Meta-Analysis of Genes in Commercially Available Nutrigenomic Tests Denotes Lack of Association with Dietary Intake and Nutrient-Related Pathologies

Pavlidis C, Lanara Z, Balasopoulou A, Nebel JC, Katsila T, Patrinos GP

OMICS 19(9):512-20, September 2015
DOI: 10.1089/omi.2015.010


Nutrigenomics is an emerging discipline that aims to investigate how individual genetic composition correlates with dietary intake, as well as how nutrition influences gene expression. Herein, the fundamental question relates to the value of nutrigenomics testing on the basis of the currently available scientific evidence. A thorough literature search has been conducted in PubMed scientific literature database for nutrigenomics research studies on 38 genes included in nutrigenomics tests provided by various private genetic testing laboratories. Data were subsequently meta-analyzed to identify possible associations between the genes of interest and dietary intake and/or nutrient-related pathologies. Data analysis occurred according to four different models due to data sparsity and inconsistency. Data from 524,592 individuals (361,153 cases and 163,439 controls) in a total of 1,170 entries were obtained. Conflicting findings indicated that there was a great incompatibility regarding the associations (or their absence) identified. No specific—and statistically significant—association was identified for any of the 38 genes of interest. In those cases, where a weak association was demonstrated, evidence was based on a limited number of studies. As solid scientific evidence is currently lacking, commercially available nutrigenomics tests cannot be presently recommended. Notwithstanding, the need for a thorough and continuous nutrigenomics research is evident as it is a highly promising tool towards precision medicine.

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