Nutrigenomics in the context of evolution
Redox Biology Volume 62, June 2023, 102656
Nutrigenomics describes the interaction between nutrients and our genome. Since the origin of our species most of these nutrient-gene communication pathways have not changed. However, our genome experienced over the past 50,000 years a number of evolutionary pressures, which are based on the migration to new environments concerning geography and climate, the transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers including the zoonotic transfer of many pathogenic microbes and the rather recent change of societies to a preferentially sedentary lifestyle and the dominance of Western diet. Human populations responded to these challenges not only by specific anthropometric adaptations, such as skin color and body stature, but also through diversity in dietary intake and different resistance to complex diseases like the metabolic syndrome, cancer and immune disorders. The genetic basis of this adaptation process has been investigated by whole genome genotyping and sequencing including that of DNA extracted from ancient bones. In addition to genomic changes, also the programming of epigenomes in pre- and postnatal phases of life has an important contribution to the response to environmental changes. Thus, insight into the variation of our (epi)genome in the context of our individual’s risk for developing complex diseases, helps to understand the evolutionary basis how and why we become ill. This review will discuss the relation of diet, modern environment and our (epi)genome including aspects of redox biology. This has numerous implications for the interpretation of the risks for disease and their prevention.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2023.102656View full text