New ways to understand how foods affect me and my health!

Collection Editors

Kathryn Burton-Pimentel, Fiona Malcomson, Marjukka Kolehmainen, Lorraine Brennan, John Mathers



Participating Sections

Submission Deadline



About this collection


What we eat affects our bodies in many different ways. From changing our shape and size, to giving us the fuel to run. From keeping our hair and skin looking good, to affecting our risk of developing diseases like diabetes or cancer. However, what we eat can also affect each of us differently. This is because we all have different versions of genes, molecular regulators and even gut bacteria that affect how we respond to the foods that we eat. For example, one person may have versions of genes that means that they process (metabolize) some food components differently from how other people do. Another person may have versions of genes that make it easier for them to gain weight.

To understand how different foods affect our health and our risk of developing diseases, scientists use many different types of experiments. These range from laboratory studies in cells to studies carried out directly in humans that measure how we react to specific nutrients and foods, or to our whole eating pattern. Samples of blood, saliva and urine can be analyzed to reveal lots of information about how each person’s DNA and individual biology changes the way food affects their health. New methods called ‘-omics technologies’ allow us to quickly measure all molecules of a certain type that are present in a sample. For example, genomics is used to characterize all the genes and different versions of genes in a particular person; transcriptomics measures all the genes that are switched on in that person; and proteomics and metabolomics measure the corresponding proteins and small molecules or metabolites. This gives us a huge amount of new information about how what a person eats affects their metabolism and health. These kinds of studies can also help us to understand why particular foods might affect one person differently from another.

By better understanding how the effects of foods and nutrients change from person to person based on their DNA and other molecular regulators, we can start to find which types of diets may be better for different people. This idea is called ‘personalized nutrition’. For example, personalized nutrition might provide a basis for dietary advice to help individual people improve their diet and to stay healthy. This approach might also help find the best diet for people already suffering from a disease that is affected by diet.

This collection of articles focuses on the latest research in the field of nutrigenomics, from advances in technologies used for this research, to how foods are processed in the body and what this means for our health. At the core of the collection is the application of nutrigenomics as a basis to personalize nutritional advice for individuals and at a public health level.

This collection has been organized by NuGO and the NuGO Early Career Network (ECN). NuGo is an association of Universities and Research Institutes worldwide focusing on research on molecular nutrition, personalized nutrition, nutrigenomics and nutritional systems biology.

Would you like to submit to this collection?

For researchers interested in submitting to this Collection, please consult our author guidelines and check that you have all the essentials included before submitting