Conclusion

Nutrigenomics is a powerful tool that guides investigators though a more global and molecular consideration of the various factors that influence the human biological response to diet. Using harmonized protocols for nutritional intervention studies with a nutrigenomic focus helps identify a broader spectrum of critical study parameters and reduces the background noise of confounding variables and factors. The nutrigenomic 'lens' allows one to view a complex data-rich landscape and effectively zoom in on the biologic effect elicited by the bioactive nutrient of interest. The judicious and harmonious application of nutrigenomic principles to dietary intervention trials could increase the signal to noise of the relevant nutritional pharmacology and enable researchers to confidently detect subtle but meaningful biologic effects of dietary components. This depth of science comes at a cost to the business side of nutrition, however, as molecular nutrition will inevitably erode the mass marketing paradigm of 'one size fits all' and lead to consumer segmentation. In this regard, nutrigenomic segmentation simply pushes the limits of 'personal nutrition' into a space that business models have yet to exploit, but need to in the future, if truly meaningful health benefits to the consumer is the value-added proposition for ingredients and products delivered by the food industry. For now, taste, cultural mores and stage of life dominate the consumer-centric model of personal nutrition; in the future, however, R&D will complete the mosaic of personal nutrition with the pre-emptive positioning of foods for the dietary management of lifestyle and inherited diseases (Fay and German, 2008).

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