Well, I can hardly believe another year has gone by so quickly, but it´s promising to be an exciting one for me personally and I am ready!.
Over the last few weeks, I have been in touch with various practitioners and experts who have incorporated Nutrigenomics into their current practice. As there is still a lot of controversy around using testing in practice, I was interested in their view and personal insights on where they think the field was going and what they have learnt from their customers.
I have summarised the 5 key trends below:
- Single-SNP testing vs Whole genome testing – As the price of whole genome testing has plummeted considerably, practitioners believe that more people will opt for whole genome testing vs single SNP testing. The reason for this is that many know that their DNA won´t change and rather having to fork out more money as more research comes out, it is more cost-effective to pay up-front for a whole-genome test and consult with a experienced and knowledable professional as the science unfolds.
- Nutritional Genomics becomes Nutritional Systems Biology – The field of Nutritional genomics encompasses the fields of Nutrigenomics, Nutrigenetics as well as Epigenetics. As the field expands, it is clear that our health is defined by understanding several omics disciplines (transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) and therefore there is a trend towards not solely looking at Nutritional Genomics but looker wider and deeper into exactly how genes interact with eachother and also with our environment in order to better define a state of health.
- Quantfied Self model gathers strength- This trending topic relates to self-knowledge through recording and tracking various aspects of an individual such as mood and health in order to get a better understanding of how we think and function. An extension of this model may in the future include a genetic aspect which underpins how we respond and choose food. If you want to read more about Quantified self click here)
- Eastern Medicine meets Western knowlegde- There is a strong feeling amongst practitioners that clients who are interested in Nutritional Genomics are also very keen on using an Eastern medicine approach to manage their health conditions. This is in line with individuals wanting to take a more holistic or preventative approach to avoid or delay the onset of chronic diseases that are currently affecting societies around the globe. Practitioners therefore see a trend whereby clients will be more eager to find out their genetic potential or which SNP´s they have inherited and manage the impact of these SNP as much as possible by making dietary and lifestyle changes early.
- Curiosity before Action– There is an increasing trend for individuals to pay for Nutrigenetic testing more due to curiosity rather than wanting to make real lifestyle changes. As media coverage is increasing about Genomics advances, individuals are more curious about the field and also their own genetic make-up. Recently the UK Governement has committed substantial amount of money to the field of Genomics in the area of cancer prevention and treatment. Hence, the more governments are taking scientific advances into account, the more consumer interest peaks.
So there they are, but please note that the key trends are based on the personal opinions of the author and the practitioners interviewed.
I am very interested to see what will happen the rest of this year!, I am looking forward to your comments.
Yours In health