Are continuous glucose monitors dishing out imprecision nutrition?

Oct 14, 2020 12:00am

As COVID numbers are rising and places are starting to close again, let’s stay positive and support each other because this winter will be long…..

I won’t ramble on too long as this week’s edition is a serious treat! so much has happened and you can catch up with all the news right here.


Don’t forget to join me on a live panel discussion today, where you can fire all your burning questions at the Quadram Institute, Dr. Sarah Berry (lead researcher on the PREDICT study) as well as DSM. I hope to see you there!!

Happy Reading

Mariette Abrahams and Qina Team

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In the Headlines

Lyft to integrate with Epic, enabling ride scheduling within EHR workflow

The ride-sharing app Lyft (major rival of Uber) has announced that it will integrate with Epic to allow healthcare staff to schedule rides for patients directly through their electronic health records. In the COVID-19 pandemic, proximity to facilities has a major effect on access to healthcare. Uber partnered with Cerner this past year to integrate non-emergency transport into its workflow. Now, "by allowing providers to schedule Lyft rides on behalf of patients, Lyft says it hopes to ensure that transportation is not a barrier to care. According to the company, patient and appointment information will prepopulate in the ride request form, leading to improved appointment adherence and shorter waiting times. The app says that nearly 30% of facilities using Epic for EHR requirements already partner with Lyft for non-emergency medical transportation".


Research update

Imprecision nutrition? Different simultaneous continuous glucose monitors provide discordant meal rankings for incremental postprandial glucose in subjects without diabetes

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are being used to personalized diets to minimize postprandial glycemic responses. But, it is not certain, whether different CGMs might result in discordant meal rankings. This study "analyzed CGM data in adults without diabetes who simultaneously wore Dexcom G4 Platinum and the Abbott Freestyle Libre Pro CGM systems during a 28-d inpatient study at the NIH Clinical Center". The results showed that "postprandial responses to ad libitum meals were highly variable, with the Abbott and Dexcom systems resulting in its hinsubject incremental mean ± SD glucose CVs of 91.7 ± 1.9% and 94.2 ± 2.7%, respectively". In conclusion, "precision nutrition approaches that use CGMs to personalize meal recommendations for minimizing glycemic excursions may be premature given the discordance of within-subject meal rankings between simultaneous CGM devices".


This systematic review and meta‐analysis of intervention studies, published on five online databases between 1970 and 2019, evaluated the effect of sleep health on dietary intake in adults. The results showed that "partial sleep restriction with a duration of ≤5.5 h day–1 increases daily energy intake, as well as fat, protein and carbohydrate intake".


Lifestyle interventions for the prevention and treatment of hypertension


This review provides a summary of the epidemiological research supporting the preventive and antihypertensive effects of major lifestyle interventions (regular physical exercise, bodyweight management, and healthy dietary patterns). It includes other less traditional recommendations such as stress management and the promotion of adequate sleep patterns coupled with circadian entrainment. It also analyzes the physiological mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of these lifestyle interventions on hypertension.


This review underlines the importance of Precision Nutrition in the prevention and treatment of patients with chronic diseases. “Precision nutrition is the study of how individuals respond differently to food and nutrients, and it leads to personalized or classified, evidence-based guidelines that represent the best approach for fighting chronic disease. Enhanced resources are imperative as we transition to a precision nutrition approach that will transform agriculture and nutritional science to support positive health outcomes. Both the USDA and the NIH recognize the need to prioritize research and funding on precision nutrition. Increased federal investment in this realm is critical as we look ahead; it will help lower health care costs while supporting individual health and quality of life”.


The sense of smell is very important for the perception of flavors. The study "Sequence Variants in TAAR5 and Other Loci Affect Human Odor Perception and Naming", was conducted on more than 9,000 individuals. The goal of understanding if gene variants influence whether we like food containing certain odors. In the study, the participants sniffed samples of six different odors (licorice, cinnamon, fish, lemon, peppermint, and banana), to find if TAAR5 gene variant affects the perception of smell.  The results showed that "overall, the fish smell was typically rated to be the least pleasant and peppermint was the one most often correctly identified. Also, as expected, intensity ratings of the odors decreased with age (...) The researchers identified variants in three loci that were associated with smell perception and naming. A missense variant in TAAR5 was associated with how intensely someone rated the fish odor, while three linked variants in OR6C70 and OR6C68 were tied to licorice intensity and rating. A variant near an OR cluster on chromosome 11 was linked to the ability to name the cinnamon smell. These findings were subsequently validated in a separate set of 2,204 Icelanders".

The study: Sequence Variants in TAAR5 and Other Loci Affect Human Odor Perception and Naming


Interaction between the genetic risk score and dietary protein intake on cardiometabolic traits in Southeast Asian

This recently published paper by researchers at Reading University (UK) investigated the association of 15 gene variants with cardiometabolic traits and examined
whether these associations were modified by lifestyle factors such as dietary intake and physical activity. Findings included the association of GRS with higher BMI and further showed a significant effect of the GRS on WC and triglyceride levels through the influence of a low-protein diet.


