How food policy can guide and support healthy choices or not

Jun 15, 2022 4:34pm

It's been an interesting and very hot week, between leaked policies and new investments, there is never a dull moment!


In this week's newsletter: 

New UK food policy raises creates uproar, latest research, Cara care bags $7m investment, Podcast with Insidetracker and more!

 Yours in health,

Mariette & the rest of the Qina team



From the 1st of July, we are shaking things up at Qina, so if you would like to continue receiving updates, news and developments in Personalised nutrition directly make sure to sign up for a free account below.


Research update 

Rethinking healthy eating in light of the gut microbiome

This review aims to address current nutritional guidelines from the perspective of microbiome science, concentrating on mechanistic findings that revealed host-microbe interactions as drivers of the physiological impacts of diet. The review shows that national food-based dietary guidelines from many countries with various dietary traditions have a high level of consistency. All dietary guidelines advised whole-plant foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts instead of red meat and processed foods. The Mediterranean diet is considered the better approach to mitigate the impact of host interactions. With these conclusions, the authors discussed that using microbiome-targeted techniques to enhance low-carbohydrate diets can be beneficial. Some of these techniques are: dietary recommendations, focused nutritional approaches, development of food products to combat chronic disease risk, microbiome restoration technique (by using synbiotics and probiotics), and reformulation of processed foods.


Artificial intelligence in gastroenterology and hepatology: how to advance clinical practice while ensuring health equity

This review adopts a framework for ethical AI/ML development and application to gastroenterology and hepatology such that clinical practice is advanced while minimizing bias and optimizing health equity.


Suboptimal Consumption of Relevant Immune System Micronutrients Is Associated with a Worse Impact of COVID-19 in Spanish Populations

This study aims to evaluate immunity micronutrient intakes in Spain and to analyze their relationship with epidemiological indicators from the first two waves of COVID-19. The results have shown that "vitamin D, A, B9, and zinc intakes were particularly insufficient in Spain. The joint intake of these four micronutrients was lower in regions with the highest COVID-19 incidence and mortality". This study shows that optimal consumption of foods rich in immunity-supporting nutrients is essential, and specific dietary recommendations should be launched to strengthen the immune system in Spanish territories.


3D printed MCT oleogel as a co-delivery carrier for curcumin and resveratrol

"In this study, emulsion templated medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oleogel was developed as co-delivery carriers for synergistic nutraceuticals, curcumin, and resveratrol and to 3D print in customized shapes for personalized nutrition. To obtain the stable emulsion, gelatin and gellan gum were added such that their protein-polysaccharide interaction helps in the structuring of the oil phase. Increasing the amount of gellan gum had a positive effect on stabilizing the emulsion but became the critical parameter during 3D printing. Hence, gellan gum of 1.5% (w/v) and gelatin at 10% (w/v) of water were considered optimum to produce a stable 30% O/W emulsion for 3D printing".


Modeling Dairy-Free Vegetarian and Vegan USDA Food Patterns for Nonpregnant, Nonlactating Adults

This study assessed the current Healthy Vegetarian Dietary Pattern of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and found that it can be nutritionally adapted for a dairy-free vegetarian or vegan diet. The dairy food group was replaced with a dairy alternative group comprised of soy milk and soy yoghurt fortified with calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. For the vegan model, eggs were replaced with equal proportions of vegetarian protein foods. The results of this study found that amounts of many nutrients changed very little between the original Healthy Vegetarian Dietary Pattern and the vegan and dairy-free vegetarian adaptations. The vegan and dairy-free vegetarian diets had slightly more calories and slightly higher levels of some nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, and choline. However, they provided less protein, sodium, cholesterol, phosphorus, and zinc than the original Healthy Vegetarian Dietary Pattern. The only nutrient that was found to be below recommended levels in the dairy-free vegetarian and vegan diets was zinc, specifically for adult males.


Our CEO was recently interviewed on the Longevity by design podcast hosted by Dr Gil Blander from  Insidetracker.

Dial in to listen to our discussion on what role Personalised nutrition has on longevity and what needs to happen to bridge gaps. 


