on the Weaker Link

7.5. Leveraging Nutrigenetic Concepts in Research

Summary and Segue to the Next Chapter


Chapter 8. Keeping Genetic Information Safe

Terms of the Trade

8.1. What is there to Lose?

8.2. Key Legal Terms and Concepts for Understanding Genetic Information

8.3. The legal Regime and Laws Relating to Genetic Information

8.4. Patient Rights

8.5. Duties of Medical Providers

8.6. Double Masking



Genome Glossary


Science journals relevant to nutrigenetics

Information on inborn errors of metabolism

Gene information


Data mining and display tools

Genetic software packages



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About the Author

Martin Kohlmeier

Martin Kohlmeier, MD, PhD is professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is Director of the Nutrition in Medicine project, and heads the Nutrigenetics laboratory at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute. His nutrition research has focused on the importance of inherited variation as a modulator of nutrient disposition and on the assessment of nutritional status of normal populations and its impact on health. He identified low endogenous cholesterol synthesis as a cause of increased cholesterol sensitivity, the apolipoprotein E polymorphism as the main genetic modulator of vitamin K status, lactase persistence as a modulator of phytoestrogen bioavailability, and a very common MTHFD1 variant as a predictor of choline requirements. He has developed online tools that provide genotype-specific personalized nutrition guidance without revealing genetic information.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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