Key Dietary Factors to Future-Proof Childhood Health

This presentation highlights the importance of and the rationale for appropriate food selection in childhood as a means of establishing optimal cellular function in upstream biochemical processes. Good dietary habits in childhood can provide a solid biochemical foundation well into the child’s future in adulthood.

Although core dietary principles are generally well-understood, rapidly-evolving nutrition science over the last two decades has significantly expanded our understanding. The coupled roles of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics have led to a greater practical understanding of the clinical benefits bestowed by food-derived signalling molecules, especially from plants.

The mainstay of nutrition therapy has, to a large extent, relied on manipulating food macronutrients supplemented by micronutrients, whereas 21st century nutrition science is now strongly focused on utilising the signalling properties of the many non-nutrient components of food. This presentation aims to build on a clinician’s current knowledge by identifying the key food-derived factors that can greatly impact cellular function. When this is implemented in childhood, such a foundation has the potential to future-proof a child’s health as he or she enters adulthood.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. To be able to identify a number of common non-nutrient food components with potential therapeutic effects
  2. To understand how many food components act as signalling molecules to influence the expression of the genes associated with key upstream processes
  3. To appreciate that there are 3 main ways in which food components can influence gene expression