Menopause as the next target for personalised nutrition

Mar 30, 2022 1:37pm

Being able to afford food has never been so topical as right now. In every corner of the world are we starting to see and feel the impact of the war in Ukraine, topped with rising numbers of COVID cases and the end is not yet in sight. 

In this week's newsletter: We join the Personalized nutrition initiative, EU clamps down on tech giant dominance, latest research, Innit partners with Google Cloud, new recipe all tackles chronic diseases, Levels introduces metabolic health panel and more!

Happy reading and stay safe.

Mariette Abrahams

CEO & Founder of Qina

Qina joins external advisory committee of Illinois Personalized nutrition initiative

We are thrilled to announce that we have joined the Illinois external advisory committee of the Illinois Personalized nutrition initiative. On the website it states that the Personalized Nutrition Initiative will facilitate transdisciplinary collaborative efforts across campus to answer fundamental questions regarding how nutrition modulates health and disease across the lifespan and to translate that information to clinical care and the public.

Qina will contribute t the initiative by sharing market, consumer and practitioner trends and challenges.

For more information on the initiative, click here


In the Headlines- 

EU targets U.S. tech giants with a new rulebook aimed at curbing their dominance

The European Parliament and EU member reached a historic deal on the Digital Markets Act. This future law is a sweeping set of rules aimed at curbing the market power of firms with a tight grip on the internet economy (such as  Meta, Apple, Amazon, and Google).

 Research update 

Menopause Is Associated With Postprandial Metabolism, Metabolic Health and Lifestyle: The ZOE PREDICT Study

This study was conducted by personalized nutrition company Zoe on 1002 women in the menopausal phase (pre, peri, and post) from the PREDICT 1 UK cohort. The findings show "postmenopausal females had higher fasting blood measures (glucose, HbA1c and inflammation (GlycA), sugar intakes (12%) and poorer sleep (12%) compared with pre-menopausal females. Postprandial metabolic responses for glucose2hiauc and insulin2hiauc were higher (42 and 4% respectively) and CGM measures were unfavorable post- versus pre-menopause. In age-matched subgroups (n =150), postprandial glucose responses remained higher post-menopause (peak0-2h 4%). Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) was associated with favorable visceral fat, fasting (glucose and insulin), and postprandial (triglyceride6hiauc) measures. Mediation analysis showed that associations between menopause and metabolic health indicators (visceral fat, GlycA360mins, and glycemia (peak0-2h ) were in part mediated by diet and gut bacterial species".

Related Articles:

PNU 05.2022: Podcast with Zoe co-founder Jonathan Wolf

PNU 37.2021: Impact of insufficient sleep on dysregulated blood glucose control under standardised meal conditions

PNU 31.2021: Tim Spector on personalised diets for long term health - BBC Podcast


Potential Effectiveness of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in Healthy Behavior Interventions for Managing Type 2 Diabetes in Older Adults: A Systematic Review

This systematic review aimed to evaluate "how the involvement of a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) in healthy behavior interventions (HBIs) potentially affects outcomes in older adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D)". A total of 12 studies were included for assessment. The results showed that RDN counseling can reduce HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood pressure and improve lean body mass, body mass index (BMI), and self-efficacy in populations of older adults with T2D. Compared to older adults with T2D receiving HBI involving RDNs, patients receiving usual care may incur higher healthcare costs or longer hospital stays.


Predicting Food Intake From Food Reward and Biometric Responses to Food Cues in Adults With Normal Weight Using Machine Learning

Although this study does not show promissory outcomes, this study provides a framework in the field of behavioral nutrition for applying machine learning with a focus on individual predictions. The aim of this study "was to explore how selected behavioral and physiological variables separately and grouped together predicted intake of eight different foods". To achieve this "one hundred adults with normal weight performed a food preference task combined with biometric measurements (the Steno Biometric Food Preference Task) in the fasting state. The task measured food reward as well as biometric (eye-tracking, electrodermal activity, and facial expressions) response to images of foods varying in fat content and taste".


Blood Pressure Control in Individuals With Hypertension Who Used a Digital, Personalized Nutrition Platform: Longitudinal Study

This study conducted by the Foodsmart company aims to evaluate the characteristics of 11,934 participants with stage 2 hypertension who used Foodsmart and assess changes in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). The results show "10.63% (1269/11,934) of participants had stage 2 hypertension at baseline. Among Foodsmart participants with stage 2 hypertension at baseline, SBP and DBP decreased, on average, by 5.7 and 4.0 mmHg, respectively; 33.02% (419/1269) of participants with stage 2 hypertension at baseline achieved blood pressure levels below stage 2 hypertension (SBP <140 mmHg and DBP <90 mmHg). Using a multivariable ordinal logistic regression model, changes in Nutriscore (P=.001) and weight (P=.04) were statistically significantly associated with changes in blood pressure categories for users with stage 2 hypertension at baseline".


Personalized nutrition and its roles on some metabolic disorders: A narrative review

This review aims to relate the evidence on personalized nutrition (PN) and its roles in metabolic disorders. The findings showed "positive effects of precision medicine and PN on controlling metabolic disorders, diabetes, postprandial glucose level, obesity, and lipid profile. Interactions of genetic differences, lifestyle, microbiota patterns, and behavioral and psychological characteristics can affect developing and controlling diseases".


