Personalized Nutrition Update issue nr. 22/20
And we are back after a long on again off-again summer that was filled with days at the beach, house games and hiking in the hills. Owing to the Covid situation, our streets and beaches have been very quiet, but that changed over a period of 24 hrs last week after Portugal was off the hit list. In any event, we hope that you have found some time for rest, reflection, introspection and recharging. We are super excited to get going and make a splash the last few months of 202 and we trust you are too!.
In this week’s newsletter, we cover some highlights you may have missed
Happy reading!!




In the Headlines- How Tufts Is Convening a Call for a National Nutrition Research ‘Moonshot’

This was a recent great post that should have been published now as many are heading back to work. It highlights how we really need a change in how we conduct and fund nutrition research from top experts in the field.


Research update

Obesity: A critical risk factor in the COVID‐19 pandemic

The objective of this review was to “examine emerging evidence of the influence of obesity on COVID‐19, the challenges to clinical management from pulmonary, endocrine and immune dysfunctions in individuals with obesity and identify potential areas for further research”. The conclusions of this review are “that people with severe obesity be deemed a vulnerable group for COVID‐19 and the clinical trials of pharmacotherapeutics, immunotherapies and vaccination should prioritize the inclusion of people with obesity”.


The association of the ACTN3 R577X and ACE I/D polymorphisms with athlete status in football: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This review aimed “to assess the association of ACTN3 R577X and ACE I/D polymorphisms with athlete status in football and determine which allele and/or genotypes are most likely to influence this phenotype via a meta-analysis”. The results suggest that “significant associations were shown between the presence of the ACTN3 R allele and professional footballer status (OR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.18–1.53) and the ACE D allele and youth footballers (OR = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.01–1.38). More specifically, the ACTN3 RR genotype (OR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.23–1.77) and ACE DD genotype (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.02–1.63) exhibited the strongest associations, respectively. These findings may be explained by the association of the ACTN3 RR genotype and ACE DD genotype with power-orientated phenotypes and the relative contribution of power-orientated phenotypes to success in football. The results of this review provide further evidence that individual genetic variation may contribute to athlete status. It can differentiate athletes’ competitive playing statuses in a homogenous team-sport cohort. Moreover, the ACTN3 R577X and ACE I/D polymorphisms are likely (albeit relatively minor) contributing factors that influence athlete status in football”


The Association of Parental Genetic, Lifestyle, and Social Determinants of Health with Offspring Overweight

This cross-sectional study was done in a sample of 123 parents “aimed to identify the proportion of overweight that can be explained by known parental risk factors, including genetic, lifestyle, and social determinants of health with offspring weight status in the UK.” The “parental genetic data was collected by using GeneFiX saliva collection vials and genotypes were assessed for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene rs6265, melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) gene rs17782313, transmembrane protein 18 (TMEM18) gene rs2867125, and serine/threonine-protein kinase (TNN13K) gene rs1514175”. The results suggest that, “maternal body mass index modestly predicted child weight status (p < 0.015; R2 = 0.15). More mothers of overweight children carried the MC4R rs17782313 risk allele (77.8%; p = 0.007) compared to mothers of normal-weight children. Additionally, fathers who were not Caucasian and parents who slept for <7 h/night had a larger percentage of overweight children when compared to their counterparts (p = 0.039; p = 0.014, respectively)”.


Change in Weight, BMI, and Body Composition in a Population‐Based Intervention Versus Genetic‐Based Intervention: The NOW Trial

The Nutrigenomics, Overweight/Obesity, and Weight Management (NOW) trial is a parallel‐group, pragmatic, randomized controlled clinical trial incorporated into the Group Lifestyle BalanceTM (GLB) Program. This study aimed to “compare changes in body fat percentage (BFP), weight, and BMI between a standard intervention (12‐month GLB program) and a nutrigenomics intervention (modified 12‐month program (GLB plus nutrigenomics)”. The comparison between the two methods had the primary outcome of percent change in BFP and a secondary outcome of change in the weight and in the BMI. The results showed that “the GLB plus nutrigenomics group experienced significantly (P < 0.05) greater reductions in percent and absolute BFP at the 3‐month follow‐up and percent BFP at the 6‐month follow‐up compared with the standard GLB group”. In conclusion “the nutrigenomics intervention used in the NOW trial can optimize changes in body composition up to 6 months”.


The “Virtual Digital Twins” Concept in Precision Nutrition

This review discusses ”how genetic information combined with longitudinal metabolomic, immune, behavioral, and gut microbial parameters, and bioclinical variables could define a digital replica of oneself, a “virtual digital twin,” which could serve to guide nutrition in a personalized manner. Such a model may revolutionize the management of obesity and its comorbidities, and provide a pillar for healthy aging”.


