VIDEO: NIH platform will help guide precision nutrition research
Researchers are using the NIH’s All of Us Research Program to advance efforts to individualize health care in the United States.
The research program seeks to enroll at least 1 million diverse participants “of all life stages and health statuses” who agree to share their electronic health records and provide biospecimens and survey data, Joshua Denny, MD, MS, CEO of All of Us, told Healio Primary Care. Researchers can use the database to conduct studies on a variety of health conditions.
Denny said there is a particular focus on enrolling individuals who are currently underrepresented in biomedical research.
“This is so important because about 3% of all genetic studies to date have represented about a third or more of the U.S. population,” he said. “That means we really haven’t adequately addressed the diversity of the United States, not to mention the diversity of the world.”
Since its national launch in 2018, more than 380,000 adults have agreed to participate in the program, and about 284,000 have consented to share EHRs and contribute biospecimens, according to Denny.
One project that will be powered by All of Us is the Nutrition for Precision Health project.
Holly Nicastro, PhD, MPH, coordinator for Nutrition for Precision Health, said the genetic information collected through All of Us will help guide efforts to individualize dietary advice.
“We know that nutrition — just like medicine — shouldn’t be one size fits all or one size fits most, so we’re looking to move away from that,” Nicastro told Healio Primary Care.
Current dietary guidelines are tailored based on factors such as weight goal, age, sex and pregnancy and lactation status, but Nicastro said that Nutrition for Precision Health aims to “expand beyond those factors” and help an individual decide what to eat and when.
In this video, Denny and Nicastro provide more information on All of Us and their goals for precision nutrition research.
NIH. All of Us Research Program. Available at: https://allofus.nih.gov/. Accessed June 14, 2021.