Precision Nutrition is founded on the premise that “one size does not fit all” in the diet-disease relationship (JAMA. 2020, 324(8):735-736.) The cost of diet-related chronic disease may soon exceed $1 trillion per year in the United States (JAMA, 2017, v317, p1755), driving the need to understand the dose-response relationships among food components and chronic disease, and establish scientifically grounded guidance for optimal dietary intakes. Chronic diseases are complex traits that manifest over a lifetime. They can originate early in human development through fetal genome programming in response to in utero nutrient exposures and propagate through aging. Similarly, aging and age-related chronic diseases are manifest by the decay of system networks, and by failure to maintain an adequate number and quality of stem cells throughout life.
The goal of precision nutrition is to optimize nutrient exposures to improve human health. Successful implementation of precision nutrition requires a systems-level understanding of human physiological networks, their placidity, variations in response to nutrient exposures, and the ability to classify population subgroups with respect to their nutritional needs. The diet-disease relationship is highly heterogeneous among individuals, due to differences in genetics, epigenetics, the microbiome, as well as various non-nutritive environmental exposures, including exercise. Needed are next generation biomarkers of nutrition and chronic disease that can classify individuals who are at risk of diet-related chronic disease, and that quantify the dose-response relationships among individual or groups of interacting nutrients in disease onset and progression.
This 4-day meeting brings together experts in nutrition, metabolomics, systems biology, and computer science who otherwise would not interact to advance our fundamental understanding of biological networks, their dynamics, changes with age and interactions with nutrients. Importantly, this meeting will also encourage future research to identify next generation biomarkers for assessment of nutrient needs in health and disease.