Skip to main content Accessibility help

The future direction of personalised nutrition: my diet, my phenotype, my genes

  • Michael J. Gibney (a1) and Marianne C. Walsh (a1)


Although personalised nutrition is frequently considered in the context of diet–gene interactions, increasingly, personalised nutrition is seen to exist at three levels. The first is personalised dietary advice using Internet-delivered services, which ultimately will become automated and which will also draw on mobile phone technology. The second level of personalised dietary advice will include phenotypic information on anthropometry, physical activity, clinical parameters and biochemical markers of nutritional status. It remains possible that in addition to personalised dietary advice based on phenotypic data, advice at that group or metabotype level may be offered where metabotypes are defined by a common metabolic profile. The third level of personalised nutrition will involve the use of genomic data. While the genomic aspect of personalised nutrition is often considered as its main driver, there are significant challenges to translation of data on SNP and diet into personalised advice. The majority of the published data on SNP and diet emanate from observational studies and as such do not offer any cause–effect associations. To achieve this, purpose-designed dietary intervention studies will be needed with subjects recruited according to their genotype. Extensive research indicates that consumers would welcome personalised dietary advice including dietary advice based on their genotype. Unlike personalised medicine where genotype data are linked to the risk of developing a disease, in personalised nutrition the genetic data relate to the optimal diet for a given genotype to reduce disease risk factors and thus there are few ethical and legal issues in personalised nutrition.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The future direction of personalised nutrition: my diet, my phenotype, my genes
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The future direction of personalised nutrition: my diet, my phenotype, my genes
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The future direction of personalised nutrition: my diet, my phenotype, my genes
      Available formats


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Professor Michael J. Gibney, fax +353 1 716 1147, email


