The reply could also be precision vitamin, which goals to know the well being results of the complicated interaction amongst genetics, our microbiome (the micro organism dwelling in our intestine), our weight loss program and stage of bodily exercise, and different social and behavioral traits.
That implies that everybody might have their very own distinctive set of dietary necessities.
Beneath is an edited model of our dialog.
CNN: How is precision vitamin completely different from present vitamin recommendation?
Dr. Frank Hu: The thought of precision vitamin is to have the precise meals, at the correct quantity, for the precise individual. As an alternative of offering normal dietary suggestions for everybody, this precision strategy tailors vitamin suggestions to particular person traits, together with one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental components, and extra. This can assist obtain higher well being outcomes.
CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription in terms of what we needs to be consuming?
Martha Area: People have distinctive responses to weight loss program, and the “superb modify” of precision vitamin is knowing these responses. This implies understanding interactions amongst genetics, particular person variations in metabolism, and responses to train.
CNN: How will we eat based mostly on precision vitamin ideas now?
Hu: There are some examples of customized diets for illness administration, like a gluten-free weight loss program for the administration of celiac illness, or a lactose-free weight loss program if you’re lactose illiberal. For people with a situation generally known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they need to devour (a) phenylalanine-free weight loss program. It is a uncommon situation however a traditional instance of how your genes can affect what sort of diets it’s best to devour.
Angela Poole: If I had a household historical past of excessive ldl cholesterol, diabetes or colon most cancers, I might enhance my dietary fiber consumption, consuming a variety of completely different sources, together with a wide range of greens.
Area: If in case you have hypertension, you ought to be extra aware of sodium consumption. Anybody with a malabsorption problem may need a necessity for larger ranges of micronutrients similar to B nutritional vitamins and a few minerals.
Hu: Some folks carry quick caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry sluggish genes. In the event you carry quick (metabolizing) genotypes, you possibly can drink a variety of caffeinated espresso as a result of caffeine is damaged down shortly. If you’re a sluggish metabolizer, you get jittery and will not have the ability to sleep for those who drink espresso within the afternoon. If that is the case, you possibly can drink decaf espresso and nonetheless get the advantages of espresso’s polyphenols, that are related to decreased danger of coronary heart illness and diabetes with out the results of caffeine.
CNN: How a lot of a task do our particular person genes play in our danger of illness? And might our conduct mitigate our illness danger?
Area: The environmental results can generally be on the identical magnitude because the genetic results with respect to danger for illness.
CNN: Our particular person microbiomes might be able to dictate what sort of weight loss program we needs to be consuming. Are you able to inform us about this rising analysis? And what do you consider microbiome checks?
Poole: Analysis has proven that in some folks, their blood sugar will spike larger from consuming bananas than from consuming cookies, and this has been related to microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome knowledge to construct algorithms that may predict a person’s glucose response, and this can be a main advance. However that is not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies as an alternative of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests consuming white bread as an alternative of whole-wheat bread attributable to blood glucose responses, I would not simply eat white bread on a regular basis.
For the time being, I am not able to spend some huge cash to see what’s in my intestine microbiome … and the microbiome adjustments over time.
Hu: Microbiome checks should not low-cost, and the promise that this take a look at can assist develop a customized meal plan that may enhance blood sugar and blood ldl cholesterol … at this level, the info should not conclusive.
CNN: How will vitamin recommendation be completely different 10 years from now?
Poole: I feel you’ll obtain a custom-tailored grocery record on an app — meals that you simply need to purchase and meals that you simply need to keep away from, based mostly in your blood sugar responses to meals, your stage of bodily exercise and extra.
Hu: We could have extra and higher biomarkers and extra inexpensive and correct nutrigenomics and microbiome checks in addition to higher pc algorithms that predict your response to meals intakes.
However these applied sciences can not substitute normal vitamin ideas similar to limiting sodium and added sugar and consuming extra wholesome plant meals. In a couple of years, you might be able to get a extra helpful response from Alexa for those who ask her what it’s best to eat — however like different solutions from Alexa, you may should take it with a grain of salt.
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, an writer and a CNN well being and vitamin contributor.