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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Top 6 Research Needs according to the American Society for Nutrition

By Michael McBurney

The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) convened a Working Group representing a cross-section of members to determine the nutrition needs that will have the greatest impact on the health and well-being of the population. Here are the top 6 priorities, including subsets:

1. Understanding variability in individual responses to diet and foods

  • Omics, microbiome, biological networks

2. Understanding the impact of nutrition on healthy growth, development and reproduction

  • Epigenetics/imprinting, early nutrition, nutrition and reproductive health

3. Understanding the role of nutrition in health maintenance

  • Optimal bodily function, energy balance,

4. Understanding the role of nutrition in medical management

  • Disease progression, nutrition support for special subgroups

5. Understanding nutrition-related behaviors

  • Drivers of food choice, nutrition and brain functioning, imprinting

6. Understanding the food supply/environment

  • Food environment and food choice, public/private partnerships

And the best quote in the paper is:

Perhaps the greatest barrier to advancing the connections between food and health is the variability in individual responses to diet; it is also the origin of public skepticism to acceptance of dietary advice and the opportunity for entrepreneurship in the private sector. Imagine being able to identify, with certainty, those most likely to benefit from prescriptive nutrition advice through the various omics technologies and then providing these groups of people with customized nutrition advice based on their metabolic risk profiles .” -mm-


Ohlhorst SD, Russell R, Bier D, Klurfeld DM, Li Z, Mein JR, Milner J, Ross AC, Stover P, Konopka E. Nutrition research to affect food and a healthy life span. 2013 J Nutr doi:10.3945/jn.113.180638