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Translating Genetic Information in Nutrition Practice


Frank Hu, MD, PhD at Nutrition Pro 2015: Translating Genetic Information in Nutrition Practice

Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discusses the role of genetic information, prediction of chronic disease, and nutrition interventions for improved health. This presentation comes from Nutrition Pro 2015 and contains valuable information for clinical translation of genetic information for improved nutrition practice.

Genes play only a small role in our overall health outcomes. Other genetic determinants, such as common copy number variations and rare variants can play a role, and the interplay of various factors such as epistasis and gene-environment interaction play a larger role in our health. Eating habits, for example, can influence BMI, and vice-versa, also depending on genetic risk score.

This complex system will only be understood through detailed data on diet and lifestyle in multiple large cohorts. Dietary intervention trials have suggested that individuals with different genotypes respond to the same treatment differently in terms of weight loss, lipids, and other intermediate phenotypes.

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