How Do Genes Impact Our Nutrient Requirements?
Our genes play a critical role in determining our nutrient requirements, including the micronutrients that our bodies need to function optimally. In recent years, the field of nutrigenomics has emerged to explore the complex relationship between genetics and micronutrient needs.
This article will discuss the link between genetics and micronutrient needs and how this knowledge can be used to optimise our diets.
What are micronutrients?
Micronutrients are essential nutrients that our bodies require in small amounts to function properly. They include vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, such as iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin C. These micronutrients are critical for maintaining healthy bodily functions, including immune system function, energy production, and bone health.
How do genetics affect micronutrient needs?
Genetics can impact our micronutrient needs in several ways. Variations in our genes can influence how our bodies absorb, transport, and utilise micronutrients, as well as how they respond to specific dietary patterns.
For example, some individuals may have genetic variations that impact their ability to absorb certain micronutrients, such as vitamin D or iron (1). Other individuals may have genetic variations that impact their metabolism of specific micronutrients, such as folate or vitamin B12 (2).
Furthermore, genetics can also impact how our bodies respond to specific dietary patterns in terms of micronutrient needs. For example, individuals with certain genetic variations may require higher levels of specific micronutrients, such as vitamin C or vitamin E, to maintain optimal health (3).
How can knowledge of genetics be used to optimise micronutrient intake?
Understanding the link between genetics and micronutrient needs can be used to optimise our diets to meet our individual nutrient requirements. Genetic testing can identify individuals who may be at higher risk of micronutrient deficiencies due to specific genetic variations.
For example, individuals with genetic variations that impact their ability to absorb vitamin D may require higher levels of vitamin D supplementation to maintain optimal levels (4). In addition, knowledge of genetic variations can also be used to develop personalised nutrition plans that are tailored to an individual's specific nutrient requirements.
Micronutrients are essential nutrients that our bodies require in small amounts to function properly. Our genes play a critical role in determining our micronutrient needs, including how our bodies absorb, transport, and utilise micronutrients, as well as how they respond to specific dietary patterns.
By understanding the link between genetics and micronutrient needs, we can optimise our diets to meet our individual nutrient requirements and promote optimal health.
Check out our sample DNA report here to see what you can find out about your genes 😍
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