Nutritional Systems Biology and Type 2 Diabetes

Systems biology studies include the investigations in various “omics” areas, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, as well as microbiomics. Combining both computational and experimental biology, systems biology aims at prediction of the dynamical processes and the description of biological systems at the systems levels.

The analyses of multi-faceted datasets based on proteomic approaches and high-throughput transcriptomic microarray would be helpful for understanding the complex interactions and networks (Moore et al., 2011). Advancement has been made in systems biology in association with various topics, including nutrition.

Nutritional systems biology emphasizes on understanding the interactions among dietary nutrients, molecular components, and disease-associated tissues and organs (Zhao et al., 2015). By addressing the systems-level relationships, nutritional systems biology provides the special insights into the complex mechanisms underlying the health-nutrient correlations, such as the influence of dietary patterns on disease risks. The systems analysis of disease-disturbed networks may serve as the nutritional targets for preventative and therapeutic strategies (Moore et al., 2011).

In the case of Type 2 diabetes (T2D), although dietary and nutritional factors are critical, more understanding is still needed about the underlying mechanisms at the systemic level. Studies in nutritional systems biology may help elucidate such mechanisms and improve nutritional interventions.


Moore JB, Weeks ME. Proteomics and systems biology: current and future applications in the nutritional sciences. Adv Nutr. 2011 Jul;2(4):355-64. doi:

Zhao Y, Barrere-Cain RE, Yang X. Nutritional systems biology of type 2 diabetes. Genes Nutr. 2015 Sep;10(5):481. doi: 10.1007/s12263-015-0481-3.

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