Genomics Is A Discipline In Genetics Concerned Biology Essay


Genomics: Genomics is a discipline in genetics concerned with the study of the genomes of organisms including efforts to determine the entire DNA sequence of organisms and fine-scale genetic mapping (Balammal, G., 2012) while the genome is the set of all genes, regulatory sequences, and other information contained within the noncoding regions of DNA of an organism (Frederick, P. Roth et al., 1998).

Nutritional genomics: The science of relationship between human genome, nutrition and health (Ordovas, J.M., 2004) or the genetic manipulation of plants to create vitamins and minerals that will improve human's diet and analysis of an organism's set of genes so it is an area of science that looks at how environmental factors, such as diet, influence the genetic make-up (Ordovas, J.M., 2004).

Nutrigenetics: It is the interplay between nutrition and genetics of an individual, branch of science concerned with the effect of heredity on diet and nutrition (Simopoulos, A.P., 2010). The term "Nutrigenetics" refers to the research on the impact of changes in inherited traits of nuclear DNA, on the response to specific metabolic dysfunctions outcomes getting health chronic damages and disorders (Paolo Manzelli, 2012, Simopoulos, A.P., 2010).

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According to WHO reports diet factors influence occurrence of more than two third of diseases and most of these factors belong to the categories of nutrigenetics. In other words, nutrigenetics concerns individual differences in the reaction to food based on the genetic factors. Nutrigenomics analyses direct influences of nutrients on gene expression (Svacina, S., 2007).

Proteomics: Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions and the term proteomics was first coined in 1997 to make an analogy with genomics, the study of the genes. The word proteome is a blend of protein and genome, and was coined by Marc Wilkins in 1994 and proteome is the entire complement of proteins, including the modifications made to a particular set of proteins, produced by an organism or system (James, P., 1997, Marc, R. Wilkins et al., 1996).

Metabolomics: Metabolomics is the systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind and the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles is increasingly being used in a variety of health applications including pharmacology, pre-clinical drug trials, toxicology, transplant monitoring, newborn screening and clinical chemistry (Nanda T., 2011). The metabolome represents the collection of all metabolites in a biological cell, tissue, organ or organism, which are the end products of cellular processes (Daviss, Bennett, 2005).

Gene expression: It is the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a functional gene product like proteins, but in non-protein coding genes such as ribosomal RNA (rRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA) or small nuclear RNA (snRNA) genes, the product is a functional RNA. The process of gene expression is used by all known life i.e. eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses, to generate the macromolecular machinery for life Gene expression occurs in two major stages, first is transcription in which the gene is copied to produce an RNA molecule with essentially the same sequence as the gene and second stage is protein synthesis known as translation (Oliver Brandenberg et al., 2011, Richard Twyman, 2003).

Genotype: The genotype is the genetic makeup of a cell, an organism, or an individual usually with reference to a specific character under consideration which is the internally coded, inheritable information, carried by all living organisms. This stored information is used as a blueprint or set of instructions for building and maintaining a living creature (Oliver Brandenberg et al., 2011).

Phenotype: It is the composite of an organism's observable characteristics or traits such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, phenology, behavior, and products of behavior. These are the physical parts, the sum of the atoms, molecules, macromolecules, cells, structures, metabolism, energy utilization, tissues, organs, reflexes and behaviors of a living organism (Oliver Brandenberg et al., 2011).

Polymorphism: Polymorphism in biology occurs when two or more clearly different phenotypes exist in the same population of a species, the occurrence of more than one form or morph. (Oliver Brandenberg et al., 2011).

Allele: An allele is one of two or more forms of a gene or a genetic locus and form allel is also used for an abbreviation of allelomorph and different alleles can result in different observable phenotypic traits, such as different pigmentation. (Oliver Brandenberg et al., 2011).

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Epigenetic: A modification of gene expression that is independent of the DNA sequence of the gene (Egger, G., Liang G., et al., 2004). The current definition of epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur independent of changes in the primary DNA sequence and these heritable changes are established during differentiation and are stably maintained through multiple cycles of cell division, enabling cells to have distinct identities while containing the same genetic information. This heritability of gene expression patterns is mediated by epigenetic modifications, which include methylation of cytosine bases in DNA, posttranslational modifications of histone proteins as well as the positioning of nucleosomes along the DNA (Sharma, Shikhar, 2010).

