Nutrigenomics and Outdoor Performance?

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Nutrigenomics and Outdoor Performance?

Article Review

Purpose + Summary of Article

The purpose of the article I reviewed was to investigate the relationship between specific macro/micro nutrients, gene variants, and sports performance. With the information presented in this review, I find it incredibly valuable and transferable for outdoor enthusiasts such as big game hunters, hikers, mountain climbers etc., to improve their outdoor performance and lifespan.

More specifically, the authors of the article evaluated whether specific individual responses to nutrients effected athletic performance from a level of gene expression. It has been known that nutritional recommendations for the sporting populations have been a “one-size-fits-all” approach, however there is a reason to believe that with the individual differences in gene expression between each person that personalized nutrition could lead to significant performance enhancements. Each person metabolizes, absorbs, and utilizes nutrients differently which in turn could affect their metabolic pathways and energy systems during their sport. Gene variants have the coding to determine what foods and nutrients are more advantageous for a specific athlete to be aware of. Success of an athlete from a macronutrient perspective plays an important role in their body composition and physique. In the past and currently, macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) have been the main focus for athletes to modify for improved performance.

Taking into account micronutrients (vitamins, and minerals) as well according to the authors play a major role not only in performance of the athlete but adequate immune functioning, body composition, and improved overall-health. If athletes transition to thinking about having their gene variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms) tested to see what macro/micro nutrients work well for them along with incorporating nutrient timing and use of supplements, we as a society may witness an evolution in human performance.

Implications + Conclusions

For people in the outdoor community, the information presented may be advantageous for those who not only want to improve performance in their outdoor activity but also extend their outdoor lifespan. Having access to gene variant tests to evaluate personalized nutrition may or may not be manageable from a financial standpoint however.

Since this is a relatively new field, gene variant tests are rare and expensive. As time goes on these tests will improve efficiency, knowledge, and cost as they become more well known. None the less, the information collected from these gene variant tests are incredibly useful for people involved in the outdoor community of all ages.

Nutrigenomics is a relatively new field which tells us we are scratching the surface on what information currently exists. An abundance of research in nutrigenomics needs to take place and guide our thinking as a society from a nutritional perspective in my informed opinion. Although more research is needed, any outdoor enthusiast looking for a competitive edge may want to get their gene variants tested as the current information gained from the tests looks promising.

The information from the gene variant tests are not only useful for improving performance in outdoor activities, but also for extending your outdoor lifespan as well. Outdoor lifespan referring to what age you can continue being involved in your outdoor interests. Optimizing your personal gene variants based on tailoring nutrition to improve overall-health and longevity may extend your outdoor lifespan. Put simply, individualized nutrition may influence your longevity genes in a favorable way to allow you to continue doing the outdoor activities you love for a long period of time without health limitations. Gene variant testing from a health standpoint is incredibly advantageous for any individual to look into for the beneficial qualities it currently has to offer.

If you can improve specific health related bio-markers from a nutritional aspect, your chances of mortality will decrease by improving your immune system and avoiding disease. This in turn means for example that you may get to continue hiking until your 87 years of age instead of 65.

The literature provided, highlights important key concepts to be aware of in relation to genetic variants. More specifically how gene variations can determine whether you are absorbing and utilizing the nutrient efficiently. If I was to give a presentation on this content I would cover the reasons why testing your specific gene variants to optimize nutrition are significant to focus on. I would stress the importance on testing your genes to evaluate what macro/micro nutrients work best for you which can lead an individual to improving your physique, cognitive abilities, immune functioning, and overall-health.

From a personal level, I would then discuss the changes I would make which include completing my gene variant tests and then modifying my nutrition based on those results due to the information expressed in the study.

The article presents information on important concepts to be aware of which includes how each individual responds to foods, supplements, and nutrients differently. This concept of the genediet relationship discussed in the study can be applied for people involved in outdoor activities such as big game hunting, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing etc., as a learning lesson in comprehending the complexity of the human body.

Overall Assessment

After reviewing the literature presented in the article, I can conclude that this article is a great resource for outdoor enthusiasts to be exposed to. Sport performance has been an area of focus for a vast number of professionals which leads me to think this article could positively contribute to preexisting knowledge of performance enhancement methodologies by modifying nutrition according to your specific gene variants. This study is a great overview of science in the relationship between gene variants, nutrition, and sports performance. Strengths of the article included an easy to follow format for illustrating the information, the use of a variety of sources, reasoning for each concept, and the importance of further research needed to explore this new gene-diet interaction. I agree with the major points discussed in the article as my educational background in this field allows me to comprehend specific terminology and area of focus.

In my personal informed opinion, the article format was simplified in way that an individual with little to no exposure to this field could follow along without confusion. As an educator who is currently involved in this field of nutrigenomics, I found the information to be clearly stated and expressed in a way I could pass it on to people who may want to improve their outdoor performance and lifespan. If you are a person who enjoys outdoor activities such as big game hunting, hiking, mountain climbing etc., the information provided in this article review should be
taken into consideration.

Reference

Guest, N. S., Horne, J., Vanderhout, S. M., & El-Sohemy, A. (2019, February 19). Sport
Nutrigenomics: Personalized Nutrition for Athletic Performance. Retrieved from
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389634/

Disclaimer: The information provided from ANION is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; the content presented from ANION is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare professional with questions you may have regarding a medical condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.