Skip navigation

University College Dublin Logo

Advanced Search

UCD News

Nuacht UCD

Posted 29 July 2010

UCD leads €9 million EU funded research into personalised nutrition

UCD is to lead a major international research consortium to investigate if a person’s genetic make-up can help design their ideal nutritional diet.

“The goal is to merge the scientific, sensory and socio-economic aspects and show whether personalised nutrition based on a person’s genes could deliver consumer benefits,” says Professor Mike Gibney, Director of the UCD Institute of Food and Health, who will coordinate the €9 million, Food4Me study.

The four-year study, funded under the EU Framework Programme 7 (FP7), will investigate if an ideal nutritional diet could be designed on a person’s genetics as policymakers advance from a broad model of public health towards a more focused model of personalised nutrition.

The concept of personalised nutrition followed the release of the human genetic blueprint in 2000. So far, the idea has not delivered on its early promise, but many companies have been quick to attempt to exploit the possibilities.

One such company offers to map a person’s genome and develop a full report on disease risk, genetic traits and other health factors, all from a ‘small spit sample’ posted to the company. But the team of international researchers involved in the Food4Me study claim ‘the information returned is often inaccurate’.

Other genetic testing claims made by companies over the internet are also misleading, medically unproven, and ambiguous, according to a recent US government accountability office analysis.

However, ‘nutrigenomics offers significant opportunities to improve public health via tailoring diet on the basis of genotype and phenotype,’ says Professor Gibney. For instance, the use of olive oil may help reduce cholesterol in 90% of people, but it could actually raise cholesterol among the other 10%, depending on genetics.

“Our research will develop and test several models and concepts for the development, production and distribution of personalised foods,” adds Professor Gibney.

The Food4Me international research consortium includes researchers from 11 EU countries and Australia, the US, Canada and New Zealand


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


>> More News and Events
<< Back to Home

Dr Mazhar Bari, chief executive officer, SolarPrint; Maja Sourdaine, materials and printing engineer, SolarPrint; and Batt O’Keeffe, TD, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Innovation
In the Media...
Related Links...
Share this story...