NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — A UK research team plans to study nutrigenomics to determine whether its claims that certain food interacts with genes to increase the risk of certain diseases are accurate.
The ESRC Center for Genomics in Society at the University of Exeter said it plans to “challenge” corporate and government assertions “that we should alter out diets in accordance with our genetic makeup.”
Organizers say the study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is a response to the increasing popularity of nutrigenomics as both a field of research and as a commercial vehicle for the nutrition and diet foods industries.
A central theme of the research will be to consider whether or not there should be regulations governing the “emerging” field of nutrigenomics and what such regulations should look like.
Responding to “claims” that commercial kit providers may be misleading consumers by linking diet and DNA via unproven means, ESRC lead researcher Paula Saukko said “we are going to investigate what the public is being told by commercial companies and the scientists themselves.”
Clare Matterson, director of Medicine, Society and History at Wellcome Trust, said the study is “coming at a time when we are bombarded by mixed messages about implication of our diet and lifestyle.”
The ESRC did not release specifics about the amount of funding or the methods it plans to use in the study.