How fasting affects your microbiome might surprise you

Apr 06, 2022 4:34pm

The time has come to take a breather as we go into Q2. We will close our laptops for a week to recharge and check in with ourselves, we hope you will too. Before we dial out, we are putting on the final touches on our article which will focus on the major moves and trends we saw in Q1, members only, so if you are not a member yet, do get in touch by replying to this email.

In this week's newsletter:

Latest research, Persona to sell via Target, Thorne recruits for metabolic health study, Insidetracker integrates with Apple watch, Lumen partners with meal kit company, new events and plenty more!


Happy reading, stay safe and see you back on the 20th.

Mariette Abrahams

CEO & Founder of Qina


Research update 

Digital biomarkers: Convergence of digital health technologies and biomarkers 

The objective of this study is to "align the meaning of ‘digital biomarker’ with established biomarker terminology and to highlight opportunities to enable consistency in evidence generation and evaluation, improving the assessment of scientific evidence for future digital biomarkers" and "to highlight opportunities that improve the assessment of scientific evidence for future digital biomarkers".



Personalized nutrition education at a grocery store improves adherence to DASH diet

“The Supermarket and Web-based Intervention Targeting Nutrition (SuperWIN) Trial, a partnership between academic researchers and the grocery retailer Kroger, is the first to deliver a nutritional intervention in each participant's home grocery store guided by their personal food purchasing data. Comparing participants' eating habits at the start of the study and three months later, in-store nutrition education sessions significantly increased DASH adherence scores by 4.7 points on top of an enhanced standard of care group, which increased DASH scores by a baseline amount of 5.8 points alone. Combining in-store nutrition education sessions with online tools and training increased DASH scores by an additional 3.8 points compared to the nutrition education sessions without the online resources”.


Telehealth and Nutrition Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article describes the urgency of telehealth, its current use by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) during the COVID-19 pandemic, barriers to implementation, and future implications.


Metabolomic and microbiome profiling reveals personalized risk factors for coronary artery disease

This study "analyzed the gut microbiota and the blood levels of bacterial-derived compounds in hundreds of people [from two major Israeli hospitals], including healthy individuals, people with obesity and type 2 diabetes but without a diagnosis of heart disease, and those who had heart conditions". The findings showed that "alterations of the gut microbiota are already present in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes, long before the onset of heart disease symptoms. People with heart disease showed specific alterations, including fewer types of bacteria producing beneficial molecules and more bacteria producing unhealthy compounds". In conclusion: "The gut microbiota changes can happen in the very early stages of heart disease. The microbial and metabolic profiles identified could be used as markers of the transition towards heart disease".


Unraveling disease pathways involving the gut microbiota: the need for deep phenotyping and longitudinal data

“Diet is a major component of primary prevention of cardiometabolic disease, although much remains unknown about precise pathways through which diet exerts its effects. Diet is intimately connected to the gut microbiota, influencing microbial composition and function through the delivery of nutrients. In addition, the production of many health-related metabolites of dietary components relies, in part, on the gut microbiota (1). The potential for diet, a modifiable behavior, to influence the gut microbiota may have important implications for cardiometabolic health. A large and growing body of animal and human studies support the role of the gut microbiota in cardiometabolic outcomes (2), with particular evidence for inflammation-related pathways (3). Together, there is strong logic in a potential for the gut microbiota to mediate dietary effects on cardiometabolic outcomes.”


Repercussions of intermittent fasting on the intestinal microbiota community and body composition: a systematic review

“The aim of this study was to provide the reader with a current survey of intermittent fasting (IF) protocols and an understanding of the outcomes found to date in terms of the profile of the intestinal microbiota (IM) in obese organisms. Of the 82 original articles identified from the databases, 35 were eliminated due to duplication, and 32 were excluded due to not meeting the inclusion criteria. Two additional articles found in a new search were added, yielding a total of 17 studies to be included in this review. Among the protocols, alternate-day fasting (ADF) and time-restricted feeding (TRF) were the most common, and they were shown to have different mechanisms of metabolic signaling. In short, the ADF and TRF protocols have a positive effect on the remodeling of the IM and can possibly be used to control body adiposity, improve insulin sensitivity, and achieve other obesity-related metabolic changes.”


Serum folate deficiency and the risks of dementia and all-cause mortality: a national study of old age

This study aimed "to examine the associations between serum folate deficiency and the risks of incident dementia and all-cause mortality in a large national sample of older adults" (n=27 188). Serum folate deficiency was classified as present (<4.4 ng/mL), otherwise absent. The study results show that "The presence compared with the absence of serum folate deficiency was associated with higher risks of dementia and all-cause mortality".


