Category Archives: Nutrigenomics

PLIN4 allele-specific influence on microRNA binding has subtle effects on obesity phenotypes

Kris Richardson et al. (including Larry Parnell and Jose Ordovas who are on Twitter) give a fascinating example of a gene-diet interaction yesterday in PLoS One (press release); the variant on a mRNA region allows microRNA to bind (miR; short chain non-coding RNA) that is of relevance to nutrition. The perilipins (PLIN1 - 5) are proteins coat the surfaces of lipid droplets in adipocytes where triacylglycerols are stored.  PLIN4 facilitates free fatty acid uptake, whereas PLIN1 and other perilipins Read more [...]

Human serum metabolome (better) quantified

An important paper in PLoS One was published last month by Psychogios et al. that details a huge effort that yielded the most comprehensive characterization of the human serum metabolome yet.  I recommend reading the paper if you are casually interested in this area like me, as the intro provides a nice background and context. Briefly, searchable e-databases for metabolomics has lagged behind other omics areas until recently, but there still wasn't an attempt to identify the majority of compounds Read more [...]

Gene-environment interaction database related to nutritional phenotypes

Larry Parnell (Twitter, Blog), Yu-Chi Lee, Chao-Qiang Lai, & Jose Ordovas (Twitter) took what must have been an enormous amount of time and put together a database of gene-environment interactions related to lipids, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.  I had no idea this many had been studied so far! Their open access paper is available here.  The data is taken from 154 published papers & 1 unpublished observation from studies using at least 20 adult subjects, and they found 554 GxE Read more [...]

Mitochondrial membrane alpha-tocopherol/homologues: super scavengers or peroxidase inhibitors?

I love research that alters established dogma with new technology (hence Nutritional Blogma), so I felt compelled to highlight this one. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are structurally important in cell and some organelle membranes.  For simplicity's sake, we are often shown a representation like this: Each of the heads with 2 tails represents a phospholipid, which is composed of the polar NH3 group, a phosophate group, glycerol, and 2 fatty acid tails.  In this representation, one of the Read more [...]

The complex (plasma) lipidome quantified

There are thousands of lipid species in our bodies that represent 6 categories, but we only usually hear about the subcategories of cholesterol and triglycerides.  We don't yet understand how they are all altered in response to various nutrients, dietary and lifestyle patterns and so on.  Recent advancements have made it possible to analyze a large number of lipid species from work by the LIPID MAPS Consortium, which is: LIPID Metabolites And Pathways Strategy (LIPID MAPS) is a multi-institutional Read more [...]

Does nutrition need a new research paradigm?

When you consider how highly complex food systems interact with highly complex human systems, it is a bit overwhelming.  Then consider the thousands of different food species, nutrients, dietary patterns and combinations, how these interact with differing activities and other environmental variables, and elucidating an ideal diet seems an impossible task.  Though we know a lot about some aspects of food, we are more confused than ever on others.  I think this reflects a limited cognitive capacity Read more [...]

Berkeley, personal genomics, and my 23andMe results

Last month, on April 23, it was DNA day.  Personal genomics company 23andMe offered a huge discount on their regularly-priced $400 Complete package, down to $99.  The geek (or lesser offensive "early adopter") in me decided to empty my wallet and go for it. Last night, I received my results.  I am still combing through them; nutritionally speaking, there is still much to study, so there are few results for this.  But I have found some metabolic variants that could be interesting, which I will Read more [...]