Systems Epidemiology: A New Direction in Nutrition and Metabolic Disease Research

Marilyn C Cornelis, Frank B. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Systems epidemiology applied to the field of nutrition has potential to provide new insight into underlying mechanisms and ways to study the health effects of specific foods more comprehensively. Human intervention and population-based studies have identified i) common genetic factors associated with several nutrition-related traits and ii) dietary factors altering the expression of genes and levels of proteins and metabolites related to inflammation, lipid metabolism, and/or gut microbial metabolism, results of high relevance to metabolic disease. System-level tools applied type 2 diabetes and related conditions have revealed new pathways that are potentially modified by diet and thus offer additional opportunities for nutritional investigations. Moving forward, harnessing the resources of existing large, prospective studies within which biological samples have been archived and diet and lifestyle have been measured repeatedly within individuals will enable systems-level data to be integrated, the outcome of which will be improved personalized optimal nutrition for prevention and treatment of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Nutrition Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Diet
  • Epidemiology
  • Genomics
  • Metabolic disease
  • Metabolomics
  • Network
  • Nutrigenetics
  • Nutrigenomics
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Populations
  • Proteomics
  • Systems
  • Transcriptomics
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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