Unearthing Metabolomics’ Potential
A recently published paper discusses precision nutrition and the use of metabolomics in this branch of nutritional science. Precision nutrition is an area of nutrition science that uses genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics to assess an individual’s response to specific foods or dietary patterns.
By assessing these responses at a comprehensive, molecular level, it is now possible to determine the most effective diet or lifestyle interventions to help improve overall health and even assist with specific conditions.
Studies and practices developed in the twentieth century highlighted the effect diet and nutrition can have on a person’s health. These important developments have meant that nutrient-related disorders have almost vanished in the developed world.
However, the aim of the study on precision nutrition is to develop this science at a personal level.
The emergence of precision nutrition has largely been tied to the development of sufficiently fast, inexpensive, and comprehensive genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics technologies. It is through these technologies that the necessary molecular measurements have become available to precisely assess food composition, identify individual genetic propensities, and/or evaluate individual responses to diet and lifestyle interventions.
Metabolomics, which is, specifically, the profiling of metabolites in biofluids, cells and tissues, is routinely applied as a tool for biomarker discovery. It is now possible to expand metabolomic analyses to understand the systems-level effects of metabolites.
Moreover, because of the inherent sensitivity of metabolomics, subtle alterations in biological pathways can be detected to provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie various physiological conditions and processes.
This new paper discusses how the study of metabolomics has helped launch the field of precision nutrition through the diagnosis and dietary therapy of individuals with inborn errors of metabolism. Metabolomics is also being used to comprehensively characterize the full chemical complexity of many key foods, and how this is revealing much more about nutrients than ever imagined. This science is being used to identify food consumption biomarkers and how this opens the door to a more objective and quantitative assessment of an individual's diet and their response to certain foods.
Finally, this paper reveals how metabolomics is being coupled with other ‘omics’ technologies to develop custom diets and lifestyle interventions that are leading to positive health benefits. The paper concludes that metabolomics is vital to the advancement of nutritional science and in making the dream of precision nutrition a reality.
What Makes Metabolomic Medicine Different?
There is a time and a place for conventional medicine. We encourage all our patients to continue to seek guidance from their primary care provider, especially in acute situations. There are however quite a few features of metabolomic medicine that set it apart from the conventional medical model. Note: The conventional medical model refers to the current design of the typical medical system, but does not necessarily describe how all primary care providers operate their practices.
Metabolomic Medicine is an evolution of modern medicine that addresses the underlying cause of disease, not just symptoms. It utilizes a powerful new clinical operating system designed to allow the clinician to personalize care for each patient.
A metabolomic medicine physician operates as a human body detective, gathering data about a patient's overall condition by assessing lab values, genetics, experience, lifestyle, and environmental factors. With the sources of the patient's condition accurately identified, the practitioner works alongside the patient to re-balance the body’s systems through diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. When the root causes are successfully addressed, the symptoms will often resolve without lifelong medications or treatment.
Whole Systems Oriented
Metabolomic Medicine views patient health as a product of all systems working synergistically and efficiently. Each system and process within the body influences another. These systems must function properly on an independent level and communicate effectively with other related systems. Unlike conventional medicine that separates treatment by each system and symptom, Metabolomic Medicine looks at the body as an interconnected whole and recognizes that approach as the cornerstone to identify the true cause of a disease or imbalance.
The outcome of a Metabolomic Medicine protocol is deemed successful when that person is achieving their optimal level of health. The ultimate goal is to restore true health to each individual and teach them how to maintain that state of vitality. Diseases become chronic when symptoms are the focus. When the emphasis is on the root cause, the result is true health freedom.
Metabolomic medicine is proactive in nature. By optimizing the state of health, each patient can reduce their chance of experiencing the suffering associated with chronic disease. Think of it this way, your genetics act as the blueprint, but it is your lifestyle and environment that act as the contractor that actually builds the house. This means you are not automatically subject to the diseases that your parents or grandparents suffered from. To give yourself the best chance to live a healthy life, it is imperative to focus on optimizing your strategies before a disease ever has a chance to be named. What if you have already been diagnosed with a condition? It is never too late to optimize your health! The body will heal when put in the optimal physical and mental environment which is what metabolic medicine aims to do.