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Designer diets: ACS symposium will explore relationships between diet and genes, August 28-29

The old adage, "you are what you eat," faces an update as a prescription to "eat what you are." If researchers are correct, the diet of the future may be custom-tailored to the shape of our personal genetic profiles. Scientists believe the emerging science of nutrigenomics, which studies interactions between genes and diet, may lead to better treatments for diseases including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The new field will be the subject of a two-day symposium at the 222nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the worlds largest scientific society.

Highlights from the symposium, which features more than a dozen papers, include:

Nutrigenomics: Wave of the future? Nancy Fogg-Johnson, Ph.D., of Life Sciences Alliance, will provide an overview of nutrigenomics. Besides discussing how a study of diet and gene interactions might improve health, she will describe how the field could spawn futuristic businesses that are built around creating specialty diets and providing products and services based on an individuals genetic profile. (This paper, AGFD 111, will be presented at 1:35 p.m., Tuesday, August 28, in McCormick Place South, Room S505A, Level 5.)

Low-fat diets may not benefit everyone Ronald M. Krauss, M.D., of the University of Californias Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will discuss why a low-fat diet may not be good for everyone for fighting heart disease. The researcher has identified a genetic variation that causes many individuals at high risk for heart disease to benefit from a low-fat diet, while predisposing a subset of the healthy population to changes in blood cholesterol that are associated with an increased risk of disease. The researcher hopes that genetic tests will be developed in the future to help identify those most likely to benefit from low-fat diets. (The paper on this research, AGFD 114, will be presented at 3:35 p.m., Tuesday, August 28, in Mc
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