Technology News

Innit Unveils Joint Solutions With Google Cloud for Health and Wellness

“Innit, an innovator in personalized food technology has announced an expansion of its strategic partnership with Google Cloud launching joint health and wellness solutions to support healthy eating for a range of conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart disease. The solutions enable grocery retailers, pharmacies, health providers, and employers to deliver personalized nutrition services that provide step-by-step guidance to match the right foods to people across the entire meal journey”.


OK Capsule, A Personalized Nutrition Company, Raises $9.5 Million In Early Funding

OK Capsule, is a company that provides the technology, products, fulfillment, and strategic support for other companies to launch and scale the delivery of personalized supplement packets to their customers. Launched in the spring of 2020, OK Capsule has worked with companies such as Vitality RX, ELO Health, Vitagene, and Easy Vitamin Plan. They have secured $9.5M in initial investment led by Mucker Capital and Next Ventures, and supported by DSM Venturing and Findaway Adventures.


Foogal: The Recipe App That Improves Health and Helps Manage Autoimmune and Diabetes Symptoms

Foogal is a US-based company founded by chefs, nutritionists, and doctors that aims to prevent and manage prediabetes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases and to help people maintain or obtain good health, through a meal planning app. The service provides three different protocols (Wellness Protocol, Autoimmune Protocol, and Insulin Resistance) that the customer can choose. Choosing the ideal protocol customizes recipes to best suit health conditions and goals. Then Foogal users can browse all the recipes to plan and create their meals. The app also generates a shopping list of ingredients and links to a Kroger supermarket to buy online.


Navigate Total Health Creates Personalized Wellbeing Programs for Organizations to Offer Every Employee

Navigate Wellbeing Solutions (Navigate), is a US well-tech company based in Des Moines, Iowa. Recently they have announced the launch of a new product focused on employee health that generates a personalized wellbeing program. The program "begins with a proprietary Total Health Survey, which gathers data on lifestyle, medical and family history, biometrics, and goals to create a personalized action checklist. From there, employees will receive a customized plan that includes educational videos, group and personal challenges, recipes, and health tracking.


Tech firm’s mission to reduce diet-related disease

myfood24, is a nutritional analysis software from Dietary Assessment Ltd, that tracks, monitors, and analyzes dietary intake. It was developed by UK nutrition experts and is used by researchers, educators, and healthcare professionals both in the UK and internationally. "myfood24 is a pioneering eHealth platform, giving users the ability to accurately monitor diet and nutritional intake at the click of a button. The easy-to-use digital food diary allows users to quickly self-complete diet entries with smart features making completion fast and accurate. The corresponding nutrient values are instantly calculated by myfood24, producing a series of engaging and insightful reports on over 100 nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support a wide range of use cases. The automated approach to diet tracking and analysis saves users time and effort without compromising on accuracy". The company wants to extend the app in the private healthcare sector, corporate wellbeing markets, and business-to-consumer markets.


Levels Introduces Metabolic Health Panel Testing to Support Mission of Overall Health Monitoring

Metabolic Health Panel is the new on-demand blood testing service provided by Levels. The Metabolic Health Panel is currently available to Levels members (through the app) and includes testing fasting insulin, fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-sensitivity c-reactive protein. With a home visit from a phlebotomist, the results are available around a day later in the app. "The Metabolic Health Panel, in conjunction with continuous glucose monitoring and the insights and education offered by our app, will help enable people to make more holistic and informed decisions about their lifestyle, diet, and daily habits. (...)", said Dr. Casey Means, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Levels.


Glucose monitor health startup snags $4M in seed funding

Minneapolis-based company BioCoach has secured $4 million in seed funding from SecretLab LLC founder Jason Bright. This fund will be used to scale its new digital health platform to address diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. "BioCoach is a smart glucose and ketone meter that pairs with the BioCoach app. Based on one’s readings, expert coaches on the BioCoach app give diet adjustment recommendations tailored to each individual. BioCoach gives meal prep ideas and grocery lists. They partner with Walmart grocery so all ingredients needed for one’s individualized meal plan can be added to a Walmart grocery cart for either pick-up or delivery. The specialized grocery lists based on personalized meal ideas take the guesswork out of the process for pre-diabetics and diabetics".



Food & Consumer Trends 

Video explainer: Why older people should be an innovation focus

Nowadays, 20.8% of the European population are people more than 65 years. We loved this recent video that discusses why companies should focus more on this consumer niche. Not only because they have disposable income, but also because they have an interest in health and are increasingly digitally savvy too! The message is that innovation teams spend more time worrying about what millennials and GenZ want whilst missing out on a big opportunity.


Cost of living crisis sees family vegetable consumption fall

According to a new survey from VegPower, "26% of families and 49% of households earning less than £30,000 a year are buying fewer fresh vegetables because of the increase in the price of groceries". The survey found that 26% of families were buying a wider range of frozen vegetables, increasing to 48% in lower-income families with children. Frozen products that have a significant growth in volume were sweetcorn, frozen mixed vegetables, and beans.



Upcoming Events


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


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