Nutrigenomics: Health from nutrition

Nutrigenomics is the study of how naturally occurring chemicals in foods alter molecular expression of genetic information in each individual. The term nutrigenomics refers the effect of diet on gene expression or to the impact of inherited on the response to a specific dietary pattern, functional food or supplement on a specific health outcome (Fenech, M., 2005) so called as the "next frontier in the post genomic era" (David Castle, 2007). It can be described as the study of the relationship between genes, diet lifestyle and health that is nutrition regulate gene function like transcription, translation and metabolism i.e. diet gene interaction (Ordovas, J.M., 2004).

Nutrigenomics focuses on understanding that nutrition influences metabolism and maintenance of the internal equilibrium in the body and this regulation affects the diet related diseases (Ordovas J.M., 2004) and offers a powerful and exiting approach to unravel the effect of diet on health. In the past the nutrition research concentrated on nutrient deficiency and impairment of health but nutrigenomics creates a junction between health diet and genomics and it will promotes an increased understanding of how nutrition influences metabolic pathway and homeostasis control.

Biomedical researcher, private sector firm, public (Timothy Caulfield, 2008) and food industry recognizes the need for nutrigenomics research as a basis for developing the concept of "personalized diet" for identifying molecular biomarkers. Over the past few years, there has been rapid increase in the interest in nutrigenomics as a research topic because it is an area that has been viewed as worthy public funding, both as a topic of basic scientific inquiry and as a field with health care and commercialization possibilities (Ordovas, J. M., 2004). The new scientific understanding of nutrigenomics has led to the increase of commercial development of nutraceutical and functional foods that can be modify negative health effect of individual genetic profiles (Francesco, Marotta et al., 2012).

The main aim of the nutrigenomics is that to improve dilatory advice, development of health promoting supplements, preventive strategies and the reduction of healthcare cost (Ordovas, J.M., 2004). The coming years will likely require patience, realistic expectations and strong advocacy for the needed research funding. A major focus of nutrition research is on prevention of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorder and cancer (Afman, L. et al., 2006)

More than simply managing or treating disease or the symptoms associated with disease, the nutrigenomics will be used to identify susceptibilities to disease and implement pro active measures to help individuals avoid contracting said disease in the first place and we can say that nutrigenomics research will lead to development of evidence based healthful food and lifestyle advice and dietary intervention for contemporary humans (Ordovas, J.M., 2004). The advent of modern science led to the realization that not only are certain nutrition essential but also that specific quantity of each were necessary for optimal health thereby leading to such notions as dilatory recommendations, nutritional epidemiology, and the realization that food can directly contribute to disease onset. In this regard human development to disease onset is clearly defined by both environmental influences like diet, smoking education, physical activity etc. and heredity indicating that both aspects must be considered if one aims to optimize health (Ordovas, J.M., 2004).

The excitement about nutrigenomics comes from a growing awareness of the potential for modifications of food or diet to support health and reduce the risk of diet related diseases thus by identifying individual genetic predispositions for chronic diseases and the potential for individuals response to dietary intervention, these diseases may be effectively prevented by properly dietary intake. Nutrigenomics brings together the science of bioinformatics nutrition, molecular biology genomics, epidemiology and molecular medicine (Neeha, V.S., 2012).

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Nutrigenomics is the application of high-throughput genomics tools to the study of diet-gene interactions in order to identify dietetic components having beneficial or detrimental health effects (Miggiano, G.A., 2006). Traditionally biomarkers related to onset of disease or organ damage were used to quantify the effects but now it becomes necessary to quantify phenotype changes which are very close or within the range of health state (Ben Van Omen, 2008) and has primarily focused on nutrient deficiencies and the relation between nutrition and health. The advent of genomics has created unprecedented opportunities for increasing understanding of nutrients modulating gene and protein expression and ultimately influence cellular and organizational metabolism (Maria, C. Busstra et al., 2007).

Normally nutrigenomics embodies three normative concepts; first, food is exclusively interpreted in terms of disease prevention. Second, striving for health is interpreted as the quantification of risks and prevention of diseases through positive food-gene interactions and third, normative idea is that disease prevention by the minimization of risks is an individual's task (Korthals, M., 2011). 

