NUTRITION, NOOTROPICS: Fifty years ago there were four food groups – milk (including cheese), meat, fruits and vegetables, and grains and cereals. It was thought if a human diet consumed these four groups primarily, it represented “nutritional health.” Then came the food pyramid that introduced not only more components, but the concept that we should eat more of some food groups and less of others. With the advent of the genetic sciences, however, we have come to understand that genetic variants dictate that each persons nutritional intake, while having a lot in common at a macro level, could be totally different in terms of truly targeted micronutrients.
Nutritional needs are as specific and as unique as bodies. Because no two are alike, no two diets are identical either. Sure, there is a lot in common from one diet to another. But ultimately there are nutritional ingredients that will benefit my body more than yours, and vice versa.
One of the primary drivers of this differentiation are SNPs, or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms. These are naturally occurring variants on genes that can affect the way those genes process certain nutrients. Or they could affect the availability of certain nutrients. Or affect the biochemical processes that in turn affect the availability key nutrients.