Much of the world’s population suffers from chronic disease, in turn leading to pain and suffering and high health care spending. While pharmaceutical drugs have reduced suffering and saved many lives, they are also often expensive and can produce side effects if not outright toxicity. Thus, other treatment approaches that reduce these negative consequences would provide major health care benefit. Healthy diet is one such option. We have developed an innovative therapeutic strategy for treating various health conditions called Dietary Rational Gene Targeting (DRGT). It is a natural-based therapy that uses healthy dietary agents such as blueberries, olive oil and green tea to modulate the expression of key genes involved in a wide range of diseases back toward the normal. This is an extension of nutrigenomic studies and offers numerous advantages over pharmaceutical drug treatment. These include significantly lower cost, heathier treatment, and easy application requiring only simple dietary modification. For example, targeting a key cancer driver gene such as Her2 for Her2-dependent breast cancer with healthy diet to reduce Her2 expression could help delay and/or reduce development of that cancer as well as lower the chances of recurrence. To achieve this goal, we carried out extensive Bioinformatic mining of public databases (e.g., GEO and PubMed) to identify genes, including key disease-associated genes, whose RNA expressions are modulated by these diets. This data was then used to build an online prototype app dietary guide called Eat4Genes containing numerous accessible and informational features. Our combined Dietary Rational Gene Targeting strategy and Eat4Genes app provide an innovative and publicly-available option for patients, healthcare providers and researchers to treat and prevent numerous health conditions.
Audience Take Away Notes:
- This presentation will provide a new natural therapy perspective for the audience for research, patient treatment and student education
- This represents a new type of translational research that researchers can use for experiments and grants, and we have used this as a part of teaching to more effectively engage students in learning otherwise basic dry facts
- This presents a novel prototype model with the potential to improve the heath benefits of healthy diet as part of a natural therapy