Technology News

Health-tech startup Resolute launches digital system of care

Resolute Active Care (parent company Pytheos Health) is an Indian integrated digital health and wellness service covering precision wellness, continuous virtual care, and digital therapeutics for families. Resolute combines care and personalized wellness into one integrative journey for the consumer. It includes optimizing nutrition levels, improving sleep and recovery, personalized workouts, stress regulation, pre-emptive followups, continuous health monitoring, etc., to unlock the full health potential. Founded in January 2022, Resolute has now raised around $1 million in funding.


Digital health has failed, but that doesn’t mean the future is hopeless

To Andrew Le, CEO of Buoy Health, countless industries and players have leveraged digital innovation as the future's solution, but a personal relationship with patients is missing. To reverse this trend, health services should be more clinically robust, more inclusive, and more personalized. Digital health must ground its functions not just in AI and basic diagnostics but in expert-informed clinical guidance, that can inspect robust research data (a core validating component of any digital health offering), as well as, the individual factors.




Gut health platform Cara Care raises $7m

Cara Care helps patients suffering from chronic gastrointestinal problems using an app-based treatment. The digital health platform builds a personalized treatment plan, and users can chat with dieticians, track their food and take quizzes to better understand their conditions. Founded in 2016, it was approved by the German public healthcare system in January this year, becoming the first prescribable digital therapy for gut health available on DiGA. That means doctors can prescribe it to patients for free and the startup gets reimbursed by the state. The latest $7m raise brings the startup’s total funding to $16m and follows its 2019 Series A.

Related Article:

PNU 01.2022. Cara Care for IBS is reimbursable for +70 Million people with digestive diseases in Germany

The top 3 behaviour change techniques used by personalised nutrition innovators


A Snapchat Lens For Food Shopping

In this article, the Forbes writer, David Rose, has created "Better Choice", an app prototype based on AR glasses to help consumers make informed food choices. The prototype uses augmented reality to see nutrition and allergen information. When grabbing a product, the phone recognizes the package, looks up all the nutritional data, compares it with your profile, and summarizes key information with five colourful icons representing how it matches your profile: allergens, nutrition, financial value, customer ratings, and a sustainability metric. When you tap the “better choice" button, it visually swaps what you are holding for the best product choice for that food category, depending on what you’ve indicated in your profile (more fibre, no shellfish, nut allergy, etc.). The BetterChoice AR app projects glanceable metrics over food packages. It swaps out what you are currently holding with what you should be holding based on your personal profile.


AI in Sports – How is artificial intelligence redefining the sports industry? Real-world examples

This article talks about the transformation AI is bringing to the sports industry, the uses and applications of computational intelligence in sports, and the future of AI technology in the sports business.


We now have over 500 Personalised nutrition companies in our Qina hub. We ran a quick analysis and updated our Market data snapshot, and here is a breakdown of where they play.

This market data is available to members only on the Qina hub. For more info on becoming a member, get in touch!


Food & Consumer Trends 

Calorie counts on menus: Have they helped?

Since 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration requires that restaurants show calorie labelling on menus. However, this change seems to have only a small impact on the calories most people consume when they dine out (at maximum a reduction of 45 calories). The good news is that researchers have observed another effect of the labelling requirements that may benefit consumers. A study of 59 large restaurant chains found that restaurants did not change the calorie content of existing items on their menus in response to the nationwide labelling requirement, but that new items introduced after the requirement had an average of 113 fewer calories — about a 25 percent reduction — compared with new items introduced before the labelling.


Majority of Gen Z Believe What They Eat Defines Their Identity

“According to the report, Young & Hungry, Gen Z considers themselves the "foodie" generation – fueled by a desire to discover new recipes and find inspiration to become at-home chefs through social media platforms such as TikTok. As their relationship with food is shifting, more Gen Zs are embracing a holistic attitude about food that transcends taste and calories and also factors in food morality, nutrition and its impact on mental health.”


In the Headlines 

Policy paper - Government food strategy (UK)

This leaked strategy has had LinkedIn and Twitter on fire last week!! This food policy includes initiatives to boost health, sustainability, accessibility of diets and secure food supply, ensuring that domestic producers and the wider food and drink industry contribute to the levelling up agenda and makes the most of post-Brexit opportunities. Many vocal experts have expressed their disappointment because of a missed opportunity to address inequality, lack of affordability in the current climate whilst putting the onus on individual consumers to make better choices. For the full paper click here

Do you agree?


Upcoming Events

 2022 KoSFoST International Symposium and Annual Meeting

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

NewtritionX - September 2022 Berlin


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