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Unique book on nutrigenomics explores the interplay of genes, diet and health

November 14, 2016

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Oslo have published a unique textbook on nutrigenomics, an emerging field of research investigating the interaction between diet and genes. The book provides an overview of the principles of nutrigenomics and their relation to health and disease in our life course.

"We are all food consumers, thus each of us is concerned by this topic and should be aware of these mechanisms," says Professor Carsten Carlberg who authored the book together with Professor Stine Marie Ulven and Dr Ferdinand Molnár.

The Springer textbook Nutrigenomics describes the daily communication between diet, food and nutrients, their metabolites and our genome. It also describes how nutrition shapes human evolution and demonstrates its consequences for our susceptibility to diseases, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis. Inappropriate diet can yield stress for our cells, tissues and organs and is often associated with low-grade chronic inflammation. Overnutrition paired with physical inactivity leads to overweight and obesity, and results in increased burden for a body that originally was adapted for a life in the savannas of East Africa. Therefore, this textbook does not discuss a theoretical topic in science, but it talks about real life, and our life-long "chat" with diet.

"We are not aiming to compete with more comprehensive textbooks on molecular nutrition, evolutionary biology, genomics, gene regulation or metabolic diseases, but focus rather on the essentials and combine, in a compact form, elements from different disciplines. In order to facilitate the latter, we favor a high figure-to-text ratio following the rule 'a picture tells more than a thousand words'," the authors point out.

The contents of the book are based on the lecture course "Nutrigenomics", which has been held yearly since 2003 by Professor Carlberg at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. Besides its value as a textbook, Nutrigenomics will be a useful reference for individuals working in biomedicine. The main sections of the book take a view on nutrigenomics from the perspective of molecular mechanisms and from the causes of metabolic diseases, respectively. The topics of the twelve chapters range from adaptation of the human genome to dietary changes, to nutritional signaling and aging, nutritional epigenomics, inflammation and metabolic stress, and more.

Carsten Carlberg is Professor for biochemistry at the School of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland. His main research interests are genomics and epigenomics of nuclear receptors and their ligands with special focus on vitamin D. Together with Dr. Molnár he has also published the Springer textbook Mechanisms of gene regulation.

Stine Marie Ulven is Professor at the Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Oslo, Norway. Her main research interests are human dietary intervention studies and diet-gene interactions with particular focus on the role of dietary fat in prevention of chronic diseases.

Dr. Ferdinand Molnár is Senior researcher at the School of Pharmacy, Institute of Biopharmacy, University of Eastern Finland. His main research interests are the molecular structure of nuclear receptor proteins and their natural and synthetic ligands.
For further information, please contact:

Professor Carsten Carlberg,, +358403553062

Carlberg, Carsten, Ulven, Stine Marie, Molnar, Ferdinand. Nutrigenomics. Springer 2016.

University of Eastern Finland

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