What can precision nutrition offer you?

A diet tailored to your DNA may be in the future, but you can personalize your eating plan now in several ways.

The one-size-fits-all approach hasn't been very successful, either in clothing or in medicine, because most of us are not the "average" woman. That's one reason researchers are now investigating whether customizing peoples' diets according to their DNA — an approach known as precision nutrition — can improve their health.

As the cost of sequencing an individual's genome (a readout of all a person's DNA) has continued to fall, incorporating genetic information into nutrition advice has become increasingly feasible, says Dr. Frank Hu, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The ready availability of human genetic information has given rise to a new scientific field, nutrigenomics — the study of the influence of people's genes on how they metabolize nutrients. Nutrigenomics has opened the door to precision nutrition — the creation of individualized eating plans based on a person's genome.

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