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. 2017 Aug;76(3):303-307.
doi: 10.1017/S0029665116002810. Epub 2017 Jan 30.

Lessons on Dietary Biomarkers From Twin Studies


Lessons on Dietary Biomarkers From Twin Studies

Cristina Menni. Proc Nutr Soc. .


Metabolomic and microbiome profiling are promising tools to identify biomarkers of food intake and health status. The individual's genetic makeup plays a significant role on health, metabolism, gut microbes and diet and twin studies provide unique opportunities to untangle gene-environment effects on complex phenotypes. This brief review discusses the value of twin studies in nutrition research with a particular focus on metabolomics and the gut microbiome. Although, the twin model is a powerful tool to segregate the genetic component, to date, very few studies combine the twin design and metabolomics/microbiome in nutritional sciences. Moreover, since the individual's diet has a strong influence on the microbiome composition and the gut microbiome is modifiable (60 % of microbiome diversity is due to the environment), future studies should target the microbiome via dietary interventions.

Keywords: DZ dizoygotic; MZ monozygotic; Dietary biomarkers; Gut microbiome; Metabolomics; Twins.

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