Genetics, environment and diet all affect health

By Diane Palmer

Genetics, environment and diet may play an important role in good health, according to one of the nation’s leading researchers in nutritional genomics. José Ordovas, director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at Tufts University, was the keynote speaker at the S.C. Alliance for Cancer Chemoprevention Symposium held at Clemson in May.

Ordovas believes that within a decade doctors will be able to take genetic profiles of their patients and make dietary recommendations to help them fight the diseases to which they are genetically prone. “Removal of the major disease risk factors will increase life expectancy worldwide by 9.3 years,” Ordovas predicted.

The symposium is part of an ongoing effort to reduce the incidence, delay the onset and decrease the severity of cancer, especially in South Carolina, with an emphasis on nutrition, natural products and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Clemson’s Institute of Nutraceutical Research, the University of South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina and the S.C. Research Authority make up the S. C. Nutrition Research Consortium, which co-sponsored the symposium.

“This work has enormous potential for the future of agriculture as we develop new crops for very specific dietary purposes,” said David Gangemi, institute director. “Our vision is to provide an environment in which academia, government and industry can partner to promote nutraceuticals in mainstream American healthcare and to develop economic opportunities for rural communities in the state.”

For information: David Gangemi, 864-656-6463 ,