A Guide to Dietary Pattern–Microbiome Data Integration

This study aims to examine the intake and plasma/serum levels of micronutrients in IBS and whether these factors were associated with symptoms and restrictions, and to study the effects of starch- and sucrose-reduced diet (SSRD). The protocol of SSRD diet or control has been performed over 4 weeks in 105 patients with IBS. The results show "(1) Extraintestinal symptoms and fatigue inversely associated with intake of vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, and iodine. (2) Fatigue was also inversely associated with calcium, iron, and zinc intakes. (3) Plasma ferritin was lower in participants on restrictions. (4) SSRD increased the intake of several vitamins, selenium, and fat, whereas sodium intake was decreased, with markedly reduced symptoms".


Scientists develop coated probiotics that could be effectively delivered into the human gut

"Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed probiotics with a unique edible coating that ensures the beneficial bacteria successfully reach the intestine once they are ingested. (...) In the NTU-study, the probiotics, gut-friendly Lacticaseibacillus bacteria, are spray-coated with alginate, a carbohydrate derived from brown algae, protecting them from the harsh acidic conditions in the stomach. Through experiments simulating a journey along the human digestive tract, only the probiotics with the NTU-developed coating survived.”


Associations between dietary patterns, FTO genotype, and obesity in adults from seven European countries

This study was performed on 1280 adults from seven European countries and aimed "to derive dietary patterns based on intake of discretionary foods, saturated fatty acids (SFA), and fibre, and examine cross-sectional associations with BMI and waist circumference (WC), and interaction effects of FTO genotype". The results suggest that "consuming a dietary pattern low in discretionary foods and high-SFA and low-fibre foods is likely to be important for maintaining a healthy weight, regardless of FTO predisposition to obesity".


Changes in Blood Lipid Levels After a Digitally Enabled Cardiometabolic Preventive Health Program: Pre-Post Study in an Adult Dutch General Population Cohort

This observational study aimed to determine how the levels of lipids, namely total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, changed over time in a Dutch general population cohort (n=348) undergoing a digital preventive health program (Ancora Health between January 2020 and October 2021). The results show that 104 participants were advised to follow a cardiometabolic health–focused intervention. After 9 months of intervention 57% (17/30), 61% (19/31), 56% (15/27), 82% (9/11), and 100% (8/8) showed improvements at remeasurement for total cholesterol (by 0.5 mmol/L (- 7.5%), LDL (by 0.39 mmol/L (- 10.0%), HDL ( increased by 0.17 mmol/L (+ 15.6%), and non-HDL cholesterol (by 0.44 mmol/L (- 8.3%), and triglycerides (by 0.97 mmol/L (- 32.0%), respectively.

Related Articles:

PNU04.2022: Dutch banking giant Rabobank banks on making healthcare futureproof; invests €3M in Ancora Health


Digital therapeutics care utilizing genetics and gut microbiome signals for the management of functional gastrointestinal disorder and From a Preliminary Retrospective Study

The aim of this study was to assess how effective a digital therapeutics intervention personalized [Digbi Health] on genomic SNPs and gut microbiome signals were at reducing symptomatology of FGIDs (functional gastrointestinal disorders) in individuals that successfully lost body weight. The sample used was a cohort of 177 adults who reached 5% or more weight loss on the Digbi Health personalized digital care program. The results show that Digbi Health "reduced the summative severity of symptoms for 89.42% (93/104) of users who reported FGIDs. Reduction in summative FGID symptom severity and IBS symptom severity were best modeled by a mixture of genomic and microbiome predictors, whereas reduction in diarrhea and constipation symptom severity were best modeled by microbiome predictors only".

Related Articles:

PNU 03.2022:  Digbi Health incorporates ethnic-relevant genetic risk scores to personalize care for metabolic and mental health conditions associated with gut and obesity

PNU 18.2021: Digbi Health’s precision digital care program for Mental Health Achieves Key Clinical Outcomes

PNU 10.2021: Digbi Health Raises $5.4 Million in Series A Funding to Reverse Obesity and Associated Inflammatory Digestive and Skin Illnesses


Associations between Genetically Proxied Inhibition of Lipid-Lowering Drug Targets and Serum Micronutrients among Individuals of European Descent: A Mendelian Randomization Study

This study provides evidence "that statin use may lower serum concentrations of iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium, PCSK9 inhibitors may increase serum vitamin D, and ezetimibe may increase serum calcium and retinol concentrations".


Where am I speaking next?

This event is in its second year and brings together industry, academia, entrepreneurs and innovators to solve the future of future of food.

I will be delivering a session on Personalised nutrition and participate as part of the Blendhub panel discussion

For more information on the event, click here.


Technology News

UK’s first digital health training programme launches for NHS frontline staff

“The Digital Health Academy became freely available for all healthcare professionals in the UK to upskill frontline workers on their digital health literacy. The academy is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and developed by ORCHA in partnership with NHS clinicians and universities. The programme is broken down into short, bite-sized learning modules. It features two foundation modules that explain the function of health apps, the current digital health landscape, the barriers to using and adopting digital health, and the importance of prescribing good quality digital health products. Soon to be added will be a series of specialist modules including topics such as digital health for mental health, diabetes, physiotherapy, long-Covid, and winter pressures”.


DTC vitamin brand Persona Nutrition to sell vitamin packs via Target

Persona Care has announced its new partnership with Target to sell their vitamins packs. For the company, this is an "evolution into a global lifestyle brand". Target has made numerous partnerships with other direct-to-consumer wellness brands, such as Sugarbreak, a non-prescription blood sugar management system that created multiple Roblox games in which players avoid candy monsters and instead receive in-game perks for selecting healthy foods.


Thorne recruits for new Metabolic Health Research Study

Thorne is seeking eligible and interested adult volunteers for a 90-day research study that will evaluate the effects of quercetin on metabolic wellness. They are looking for 40 men and women, ages 20-70, who currently have high-normal LDL cholesterol (130-159 mg/dL) but are not taking a statin nor any other lipid-lowering medication or supplement and who meet two or more of the criteria mentioned in this article.

Related Articles:

PNU 01.2022: Thorne HealthTech's First-of-Its-Kind 'Wellth Report' Reveals Shifts in Individuals' Health Behaviors with Ripple Effects for the Healthcare Industry and Broader Workforce

PNU 27.2021: Thorne gets listed on Nasdaq

PNU 07.2021: Thorne Merges with Onegevity; Announces New Parent Company, Thorne HealthTech



InsideTracker x Apple partnership

InsideTracker has announced a partnership with Apple Watch integration which will allow users to combine Apple Watch activity and physiomarker data with deep-dive blood biometric and DNA insights to deliver the ultimate in science-backed, personalized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations.

Related Articles: 

PNU 07.2022: InsideTracker Grows Genomics, Bioinformatics Expertise on Scientific Advisory Board with Appointment of Ali Torkamani, PhD

PNU 05.2022: TriDot joins forces with InsideTracker

PNU 37.2021: InsideTracker Named Official Performance Nutrition System of Western States Endurance Run



Lumen Launches Partnership Providing Chef-made Meals Based on Your Metabolism

Lumen has announced a partnership with Metabolic Meals - a chef-made organic meals service. Working with Metabolic Meals, Lumen customers' will be able to have their personalized nutrition plan delivered directly to their door. Metabolic Meals delivers a variety of healthy, chef-based foods that correspond to Lumen’s nutrition recommendations as verified by metabolic experts and Lumen nutritionists.

Related Articles:

PNU 24.2021: Remote nutrition: Lumen survey says 60% of employed users lost weight during pandemic using personalized metabolism tech

PNU 01.2021: Lumen Partners with Anytime Fitness UK to Provide Gym Members with Opportunity to Track Their Metabolism and Nutrition From Home


Solera Health adds new gut-health offerings

Oshi Health and Vivante Health are the new digital health products from Solera Health, a digital platform that offers a marketplace for benefits and chronic-disease-management programs. "Oshi offers virtual-first GI care for patients with a variety of conditions. The service includes health coaching, nutrition, mental health support, personalized-care plans, and lab-tracking tools, as well as services to track symptoms and contact care teams, according to the company's webpage. Vivante Health's platform offers round-the-clock support from nurses, registered dietitians, and health coaches. It also includes a service that checks a member's gut chemistry. The platform also provides users with nutritional education, coaching, symptom-monitoring, and personalized reports".


Taste testing taps into the modernized speed of artificial intelligence

This article approaches the AI innovations around taste testing and product development. An example of this is Hypertaste from IBM and the database platform from Aromyx company. Hypertaste is a repeated taste testing of a product, to ensure quality remains the same from batch to batch. It also can be used to ensure authenticity, such as sussing out counterfeit wines or whiskeys, or to assist in product innovation by discovering new and different flavors. Aromyx's database can detect the flavor and suggest what needs to be tweaked, and determine the ingredients that should be added or subtracted for that to happen. The most popular use is in sugar reduction.



Food & Consumer Trends 

Fewer than 1 in 10 consumers can make healthy choices from front-of-pack labeling, study finds

This study shows how important labeling literacy is for consumers. Results from a study of 2,000 U.S. consumers done by research platform Attest showed that "based on current front-of-package labeling, only 9% of people were able to identify the healthiest choice among six varieties of cereal. On the other hand, a total of 13% chose the least nutritious bar as the healthiest".


Upcoming Events


Food Innovation and Investment Summit, Kisaco Research, San Francisco, California, 18-19 May 2022

2022 KoSFoST International Symposium and Annual Meeting

Carving a New Era in Food Science and Biotechnology - Bexco, Busan, Korea July 6-8, 2022

NutraEvent, Nantes, France, October 4th & 5th 2022 

Personalized nutrition summit - ANA, San Diego 26-29 October