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Nutrigenomics. The word is a combination of nutrition and genome. It’s the study of how the foods we (and our pets) eat communicate with our cells, how these cells react and express and influence the predisposition to health and disease. 

What is a genome?

A genome is the genetic material of an organism made up of DNA. It includes both the genes, the non-coding DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and chloroplast DNA. In other words, it contains a complete set of DNA and its genes. “A genome contains all the information needed to build and maintain an organism.”[1] A genome is unique to every being, unless it has an identical twin. Variations on the DNA sequence of a genome can have a “significant effect on an individual’s risk of developing a certain disease.”[2] 

Scientists have been studying the genome for many years now. One such study is the Human Genome Project. Scientists have also been discovering how nutrition influences these genes. That’s why we now have nutrigenomics.

Gene expression

Gene expression refers to the process where information from a gene’s DNA sequence is translated into a substance.”[3] In a study conducted by researchers of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), they found out that a diet consisting of 65% carbohydrates “causes a number of genes to work overtime.”[4] 

Berit Johansen, a biology professor at NTNU, said that “This affects not only the genes that cause inflammation in the bodybut also genes associated with development of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, dementia, and type 2 diabetes — all the major lifestyle-related diseases.[5]

What does this mean?

As individuals, we have different genetic makeup with a specific nutritional diet in order to live a healthy life. This concept is now being applied to pets as they parallel all studies being conducted on humans. It was found that “certain dietary constituents such as vitamins A and D, zinc and fatty acids can directly influence gene expression”[6]. 

Functional ingredients such as nutrients (glucosamine, for example) and herbal supplements have found their way into our food and the food we feed our pets. If you noticed, there are many pet foods designed for a dog’s life stages. But while these may try to address a particular need, it may just as well be good for a specific dog but not another.[7]

The bottom line

As nutrigenomics unfolds for both humans and pets, we must be aware of what we should be putting on our table and feeding our pets. We must consult professionals that will be able to address our specific dietary needs to live a healthy life. As for pets, a veterinary nutritionist should be able to give your pets the best individualized nutritional diet he or she may need.

In the meantime, Addiction Foods have been at the forefront of giving the right, balanced diet for both dogs and cats. Our dry and raw-dehydrated dog foods have taurine long before others had it in theirs. We even have vegetarian dog food for hypersensitive dogs, Zen Vegetarian. 

Check out our other Addiction pet food products for your pets’ daily nutritional needs. 

Addiction Foods pet foods are available from your local store.

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References:
[1]
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/hgp/genome
[
2] https://www.yourgenome.org/stories/how-is-the-completed-human-genome-sequence-being-used 
[3]
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919073845.htm 
[4] ibid.

[5] ibid.

[6]
https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/nutrigenomics-animals/ 
[7] ibid.

DRY

Made from high-grade premium proteins with added vitamins and minerals, our hypoallergenic, taurine-enriched dry food range are specially formulated to meet all your dog’s nutritional requirements.

AIR DRIED

Goodness of raw but with the safety and convenience of dry, our air fried range is filled with all the best nutrients for your dog’s overall health and vitality.

TREATS

Grain-free treats great for training or guilt-free snacking.


DRY

With the finest premium meats as the main ingredient, our high protein formulation is fortified with added vitamins and minerals for your cat’s optimum nutritional needs.


OCEAN

Explore the depth of New Zealand ocean, where the best breed of king salmon is harvested. Learn more about the sustainable, safe ocean farming practices that is helping to preserve our ocean life.

LAKE

Be astounded by the clear, pristine water of New Zealand’s lakes, home to some of finest duck community. Find out more about the benefits of duck meat.

FOREST

Be awed by the lush, indigenous forest, where inhabitants like deers and brushtail thrive. Learn more about why New Zealand’s venisons are rated amongst the best in the world.

FIELD

New Zealand’s temperate climate has made it the ideal place for pastoral farming. Raised free-range and grass-fed, New Zealand’s lamb has been known to be amongst the most tender and succulent.