Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2011
Publication Date: May 31, 2012
Citation: Lai, C. 2012. Adaptive genetic variation and population differences. In: Bouchard, C., Ordovas, J. M., editors. Recent Advances in Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics. Oxford, UK: Elsevier. 108:461-489. PMID.22656388. Technical Abstract: Humans are physiologically and morphologically diverse. Such diversities have been shaped by demographic history and adaptation to local environments, including regional climate, landscape, food source, culture, and pathogens since their expansion within and out of Africa between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago. Genetic differences among populations interact with environmental factors, such as diet and lifestyles, leading to differential responses in nutrient metabolism and translated into susceptibility difference to diseases among populations. It is important to identify and understand genetic variations that underlying difference between populations, and how genotypes of such variants interact with environment influencing disease risk. The objectives of this chapter are to (1) understand the methodology employed in examining adaptive genetic variation across populations and (2) to establish the importance of adaptive genetic variation among populations in relation to human health and the implications of this variation for nutrigenomics research and disease prevention.