Nutrigenetics-personalized nutrition in obesity and cardiovascular diseases

“This review aims to briefly summarize the role of the most important genes associated with obesity and CVD and to clarify the knowledge about the relation between nutrition and gene expression and the role of the main nutrition-related genes in obesity and CVD. (…)There is a marked variation in CVD in patients with obesity and the same dietary pattern. The different genetic polymorphisms could explain this variation, which leads to the emergence of the concept of nutrigenetics. (…) Thus, the personalized nutrition recommendations, based on the knowledge of an individual’s genetic background, might improve the outcomes of a specific dietary intervention and represent a new dietary approach to improve health, reducing obesity and CVD. Given these premises, it is intuitive to suppose that the elucidation of diet and gene interactions could support more specific and effective dietary interventions in both obesity and CVD prevention through personalized nutrition based on nutrigenetics”.


Technology News

Bayer has taken a further stake in New York-based One Drop to support its plans to become a digital health business by developing new integrated care services for patients.

Bayer is serious about becoming a digital health company and is challenging the likes of Nestle and DSM who are currently the leaders in the space. We strongly believe that metabolites is one area where we will see more movement in the coming months.


DayTwo wins Roche Diabetes Care Innovation Contest

The winner of the 2020 Roche Diabetes Care Innovation Contest, was the precision medicine company Day Two. This company presented personalized nutrition protocols that are created by microbiome data and delivered through an app. This technology integrates with Roche Diabetes Care, helping to reduce the blood-sugar levels and increasing glycemic control without eliminating carbs or restricting calories. This can be very beneficial in the prevention and treatment of Diabetes.


Bayer Agrees To Buy Personalized Vitamin Company Care/of At $225 Million Valuation

The success of Care/of is not a surprise, but boy that is one serious deal for Bayer. We are looking forward to seeing how this will impact the direction of the company.


Plant Jammer secures 4m euros in funding for its AI recipe technology

We love the idea that people want to eat more plant based and can totally relate that this can be a challenge for many. Plantjammer makes this transition easier, so it is great to see them get investment for their idea.


AI firm develops biomarkers for patients with chronic bowel conditions

“Nori Health is collecting (anonymized) data through its personalized chatbot coaching program which is offered in partnership with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. The patients enrolled in an eight-week program for chat conversations with chatbot Nori, focussing on lifestyle and behavioral topics that have been proven to impact the quality of life”. By providing personalized insights, Nori has been capable of identifying several digital biomarkers that can help in the treatment of the symptoms of chronic diseases, by connecting behavioral data. “Identifying these digital biomarkers will provide insights into lifestyle and behavior change that can prevent the inflammation of the disease. A perfect complement to medical treatment”.

2020 Consumer Types: The rise of the ‘self-care aficionado’

Euromonitor International has reported its annual list of consumer types for 2020 describing a total of 11 consumers types: We highlight our two favourites below
1) Self-care aficionado (5%): “(…) prioritizes their health and wellbeing by taking part in exercise regularly and placing a lot of importance in vitamins, supplements, and balanced diet.”
2) Digital enthusiast (9%): “These consumers value and prioritize all things technology. They likely use online platforms for everyday tasks and are interested in keeping up with the latest technological trends. They are also unlikely to invest in their personal image or the latest trends unless they are related to technology.”


4 ways food tech can lead to more resilient and sustainable food systems

Opinion article of Thomas Falk, general partner at the US venture capital fund Revel Partners and CEO of eValue.  Falk advises that COVID era has created “a new sense of urgency” by exposing fragile food chains. “For instance, to avoid supply chain disruptions, communities are increasing their reliance on local food systems, which has led to an increase in urban gardening and community-supported agriculture programs. Small-scale farmers are innovating to connect with each other, including through new online marketing initiatives. Entrepreneurs are identifying foods that would otherwise be wasted and directing them to food banks. (…) Now is the perfect moment for food tech startups to step up and lead the way”, says Falk. Cultured meat, vertical farming, circular agriculture, and AI diagnostics, are now the areas that food tech companies should bet on.


Nutraingredients Sports nutrition summit 7-9 October 2020 (Online)
Chairing the Foodmatterslive seminar on Personalised nutrition 14th October 16.30pm (Virtual event)
ANA Personalized nutrition virtual event 2020 12 -13th November (Online)
Panellist at the Foodtech matters Personalised nutrition 14th October 9am (Online)