Natural Products Insider

JAN-FEB 2019

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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6 INSIDER January/February 2019 "The realization that our genes are not our destiny is one of the greatest scientifi c discoveries of our generation," said Jennifer Cooper, chief scientifi c offi cer at Savant Science, of epigenetics—the study of any process that alters gene expression without changing the DNA sequence. Epigenetics is among four scientifi c discoveries Cooper identifi ed as most pertinent to the evolution of personalized nutrition. The power of epigenetics and, thus, nutrigenomics (the study of the effects of nutrients/bioactives on gene expression) is rooted in the intricacy of genes. Though the genetic makeup of all people is 99 percent identical, genes have plasticity and can experience variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are responsible for the differences from person to person and can impact various processes within the body. As explained by Amanda Archibald, R.D., The Genomic Kitchen, at SupplySide West 2018 during the Personalized Nutrition Workshop, genomic medicine looks at the collective number of SNPs in a biochemical pathway and assesses the impact of the total number of SNPs on physiological processes in the body. "We can then use food and/or supplementation to infl uence the behavior of the gene," she said. Cooper referred to the impact of epigenetics as a "paradigm shift" from "the all-knowing physician to the empowered patient and all-questioning consumer. Now that we have taken our health into our own hands, there is an urgent need for the coalescing of scientifi cally sound information, data management and personalized health care to be crafted into integrated, consumer-friendly solutions." Researchers, health-conscious consumers and forward-thinking brands in the health and nutrition space are on the same page, and eagerly anticipating the health care revolution personalized nutrition and precision medicine can bring once fully realized. Until then, steady advancements in research and technologies, along with ongoing innovation, is bringing various solutions to market. Beyond epigenetics, exciting areas of research, per Cooper, include sequencing of the microbiome, advances in metabolomics and bioinformatics as a discipline. My-crobiome Researchers continue their quest to understand the microbiome and its potential impact on health. Early fi ndings uncovered links between the microbiome and certain health disorders, such as obesity, 1 insulin resistance, 2 type 2 diabetes, 3 glucose intolerance, 4 non- alcoholic fatty liver disease 5 and others. Recent fi ndings, however, strive to understand the microbiome's potential in precision medicine and personalized nutrition, largely inspired by the discovery of vast variability of the microbiome on an individual basis. "When scientists started sequencing the microbiome, we expected to fi nd a core group of organisms that were basically common in humans regardless of the culture, food consumption, environmental exposure, age and world location," Cooper said. "Surprisingly, they found that more than 80 percent of an individual's biome is unique. While they didn't always fi nd the same core group of organisms, they found the same core group of functions were reliably carried out by a healthy person's microbiome." She continued, "The inherent variability in individual microbiomes and its impact on everything from [gastrointestinal] function, immunity, brain function, metabolism and drug pharmacokinetics means that better understanding this complex, symbiotic, 'other' organ will have a profound impact on both personalized nutrition and precision medicine." Zmora N et al. agreed in a 2016 publication: "At present, microbiome research is moving beyond description of community structure and disease associations, toward a deeper molecular understanding of its contributions to the pathogenesis of complex disorders. As such, recent next-generation DNA sequencing-based studies are suggesting that the utilization of person-specifi c microbiome data may contribute to the development of precision medicine, personalized diagnostic and treatment modalities." 6 Among research demonstrating how variations in the microbiome impact health outcomes related to diet is a study reviewing the gut microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient abundant in red meat. 7 Metabolism of L-carnitine by the intestinal microbiota produces trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), linked to acceleration of atherosclerosis—hardening of the arteries and a leading cause of heart disease. Chronic dietary L-carnitine supplementation in mice signifi cantly altered fecal microbial composition, markedly enhanced synthesis of TMAO, and increased atherosclerosis, but not following suppression of intestinal microbiota. Further, the study reported omnivorous subjects are shown to produce signifi cantly more TMAO than vegans/vegetarians following ingestion of L-carnitine through a microbiota- dependent mechanism. Commenting on the study, Zmora et al. wrote, "This suggests that global recommendation to reduce consumption of red meat as a means of reducing cardiovascular diseases may be more relevant for people with specifi c Supplements: Personalized Nutrition Epigenetics is one of several scientific discoveries identified as most pertinent to the evolution of personalized nutrition. Recent research evaluates the microbiome's potential in personalized nutrition, inspired by the variability of individual microbiomes. Personalized nutrition will push growth of vitamins, minerals and supplements from an estimated value of US$93 billion in 2015 to $127 billion in 2020. Personalized Nutrition: Translating Research to Solutions by Rachel Adams INSIDER's Take

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