Hide All
1. Roper, JA (1960) Genetic determination of nutritional requirements. Proc Nutr Soc 19, 3945.
2. Garrod, AE (1902) The incidence of alkaptonuria: a study in chemical individuality. Lancet ii, 16161620.
3. Williams, RJ (1950) The concept of genetotrophic disease. Nutr Rev 8, 257288.
4. Utterman, G, Hees, M & Steimmetz, A (1977) Polymorphism of apolipoprotein E and occurrence of dysbetalipoproteinaemia in man. Nature 13, 604607.
5. Minihane, AM, Khan, S, Leigh-Firbank, EC et al. (2000) ApoE polymorphism and fish oil supplementation in subjects with an atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 8, 19901997.
6. Kaput, J (2008) Nutrigenomics research for personalized nutrition and medicine. Curr Opin Lipid 19, 111.
7. Stumbo, PJ, Weiss, R, Newman, JW et al. (2010) Web enabled and improved software tools and data are needed to measure nutrient intake and physical activity for personalized health research. J Nutr 140, 21042115.
8. Kesse-Guyot, E, Castetbon, K, Touvier, M et al. (2010) Comparison between an interactive web-based self-administered 24 h dietary record and an interview by a dietitian for large-scale epidemiological studies. Br J Nutr 105, 10551064.
9. Food4Me (2012) An Integrated Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges for Personalized Nutrition. (accessed November 2012).
10. Daugherty, BL, Schap, TE, Ettienne-Gittens, R et al. (2012) Novel technologies for assessing dietary intake: evaluating the usability of a mobile telephone record among adults and adolescents. J Med Internet Res 14, e58.
11. Chae, J, Woo, I, Kim, SY et al. (2011) Volume estimation using food specific shape templates in mobile image-based dietary assessment. Proc SPIE 7, 9096.
12. Kerr, DA, Pollard, CM, Howat, P et al. (2012) Connecting health and technology (CHAT): protocol of a randomized controlled trial to improve nutrition behaviours using mobile devices and tailored text messaging in young adults. BMC Public Health 477, 110.
13. Yamasue, K, Tochikubo, O, Kono, E et al. (2006) Self-monitoring of home blood pressure with estimation of salt intake using a new electrical device. J Hum Hypertens 20, 593598.
14. Morikawa, N, Yamasue, K, Tochikubo, O et al. (2011) Effect of a salt reduction intervention program using an electronic salt sensor and cellular phone on blood pressure among hypertensive workers. Clin Exp Hypertens 33, 216222.
15. Hurling, R, Catt, M, De Boni, M et al. (2007) Using internet and mobile phone technology to deliver an automated physical activity program: randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res 9, e7.
16. Naylor, EW, Orfanos, AP & Guthrie, R (1977) A simple screening test for arginase deficiency (hyperarginemia). J Lab Chem Med 89, 876880.
17. Maasciotra, S, Khamadi, S, Bilé, E et al. (2012) Evaluation of blood collection filter papers for HIV-1 DNA-PCR. J Chem Virol 55, 101106.
18. Martin, RM, Patel, R, Zinovik, A et al. (2012) Filter paper blood spot enzyme linked immunoassay for insulin and application in the evaluation of determinants of child insulin resistance. PLoS ONE 7, e46752.
19. Mihalopoulos, NL, Philips, TM, Slater, H (2011) Validity and reliability of perinatal biomarkers of adiposity after storage as dried blood spots on paper. Am J Hum Biol 23, 717719.
20. Lakshmy, R, Mathur, P & Gupta, R (2012) Measurement of cholesterol and triglycerides from a dried blood spot in an Indian Council of Medical Research – World Health Organisation multicentric study on risk factors for non-communicable diseases in India. J Clin Lipidol 6, 3341.
21. Hearty, AP & Gibney, MJ (2008) Analysis of meal patterns with the use of supervised data mining techniques – artificial neural networks and decision trees. Am J Clin Nutr 88, 16321642.
22. Devlin, U, McNulty, BA, Nugent, A et al. (2012) The use of cluster analysis to derive dietary patterns: a methodological considerations, reproducibility, validity and the effect of energy mis-reporting. Proc Nutr Soc 71, 599609.
23. O'Sullivan, A, Gibney, MJ, Connor, AO et al. (2011) Biochemical and metabolomia phenotyping in the identification of a vitamin D responsive metabotypes for markers of the metabolic syndrome. Mol Nutr Food Res 5, 10181025.
24. Heux, S, Morin, F, Lea, RA et al. (2004) The methylentetrahydrofolate reductase gene variant (C677T) as a risk factor for essential hypertension in Caucasians. Hypertens Res 9, 663667.
25. Niu, WQ, You, YG & Qi, Y (2012) Strong association of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene C677T polymorphism with hypertension and hypertension-in-pregnancy in Chinese: a meta-analysis. J Hum Hypertens 4, 259267.
26. Guenther, BD, Sheppard, CA, Tran, P et al. (1999) The structure and properties of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase from Escherichia coli suggest how folate ameliorates human hyperhomocysteinemia. Nat Struct Biol 4, 359365.
27. McNulty, H, Dowey le, RC, Strain, JJ et al. (2006) Riboflavin lowers homocysteine in individuals homozygous for the MTHFR 677C- > T polymorphism. Circulation 1, 7480.
28. Wilson, CP, Ward, M & McNulty, H (2012) Riboflavin offers a targeted strategy for managing hypertension in patients with the MTHFR 677TT Genotype: a 4-y follow up. Am J Clin Nutr 95, 766772.
29. Stewart-Knox, BJ, Bunting, BP, Gilpin, S et al. (2009) Attitudes toward genetic testing and personalised nutrition in a representative sample of European consumers. Br J Nutr 101, 982989.
30. Wang, SS, Fridinger, F, Sheedy, KM et al. (2001) Public attitudes regarding the donation and storage of blood specimens for genetic research. Community Genet 4, 1826.
31. Roosen, J, Bruhn, M, Mecking, RA et al. (2008) Consumer demand for personalized nutrition and functional food. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 78, 269274.
32. Ronteltap, A, van Trijp, JC & Renes, RJ (2009) Consumer acceptance of nutrigenomics-based personalised nutrition. Br J Nutr 101, 132144.
33. Goddard, KA, Robitaille, J, Dowling, NF et al. (2009) Health-related direct-to-consumer genetic tests: a public health assessment and analysis of practices related to Internet-based tests for risk of thrombosis. Public Health Genomics 12, 92104.
34. Bergmann, MM, Görman, U & Mathers, JC (2008) Bioethical considerations for human nutrigenomics. Annu Rev Nutr 28, 447467.
35. Chadwick, R (2004) Nutrigenomics, individualism and public health. Proc Nutr Soc 63, 161166.
36. Reilly, PR & Debusk, RM (2008) Ethical and legal issues in nutritional genomics. J Am Diet Assoc 108, 3640.
37. The Department of Health and Human Services (2009) The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: Information for Researchers and Health Care Professionals. GINA: (accessed November 2012).
38. Kutz, G (2006) Nutrigenomic testing. Tests purchased from four websites mislead consumers. Testimony before the special committee on aging. U.S. Senate Report GAO-06-977T. U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC.
39. Eurpopean Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO) (2007) Bioethics Guidelines on Human Studies. Oslo: NuGO. (accessed November 2012).
40. Nestle (2010) Jenny Craig Announces New Metabolic Max Program to Measure Calories and Monitor Physical Activity.,Brands,weight-management (accessed November 2012).
41. (2012) Online Food and Grocery Set to be Worth £11bn in Five Years. (accessed November 2012).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
  • ISSN: 0029-6651
  • EISSN: 1475-2719
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed