Navigation Links
Getting Personal: Interactions Between Dairy Foods and Genes Influence Health Outcomes

The old adage “you are what you eat” implies that the key to good health is as simple as eating healthy foods. But this well-known piece of nutrition advice ignores that an individual’s response to food—whether it be storing fat, making insulin, or breaking apart carbohydrates—depends not only on properties of the food but also on properties of the individual, including their DNA. Genes influence food preferences, nutritional requirements, and even whether a food improves an individual’s health. This vast genetic variation within and between human populations argues against a “one-size-fits-all” diet. For optimal health, our diets need to get personal.

A new review paper by California Dairy Research Foundation Executive Director Gonca Pasin, Ph.D. and nutrition scientist Kevin B. Comerford, Ph.D. highlights the importance of a personalized nutrition approach. Bringing together results from 26 studies on the interaction of dairy intake and a small number of genetic variants, the authors have identified the potential for different sensitivities to the health effects of dairy foods based on an individual’s genetic make-up.

Not surprisingly, much of the review focused on interactions between dairy intake and the genetic variations that result in lactase persistence (LP). Lactase persistent individuals continue to produce the enzyme lactase after infancy, allowing them to break down the milk sugar lactose in their small intestines.

“LP is a unique genetic variation in that it increases, rather than limits, the available number of dietary options that can be digested,” explain the authors. “This gain of function mutation has resulted in LP becoming one of the strongest positive selective pressures in human history and reinforces the importance of gene-dairy interactions in relation to human health.”

A major health outcome of interest is body weight—considering the increased food options available to the lactase persistent individual, LP could be associated with higher body mass index (BMI). And, a handful of small studies suggest that is the case, noting a positive correlation between a particular gene variant for LP and BMI. However, the authors note that a large study of nearly 100,000 people found no evidence of a link between LP, dairy intake, and measures of body weight. The discrepancy in findings speaks to the complexity of a nutrigenetic approach; understanding how a particular gene variant influences the diet must take into account many variables. In this case, Comerford and Pasin believe the different types of dairy foods consumed could help explain the conflicting results.

“Dairy is a complex food group, which contains many products that differ in their macronutrient, micronutrient, and bioactive compound composition,” say the authors. Consumed in adequate amounts, any number of these compounds can interact with a person’s genetics to influence their health. Thus, even when focusing on just one food group, variation in food properties and their potential to interact with particular gene variants must be considered.

The importance of considering dairy’s different ingredients is underscored by the relationship between dairy intake, lactose digestion, and markers of bone health. A study of over 250 post-menopausal Austrian women found that those with a limited ability to digest milk had lower measures of hip and spine bone mineral density compared to those with the greatest ability to digest milk. These findings were not attributed to greater calcium intake by LP individuals but rather to the synergistic actions of calcium with other dairy ingredients, such as bioactive casein proteins, phosphorus, and vitamin D. But don’t despair lactose intolerant individuals—several other studies of post-menopausal European women found no association between LP and markers of bone health. Dairy intake may be important, but it is unlikely to be the only factor influencing bone health.

In addition to body weight and bone strength, LP can influence the types of foods and nutrients that are introduced into the gastrointestinal tract. For example, some individuals (those who are lactose persistent) break down lactose into glucose and galactose in the small intestine, resulting in a pleasant dairy-foods-digesting experience. Whereas in lactose intolerant individuals, lactose moves into the large intestine where it often causes digestive issues. Might these differences relate to risks of developing bowel diseases and even colorectal cancer? Interestingly, Comerford and Pasin report that a meta-analysis of 80 studies on dairy intake and colorectal cancer actually found a protective role for dairy foods in both lactose persistent individuals and those who are lactose intolerant. Regardless of how people digest milk sugar, it appears that dairy foods offer some level of protection against colorectal cancer.

Many of these anti-cancer benefits may come from ingredients in milk besides lactose, including milk fat and bioactive proteins.

“It is also important to consider that genetic factors other than LP may be moderating the relationship between dairy intake and health outcomes,” explain the authors. Genetic variations in several different hormonal and metabolic genes, which have nothing to do with the lactase enzyme, may be able to influence both dietary intake and various disease states. Prime examples are genes that code for lipoproteins, which are proteins that carry fats throughout the body. Genetic mutations in the lipoprotein APOA2 gene, which codes for a particular lipoprotein that can help stabilize HDL cholesterol, was found to be associated with higher BMI in individuals consuming high-levels of dairy fats. However, there was no association between high-dairy fat intake and BMI in individuals without this lipoprotein mutation.