Nutritional factors are thought to be the cause of 30-60% of cancer; diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity are expensing rapidly (Zeisel, S.H., 2010). The conceptual basis for this new branch of genomic research can best be summarized by the following five tenets of nutrigenomics (Debusk, R., 2005):

Under certain circumstances and in some individuals, diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases.

Common dietary chemicals can act on the human genome, either directly or indirectly to alter gene expression or structure.

The degree to which diet influences the balance between healthy and disease states may depend on individual's genetic makeup.

Some diet regulated genes are likely to play a role in the onset, incidence, progression and severity of chronic disease

Dietary intervention based on knowledge of nutritional requirement, nutritional status and genotype can be used to prevent, mitigate or cure chronic diseases.

Nutrigenomics is therefore significant not only as a matter of improving public health but becomes it can have wide spread. Implicates on the way to understand and practice nutrition.

20.1.3 Benefits of nutrigenomics

Scientific studies show that nutrients in food can cause changes in the behavior of genes and the finding suggest that nutrients play peoples risk for cancer and other disease and through it, researchers hope to find ways to use food to prevent, cure and reduce the risk of diet related disease and benefits include a growth in concern on one's health and the chance to have a personalized nutrition optimized for good health, discovering genetic vulnerabilities which can be a strong motivating factor to encourage people to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes, and the high chances of heeding the advice that they have paid for. Profiling and Analyzing one's DNA may cost between $300 and $3,000 and large-scale food corporations are spending fortunes on nutrigenomics, and on development of enhanced or fortified products to deliver personalized diets and multi-national corporations specializing in skin care, aging and beauty products are using nutrigenomics for (David Castle, 2007). The main aims of nutrigenomics are:

Obtaining a personalized dietary regimen may encourage people to become more health conscious.

People are more likely to heed advice that they pay for.

Discovering genetic susceptibilities can be a strong motivator for making dietary and lifestyle changes.

The safe upper and lower limits for essential macro-nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals will be better defined and understood.

Diseases may be avoided or ameliorated.

Unnecessary vitamins and other dietary supplements can be avoided.

People whose health is relatively unaffected by diet can continue to eat foods that they enjoy.

Lifespan may be extended.

Following commercial interests are responding to established market segments of early adopters seeking new tools to enhance health.

Nutrigenomics: The genes can tells that to eat

The ability of cells to adapt to environmental change by regulation of gene expression is essential for organism survival and organisms vary their gene expression in the absence or presence of nutrients by increasing and decreasing production of cellular proteins necessary for life sustaining function. A perfect example of this evolutionary process is the development of a gene mutation that alters the ability to tolerate lactose and adult mammals typically are unable to digest lactose. Ultimately, the science of nutrigenomics promises to offer the health practitioner greater knowledge, enabling them to predict potential genetic responses to nutritional intake and to target and modify associated behavior (Zeisel, S.H. et al., 2005).

Nutrigenomics explains omega-3's immune health benefits

Omega-3 fatty acids not only lower LDL cholesterol, but also help raise good HDL cholesterol and protection against certain cancers to prevention of heart disease, arthritis, degenerative eye disease, and high blood pressure, are found in walnuts, canola oil, and flax seeds but the best source is cold water fish. A specific omega-3 fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was shown to reduce expression of inflammatory genes in arthritic canine cells. (Bouwens, M., 2009, Bahadori, B., et al., 2010, Balk, E.M., et a.l, 2006)

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for brain memory and performance, behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems and symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 in the diet because omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. (Aben, A., 2010, Angerer, P., 2000, Aronson, W.J. et al., 2001)

Nutrigenomics shows blood pressure benefits of cocoa

A new nutrigenomics study shows that potential of polyphenol compounds in cocoa to reduce blood pressure is related to genotype. Activity of the antiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), a target for blood pressure medication which was significantly inhibited by dark chocolate containing 72 percent cocoa, with the degree of inhibition dependent upon the genotype of the human subjects. ACE inhibitors work by inhibiting the conversion of angiotensin I to the potent vasoconstrictor, angiotensin II, thereby improving blood flow and blood pressure. (Stephen, Daniels, 2011)

Nutrigenomics Shows Benefit of Magnesium's metabolic actions

Magnesium may up and down-regulate a number of genes linked to metabolism and shows favorable effects on certain metabolic pathways are associated with changes in gene expression (Chacko, S.A., 2011) and magnesium supplementation was associated with a decrease in levels of C-peptide, a marker of improved insulin sensitivity. The mineral was also linked to down-regulation of certain genes related to metabolic and inflammatory pathways, the report also says that in terms of gene expression, 24 genes were up-regulated, and 36 genes were down-regulated in response to magnesium supplementation and some findings are also indicated a systemic effect of magnesium supplementation give measurable physiologic changes in the urinary proteome after treatment with magnesium for four weeks, which warrants further investigation into these changes and identification of the proteins involved (Chacko, S.A., 2011).

Nutrigenomics Supports Evidence for Health Benefits of Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins, a large subgroup of flavonoids present in many vegetables and fruits, are safe and potent antioxidants. They exhibit diverse potential health benefits including cardioprotection, anti-atherosclerotic activity, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammation properties. Anthocyanins can cross the blood-brain barrier and distribute in the CNS. Recent studies indicate that anthocyanins represent novel neuroprotective agents and may be beneficial in ameliorating ethanol neurotoxicity (Gang, Chen and Jia, Luo, 2010). Recently, it is demonstrated that anthocyanins, which are pigments widespread in the plant kingdom, have the potency of anti-obesity in mice and the enhancement adipocytokine secretion and adipocyte gene expression in adipocytes (Tsuda, T. et al., 2005).

Nutrigenomics could provide nutrition-relevant biomarkers

Changes to messenger RNA and the corresponding proteins control the transport of certain nutrients and metabolites in the biochemical pathway. Nutrigenomics could also provide a new set of biomarkers with relevance to nutrition. (Van Der Werf, M.J., 2006)

Benefits of nutrigenomics diet for skin

Many skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin and premature aging of the skin is associated with diet and inadequate nutrition substantially contribute to the deterioration of such skin conditions and vice versa, with a proper diet the appearance and health of the skin can be significantly improved. The most advisable is beneficial for the blood type and genotype are minimally processed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and fermented products from unpasteurized and not homogenized milk. These foods contain nutrients necessary for healthy skin like vitamins B and E and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and manganese and to all blood groups are friendly flax seed, almonds and walnuts. In the fruits a great choice for all blood types are pineapple, blueberries, raspberries and cranberries. Turkey is the only generally available meat that is suitable for all blood types and genotypes. The leading way to beauty and health healthy diet, lifestyle and products that are tailored to your nutrigenomics diet profile (Ravi Subbiah, M.T., 2010).

Health economics of nutrigenomics in weight management

There is a theoretical modeling study where they sought to evaluate the health economics implications of a nutrigenomic product for weight loss for which constructed a nutrigenomic economic model by linking the published study data related to the efficacy of a product and/or ingredients and validated clinical assessments that have already been tied to health economics data with data involving condition prevalence and overall cost of illness. In this theoretical model, the demonstration is that LG839 variant positively reduces the cost of illness at the macroeconomic and microeconomic level based upon a cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis, have forecasted the prognostic health economic implications of a nutrigenomic intervention to demonstrate a theoretical model of nutrigenomic economics. This study is hypothesis-generating and should be used in the definition of protocols to prospectively test the health economic benefits of nutrigenomics (Brian, Meshkin, 2008).

Nutrigenetic association of the 5-lipoxygenase gene with myocardial infarction

5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) catalyzes the rate-limiting step of the biosynthesis of proinflammatory leukotrienes from arachidonic acid (AA) and has been associated with atherosclerosis in animal models and humans and previously reports says that variants of a 5-LO promoter repeat polymorphism were associated with carotid atherosclerosis in humans, an effect that was exacerbated by high dietary amino acids but mitigated by high dietary N−3 fatty acids. The 5-LO polymorphism was genotyped by Costa Rican case-control pairs and tested for association with myocardial infarction and today, scientists are working with powerful databases to identify variations among genes in individuals and are working to establish correlations for susceptibility to various health conditions, as well as to understand the influence of such genetic variations on responses to dietary components (Allayee, H., 2006).