When will nutrigenomics hit the supermarkets?
Some nutrigenomics-type products and tests are currently available, but in a piecemeal fashion.
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Lynn Ferguson and Jim Kaput lead two of the world's biggest nutrigenomics research projects. Here they explain why it will take time for the whole concept of nutrigenomics products to reach the public.
Waihi College: When will Nutrigenomics become available to the public?
Lynn Ferguson (Nutrigenomics New Zealand): There are already some products on the NZ market. A2 milk would be an example, really, [which is] depending on variants in genes which are causing specific conditions. So it’s starting to become available to the public at the moment. Widely available to the public - I think we are probably 10 to 15 years away yet, but it’s coming and it’s probably coming faster than many of us realise.
Jim Kaput (The NCMHD Centre of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics): When you were born, they did a test on your blood to ask the question whether you have an enzyme that could metabolise [or process] phenylalanine [a component of some proteins]. And every baby born in western society has that test. If you are missing that enzyme you are not supposed to eat phenylalanine, which means you have to have reduced protein. You have to knock out the artificial sweeteners, etc. So, really, we have already been doing it for a while - we just haven’t realised it.
- 01 May 2006
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- The University of Waikato