Bionutrition The effects of genetics and environment on your overall health


Bionutrition is a vision for research that integrates the study of how genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology interact with nutrients of other environmental influences to shape more complex levels of biological organization and, ultimately, health. The relatively new term "bionutrition" is an underscore term that connects many scientific fields such as Biology, Nutrition, and Environmental Health and how they explain and influence the important interactions among diet, nutrient utilization, genetics, and the environment. It emphasizes the roles of nutrients and other chemicals in foods in the maintenance of health and prevention of disease at the whole organ, cellular, subcellular levels.

What is bionutrition?

How Does Bionutrition affect your health and everyday life?

Diet, Behavior, and Environment have a huge affect on a person's health and nutrition. According to Susan Biali, M.D., healthy eating can have a positive impact on your life by leading to a more sustained elevated mood. Healthy eating can help stimulate and relax your mind, increase energy and improve mood. The effects of bad eating habits can lead to lack of energy, poor mental stability and depression of mood. Overall proper eating will lead to a higher life expectancy and health status.

Bionutrition: The study of the affect of genetics on health

Nutritional Genomics is the study of how foods affect our genes and how individual genetic differences can affect the way we respond to nutrients (and other naturally occurring compounds) in the foods we eat. Under certain circumstances and in some individuals, diet can be a serious risk factor for various diseases. Genetics affect our chances of having several common illnesses like heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. This is called genetic disposition. Diseases like sickle cell anemia, HIV, and some cardiovascular conditions can cause health problems to a person even if they are leading a perfectly healthy lifestyle. Genes can also affect nutrient absorption or the body’s processing and metabolization of food. Conditions like food allergies and food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, come about from genetic protein deficiencies or inhibitors.

Genetics and Nutrition

Common dietary chemicals such as some food preservers can act on the human genome, both directly or indirectly,alter gene expression or structure. Diet can alter the expression of genetic information.

Bionutrition: The Study of The affect of Environment on Health

Nutrition also involves the study of how environmental factors affects a person’s health. Environmental factors include anything from location, food availability, access to medical facilities, and the amount of stress your environment produces. Adequate food security requires the availability of physical supplies of food as well as household access to such supplies either through production, purchase in the market or other means. But, to guarantee nutrition security, food supplies need to meet the specific nutrient requirements of individuals. Major environmental concerns of nutrition are food insecurity, poverty, food deserts, which cause health disparities. Bionutritionists help study these concerns to create equitable conditions for people, regardless of their environment, through programs and assistance usually provided by the government.

Environment, Behavior, and nutrition

Environment is a strong factor on our health, sometimes even more than genetics. Two environmental factors that have an immediate impact on nutrition are dietary intake and health status. Increased food access won’t necessarily improve food utilization when other factors, such as health or social environment, are not favorable. An unhealthy environment can cause high stress which is commonly affects the health of people in low income areas. Appropriate care for mothers and children, access to health services, and a healthy environment (e.g. sanitation facilities; portable water, health care etc.) are often the missing links to quality nutrition at the household and individual level. Behavior also qualifies as environmental factors on health. Addiction, sedentary lifestyles, and risky choices also affect nutrition. A very common behavioral choice that affects health is alcoholic consumption.


Bionutrition is not only an essential element of our everyday life but it plays an important role in genetics and our future families. Bionutrition focuses both on how the environment can be improved to better a person's health but also how individuals can make better decisions to improve their own health. We, as a people, have to start with educating ourselves with healthier eating options, portions and quality food options to preserve our health and make informative decisions. Understanding the links between food choices and genetics would help combat preventable nutrition related disorders for example hypertension, diabetes and other diseases.


We would like to give a special thanks to Ms. Umeakunne, Mr. Still, Health Equity Advisors, Mr. Duffie, Dr. Stovall, and Dr. Finley for their dedication and encouraged support.


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  2. Chilton, Mariana, Michelle Chyatte, and Jennifer Breaux. "The Negative Effects of Poverty & Food Insecurity on Child Development." Indian Journal of Medical Research 126.4 (2007): 262-72. ProQuest. 14 July 2016 .
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  4. "Nutritional Genomics." Information. The NCMHD Center of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics, n.d. Web. 13 July 2016.
  5. Am J Clin Nutr February 2006, vol. 83 no. 2 436S-442S

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