Did you miss the Nutraingredients live panel discussion with ADM and Prof Philip Calder on Sports nutrition & the microbiome? Sign up for a free account for the latest news and updates


Technology News


InsideTracker launches InnerAge 2.0 for healthspan optimization

Insider Tracker has launched InnerAge 2.0, an upgrade on the list of biomarkers available on InnerAge 1.0. The 2.0 version has 14 biomarkers for women and 18 biomarkers for men. To arrive at this point the Segterra's scientists, biologists, nutritionists, and exercise physiologists investigated dozens of biomarkers across more than 42,000 samples from approximately 15,000 people to see what biomarkers were linked most closely to aging. According to Rony Sellam, CEO of Segterra, "InnerAge 2.0 offers actionable and evidence-based diet, supplementation, and lifestyle recommendations for improving your score (and thus your health)”


Personalized supplements: Diet ID and Nature’s Bounty partner on non-subscription recommendation tool

The digital health company Diet ID has joined forces with vitamin and supplement player Nature’s Bounty to launch a personalized supplement recommendation tool that does not require a subscription. Their goal is to meet the growing consumer demand for personalized nutrition. Providing individuals information on what nutrients their bodies need including recommendations for Nature’s Bounty products. The only thing consumers need to do is complete an online nutrition assessment, that will provide a list of products based on the individual’s nutrient intake and health goals.


Fresenius Medical Care North America Partners with Livongo to Empower People with Chronic Kidney Disease

"Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation's leading renal care company, has announced an innovative partnership with Livongo Health, Inc., the leading Applied Health Signals company, to improve the lives and outcomes of people with late-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD). (...) Through Livongo Whole Person for CKD, people with CKD who are managed by Fresenius Health Partners under a contract with the health plan will have access to Livongo's proven diabetes and hypertension management solutions. (...) Livongo makes it easier for members to manage their health by providing a connected ecosystem that includes cellular-connected devices and integration with continuous glucose monitors, access to health coaches, and real-time health insights delivered through Health Nudges. The Applied Health Signals platform leverages data science to understand people's unique health needs and then provide clinically-based guidance to drive positive behavior change".


Abbott’s Tiny Freestyle Libre 3 Cleared in EU

"Abbott has received CE Mark approval for the Freestyle Libre 3 continuous glucose monitor, meaning it can now be marketed in Europe. (...) The Libre 3 is the thinnest and smallest continuous glucose monitor in the world, at the size of two stacked U.S. pennies. (...) Being so small, it’s much more discreet than its predecessors, however, the price of the sensor has not changed (...) The sensor is self-applied to the skin on the back of the upper arm. Users can set up alarms on their smartphone so that they can be alerted when glucose levels are out of range and can take a look at their phone at any time for a real-time glucose reading, which is updated every minute."


Baze expands biomarker panel to include vitamin A

Personalized nutrition supplement company has just announced the recent addition of vitamin A to its panel.


Hungry for heritage: Meal-kit provider Gousto offers new DNA-inspired recipe boxes

DNA Dishes is the new service provided by the partnership between Gousto (a meal-kit provider company) and biotech company Living DNA. This service consists of providing customer's meals based on their genetic heritage. A recent study found out that eight in ten (84 percent) of 2,000 adults surveyed by Gousto revealed they are uncertain about their genetic heritage, so "by taking a simple swab test, consumers can submit their DNA for analysis and have meal kits customized through a smart algorithm, based on the countries they are found to have originated from".


Spoonguru nets AU$4m Woolworths investment

The AI-tech company received a multi-million dollar investment that will be used to expand Spoon Guru’s footprint with retailers across APAC, North America, and Europe. This is certainly very timely considering that healthcare systems, as well as retailers across the globe, are developing and looking for strategies that will improve population health.


Join me this afternoon for a panel discussion on Personalised nutrition with DSM, the Quadram Institute, and King’s College. 

Click the image to join the event


A survey conducted by digital health start-up Quin has found that 26% of the UK public would rather use health apps than visiting a GP or hospital, and that usage of health apps has increased by 37% since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Other results show:

  • over half (55%) would trust a diagnosis provided by an app and a quarter of those say they are more trusting in apps since the outbreak.

  • 78% feel that introducing apps into healthcare could alleviate patients' waiting lists.

  • 87% agree that health tech apps give individuals the freedom and independence to better manage their lifestyle and wellness.

  • Despite these promising numbers, only 11% have used a health app personally.


Here are some highlights from the report "2020 top 75 Most Valuable UK Brands" :

  • COVID has clearly boosted online retail and takeaway brands, with Ocado, Deliveroo, and Just Eat being the UK's fastest-growing brands in 2020;
  • The health trend has taken a back seat, with people needing to be pampered especially during the lockdown. Cadbury and KitKat both increased their brand value as consumers have sought more indulgent moments. The sales of take-home alcohol have increased during the lockdown, without any pubs and restaurants to go to. Gin brand, Gordon's, is the leading brand in this area;
  • More home cooking and snacking have meant people are buying not just more food and drink, but also more calorie-dense products, with total calories purchased around 17% higher than a year ago. However, "health will come back even stronger once consumer confidence returns and re-emerge in a slightly different form." The beverage brands successfully adopted the sugar tax,  the fruit-based brands have added vegetables, herbs, botanicals, and superfoods such as açai and goji berries to their recipes to boost their wellbeing credentials.

To read the full report

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)

Moderating at Nutrevent 26 & 27th January Lille (France)

ANA Personalized nutrition virtual event 2020 12 -13th November (Online)


Qina is the hub for data and insights in Personalised nutrition. Qina offers the world´s first comprehensive and curated database of Personalised nutrition companies in the industry. Qina has a library of expert content and offers consultancy services for innovation projects.