The finding is obviously very thought-provoking; for instance, it would indicate that in addition to eating "materials" (in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, etc), you are also eating "information" (as different miRNAs from distinct food sources could well bear different consequences on the regulation of host physiology once taken by the host due to potential regulation of different target genes as determined by the "information" contained within the miRNA sequence), thus providing a whole new dimension to "You are what you eat". Furthermore, the potential significances of this finding would be:
- has significantly expanded the functions of miRNAs;
- is an extremely intriguing and novel idea that has far-ranging implications for human health and metabolism;
- shed new light on our understanding of cross-domain (such as animal-plant) interactions, or perhaps even the 'co-evolution', and to open new ways of thinking about regulation of miRNAs, and about the potential roles of exogenous miRNAs such as those from food, plants and insects in prey-predator interactions;
- provides evidence that plant miRNAs maybe the seventh "nutrient" in the food (the six others are: H2O, protein, FFA, carbohydrate, vitamins and real elements);
- provides a novel mechanism of development of metabolic disorder.
- provides evidence that plant miRNAs may represent essential functional molecules in Chinese traditional herb medicine,