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Bioethical considerations for human nutrigenomics

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John Mathers


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This article gives an overview of the ethical issues in nutrigenomics research and personalized nutrition. The principles of research ethics, i.e., autonomy, beneficence, nonmalfeasance, and justice, are challenged by rapidly growing cross-border research activities utilizing existing and upcoming biobanks for studies of the interaction of genes with diet on risk of common diseases. We highlight the ethical issues, some unresolved, in international collaborative projects of which researchers should be aware. Personalized nutrition (tailoring diet on the basis of genotype) is one possible application of nutrigenomics research. However, until the scientific evidence concerning diet-gene interactions is much more robust, the provision of personalized dietary advice on the basis of specific genotype remains questionable. From the ethical and social perspective, nutrigenomics offers significant opportunities to improve public health by enhancing understanding of the mechanisms through which diet can be used to reduce the risk of common polygenic diseases. Copyright © 2008 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bergmann MM, Gorman U, Mathers JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annual Review of Nutrition

Year: 2008

Volume: 28

Issue: 1

Pages: 447-467

ISSN (print): 0199-9885

ISSN (electronic): 1545-4312

Publisher: Annual Reviews


DOI: 10.1146/annurev.nutr.28.061807.155344


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