Rights: The University of Waikato Published 1 May 2006 Download

Lynn Ferguson from Auckland University describes what nutrigenomics research might lead to in the future.


Mercury Bay Area School What diseases might nutrigenomics be able to help people with?

Lynn Ferguson (Nutrigenomics New Zealand)

Diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, risk of cancer; particularly if you are in a high risk cancer family. It may be that you’ve got a couple of genetic variants that make that so much harder for you. It might mean that you should be looking for some specific sorts of dietary advice.

It’s not just diseases, and I think a lot of people pick up on the disease aspect of it. It’s also a number of other things about lifestyle. It’s likely to affect your mood. You know, if you find you get really depressed at certain times in your life, it may be that eating, that you are particularly susceptible for that, and that eating differently can help you.

A lot of you I suspect will be really keen on being All Blacks or something like that. And it may be that your genes mean that you have got specific training requirements and specific diet requirements that would make it that that advice for you may be different from other people. So I think it’s quite important to realise that the potential of this field is wider than just prevention of disease.