NIH launches new search for nutrition biomarkers

The National Institutes of Health has launched a new program aimed at finding biomarkers that indicate which nutrients are in the body. The goal of the Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) program is to inform researchers about not only whether a person's diet is too low or high in one nutrient, but also to give researchers an indication of the role the nutrient serves in the body and how he or she might respond to intervention, according to a report on GenomeWeb.

The initiative is led by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, European Micronutrient Recommendations Aligned, the Micronutrient Genomics Project and PepsiCo, along with other public and private organizations.

"The BOND program is committed to developing nutritional biomarkers that are accurate and can be used to assess nutrition across a variety of different settings," Daniel Raiten, BOND's project officer, said in a statement. The project will work on two tracks. One will focus on identifying more nutritional biomarkers and the other will focus on providing advice on which biomarkers are most appropriate for assessing particular nutrients, GenomeWeb reports.

The project will attempt to tailor the research to meet specific needs in different communities. "Not everyone in a given population may be deficient in a particular nutrient," Raiten is quoted as saying. "So providing nutrients to everyone in the population might actually be harmful in some cases, resulting in some people receiving too much of the nutrient."

- read the story in GenomeWeb
- and learn more about the BOND program