Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Sherpa Silenced

I know that it has been a long time since my last post. During this time I have been interviewing geneticists, networking with some major league all stars in the fields of nutrigenomics, personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics. So I ask for all of your forgiveness.

First let me state that it has been a great little breather that has got me re-invigorated to keep up the work of a Gene Sherpa.

Second, let me tell you how great it is to live in an age where the work which giants in the fields of medicine and genetics can now be applied broadly to medicine. But, with that benefit comes the danger of charlatans and hucksters.

This is why we need more Gene Sherpas. I am now putting out a plea to all of those who wish to harness genetics for health and longevity, those who wish to have science behind their clinical decision making, those who have a keen business sense and the ethics to make you shudder when you see what is being sold, those who wish to learn more about the future of genetic and medicine.....please email me and we will collaborate and create wonderful things to protect our patients, friend and families from the onslaught of false claims, dummied up studies and infomercials which will soon spring up all over the place.

Lastly I would like to direct your attention to the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Report called "Nutrigenomics and Beyond: Informing the Future-Workshop Summary" I have spent a significant amount of my time reviewing it and trying to glean what it spells out.

A little about the IOM. It was establish in 1970 to attract elite physicians and scientists to examine national policies regarding health of the public. It issues statements all the time including those on direct to consumer testing.

The report summarized states that the science is not quite there....In addition there is much hype but also much hope. Dr Fineberg, President of the IOM closes with this statement.

"IS it possible that over time we can identify what ultimately must be the common biological pathways through which all determinants of disease or health must ultimately exercise their effect?.......Is it not possible that nutrition science -bridging as it does, everything from human behaviour, cultural values, all the way through to nutrigenomics and metabolomics and so on--might not be the crossroads for such a grand unification theory for health and disease"

The Sherpa Says: Once again, Nutrigenomics is not ready for prime time, otherwise Dr Fineberg would have said "Nutrition science is the grand unification theory" Another scientist stated that "Nutrigenomics is a in a very fragile paradigm...there are very few success stories" So please, tread lightly when someone sells you a diet based on blood type, body shape, or genetics......

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