Minority Affairs Symposium - Plants and Human Nutrition
Rodriguez, Raymond .
Nutritional Genomics: Linking Food, Genomics and Human Health to Promote Global Health and Wellness.
The relationship between plant-based foods and health is a long and well-documented one. The mechanisms, however, by which the nutritive (and non-nutritive) constituents of diet can influence health and disease outcomes is not well understood. The goal of nutritional genomics is to identify those positive and negative interactions between the constituents of diet and genetic determinants of health and disease. The challenge for today’s researcher is to reconcile the diverse properties of dietary metabolites with our current understanding of how gene activity is controlled in a comprehensive and highly coordinated fashion. The difficulty with integrating the diverse properties of dietary metabolites with the genetic control needed to impact complex physiological processes is that most dietary signals lack the potency and efficacy of drugs. Most phytochemicals associated with health are low concentration, weak affinity ligands with low specificity, poor pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. How do low potency dietary signals coordinately regulate thousands of genes in hundreds of pathways in a targeted, measurable and predictable fashion? Are diet x gene interactions merely the result of random interactions between all possible dietary metabolites and all possible gene products? Finally, why do some individuals respond differently to the same dietary stimuli? These seemingly contradictory observations can be described as the “diet-gene paradox.” The implications of nutritional genomics and the diet-gene paradox for plant biologists will be discussed.
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1 - University of California, Davis, Director, Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics and, Professor in the Section of Molecular and Cellular, Davis, CA, 95616-8535, USA
Presentation Type: ASPB Major Symposium
Location: International Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 2:50 PM