Two men of the same age eat a diet low in fruits and vegetables and high in salt and saturated fat. One develops high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, and eventually heart disease, while the
other lives a long life without chronic disease. In another example, two post-menopausal women consume similar diets low in choline. One develops liver dysfunction due to a choline deficiency, but the other does not.
Why these individuals experience different health outcomes despite following similar diets and living comparable lifestyles is a question that has been on the minds of nutrition and healthcare experts for decades. While professionals have suspected that genetics (the study of heredity) plays a critical role in determining how a person responds to dietary intake, research in nutrigenetics has only recently demonstrated this to be true. The result is that people can now receive personalised nutritional recommendations based on their genetic makeup to help prevent chronic illnesses down the road, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes (known as polygenic diseases).
To read the full article written by our Tsebo Registered Dietitian, Annelize Zeelie, please click here.