Personalized nutrition for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a future perspective
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality in the Western and developing world. This multi-factorial disease is influenced by many environmental and genetic factors. At present, public health advice involves prescribed population-based recommendations, which have been largely unsuccessful in reducing CVD risk. This is, in part, due to individual variability in response to dietary manipulations, that arises from nutrient–gene interactions (defined by the term ‘nutrigenetics’). The shift towards personalized nutritional advice is a very attractive proposition, where, in principle, an individual can be given dietary advice specifically tailored to their genotype. However, the evidence-base for the impact of interactions between nutrients and fixed genetic variants on biomarkers of CVD risk is still very limited. This paper reviews the evidence for interactions between dietary fat and two common polymorphisms in the apolipoprotein E and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ genes. Although an increased understanding of how these and other genes influence response to nutrients should facilitate the progression of personalized nutrition, the ethical issues surrounding its routine use need careful consideration.