Proposed guidelines to evaluate scientific validity and evidence for genotype-based dietary advice
According to Grimaldi et al. (2017) (Eurogenetica Ltd, UK), there is a lack of regulations and guidelines that enable researchers to assess the validity of diet-gene interactions and, thus, companies to commercialise reputable products for consumers. To fill this gap, the authors have created a draft framework that allows scientists, healthcare professionals, and public policy makers to assess the quality of scientific evidence used to support personalised nutrition advice.
Elaborating this framework included review of a variety of documents such as guidelines for medical genetic testing and public health nutritional recommendations. However, the information obtained was not sufficient to assess accurately the evidence for genetics-based personalised nutrition advice. Most did not include the effects of diet-gene interactions on health outcomes, which is essential for evidence-based nutrigenetic advice. Thus, the framework proposes criteria to validate genetic-based dietary advice, including study design and quality, and biological plausibility (diet-gene interaction[s]).
Until now, research has described show some well-defined diet-gene interactions that support the idea that personalised nutrition advice might have a long-term benefit on health. It is important, however, to elaborate individualised advice based on sound evidence to gain trust and acceptance.
Personalised nutrition is impacting public perceptions of healthcare and has the potential to change for the better public health, reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases (e.g. obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.) and the costs associated with treatment and care.