Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pie in the sky, with diamonds: genetically designed diets

This sounds like some researchers sitting around after a few beers fantasizing about how they are going to change the world, and we're all going to have personal jet packs, except this could be true. They're talking about parsing the human genome to figure out what kinds of nutrients trigger what genes to turn on in people with which alleles, to design a personal diet to keep one's genes firing on all the healthiest cylinders.

One thing they're looking at specifically is a relation between type 2 diabetes and a gene that determines one's sensitivity to bitter taste. (I assume that's the one where supertasters hate broccoli.) Several plants affect cancer. Wolfberry, a Chinese fruit, affects vision.

I have two reactions to this:

  • It's another example of how cool science makes our lives better
  • No way I'm going to follow any diet that doesn't involve food that tastes good to me. If I can saute it in bacon fat, I'll eat it.

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