These types of findings are common in nutrigenetic studies, in which single gene mutations can potentially have major effects on diet and disease. Now just think, any two humans tend to differ by more than three million letters in their DNA code.

Far from “you are what you eat,” the studies reviewed by Comerford and Pasin, demonstrate how what “you are” is highly dependent on both what you eat and what gene variants you have. Eating more dairy foods may reduce cancer risk, decrease cholesterol, and improve bone health for individuals with a particular set of gene variants, but have no effect on other individuals with different gene variants.

There is clearly a benefit to knowing which of these groups an individual fits in. Highly specific dietary advice has the potential to improve health outcomes, but Comerford and Pasin remind us that, “the science of personalized nutrition is just scratching the surface of this potential." This review details only a few pages of the nutrigenetic story— a story that keeps evolving and is different for everyone.

About the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF)
The CDRF is an independent non-profit organization that leads and delivers research and science-based programs towards a more innovative and sustainable California and U.S. dairy industry. For more information about the CDRF and the research it supports, visit the website.

Follow us on twitter.

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2017 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Benefits of Getting Weight Loss Surgery Sooner, Rather than Later, Pointed Out in New University of Michigan Study, says Dr. Feiz & Associates
2. ERT’s eCOA Environment Accelerates Research Without Technology Getting in the Way
3. "Forgetting" Valentine's Day is No Coincidence says Dr. Bonnie
4. Nothing - World's Purest Spring Water from Norway's Hardanger Glacier is Getting Widespread Distribution in NYC and NJ
5. Are Men Getting the Testosterone Treatment they Need?
6. Recent Video Release from Best Drug Rehabilitation Examines Professional Assistance in Getting Off of Drugs
7. Getting Employees to Use Preventive Care Benefits Still a Challenge for Employers
8. Tom Jacoby of Emanation, Inc to Appear on Will Work 4 Patients Podcast "Getting Found Over All The Noise" April 2016
9. Fitness Expert and Former U.S. Open Bodybuilding Champion Theresa Roemer Launches ‘NAKED in 30 Days:a One-Month Guide to Getting Your Body, Mind and Spirit in Shape’
10. Santa Rosa Orthopaedics (SRO) Shares Tips on Getting into Condition for an Early Spring
11. New Book Saves Businesses From Getting Burned By Incompetent IT Companies
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/18/2019)... , ... June 18, 2019 , ... ... addressing unmet needs in the field of urology, today announced that Aaron Berger, ... UroLift® Center of Excellence. The designation recognizes that Dr. Aaron Berger has achieved ...
(Date:6/16/2019)... ... June 15, 2019 , ... Convoy of Hope continues to celebrate ... to helping those in need around the world. To date, Convoy has worked with ... Convoy’s work would not be possible without the dedication and generosity of churches, organizations, ...
(Date:6/14/2019)... , ... June 14, 2019 , ... This past Saturday, ... and their dedicated support staff hosted the Parma Heights Day of Giving, where members ... about the event through local nonprofits that partnered with the Smiles for Everyone ...
(Date:6/13/2019)... ... June 13, 2019 , ... ... Second Test (BL30SEC) has been accepted by the 2019 National Conference of Interstate ... N requirements. , The Charm BL30SEC test was validated by third party ...
(Date:6/13/2019)... , ... June 13, 2019 , ... ... is proud to present the second annual Women|Future Conference and the ... allow attendees to better position themselves and their organizations in tomorrow's marketplace. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2019)... ... June 20, 2019 , ... Phlexglobal today announced an important ... The guidance took effect on June 6, 2019, and promises to have far-reaching impacts ... departments and systems. , At 17 pages and going into specific detail – unusual ...
(Date:6/19/2019)... ... June 19, 2019 , ... Mahendra Kumar Trivedi has ... Physical Properties of Biofield Treated Bile Salt and Proteose Peptone became a No. ... Medicine, Biochemistry, Medical Technology, Pathophysiology, Molecular Biology, Science Reference and 45-Minute Science and ...
(Date:6/19/2019)... ... June 19, 2019 , ... “We sometimes take out teeth for granted,” said Arroyo Grande ... seldom think about our teeth unless it’s baby’s first tooth, that first visit from the ... and have a very important role in our overall health. Each tooth is as unique ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: