Gut microbiota influences the ability to lose weight

Sep 21, 2021 11:00pm

It may just be me, but it seems like the world is absolutely going bonkers and staying positive has become a conscious decision to be made when starting out each day. On a good note, our health is something we can actually have some control over, so let's dive right in this week!

In this week's newsletter: New research points to role of microbiota in weight loss, vertical farming for personalised nutrition, CVS partners with Novo nordisk to deliver personalised nutrition support, consumers expect more digital engagement in the shopping isles


Happy reading!!

Mariette Abrahams (CEO & Founder of Qina)



In the Headlines- Gut microbiota influences the ability to lose weight 


If you haven't read enough online about the microbiome in the past week yet, now you can read some more!

In this latest study conducted in the US, researchers found that the gut microbiota influences the ability to lose weight. Participants were part of a behaviour change program which included a dietitian or a coach. After controlling for age, sex and baseline BMI, the researchers identified 31 baseline stool metagenomic functional features that were associated with weight loss responses. These included complex polysaccharide and protein degradation genes, stress-response genes, respiration-related genes, cell wall synthesis genes and gut bacterial replication rates. Researchers found that the ability of the gut microbiome to break down starches was increased in people who did not lose weight. In addition, they found that genes that help bacteria grow faster, multiply, replicate and assemble cell walls were increased in people who lost more weight.

To read the full article click here.


Out next week: The current state of biomarkers in Personalised nutrition- Executive data brief

In this data brief we dive deeper into the trends and developments in the biomarker segment specifically. From new innovations and players to trends in the market and state of the science, we've got it covered. This brief is for members only, not a member yet? contact us today.


Research Update

Lifestyle and Life Satisfaction: The Role of Delayed Gratification

Current trends in lifestyle (such as veganism and vegetarianism, and the shift towards the use of cycles, walking etc.) might affect the life satisfaction of individuals. This paper uses data from the UK Understanding Society Data, which covers 40,000 UK households over time. It aims to consider the impact of two measures of lifestyle—the consumption of fruit and vegetables and doing exercise—on individual well-being. The findings show that "the two delayed gratification instruments are positive and significant in influencing lifestyle (...) although the impacts vary for men and women. These results are robust across income quartiles, region, gender, education and age groups". 



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Usefulness of Smartphone Apps for Improving Nutritional Status of Pancreatic Cancer Patients: Randomized Controlled Trial

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a mobile app–based program, Noom, in 40 patients from a hospital in South Korea receiving chemotherapy for PDAC (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma). Divided into 2 groups, the 12-week in-app interventions (n=17) included meal and physical activity logging as well as nutritional education feedback from dietitians. The results show "Noom users showed statistically significant improvements on the global health status (GHS) and QoL (changes in the nutritional status and quality of life) scales compared to non-Noom users, based on the EORTC QLQ (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Core Questionnaire)." This "demonstrates that a mobile app–based approach is beneficial for nutritional and psychological support for PDAC patients receiving chemotherapy". 


Multivariate analysis of 1.5 million people identifies genetic associations with traits related to self-regulation and addiction

This review analyzes the genetics of ~1.5 million people and identifies more than 500 genetic loci that can predict "a range of behavioral and medical outcomes (...), such as opioid use disorder, suicide, HIV infections, criminal convictions, and unemployment. [The] findings are consistent with the idea that persistent difficulties in self-regulation can be conceptualized as a neurodevelopmental trait with complex and far-reaching social and health correlates".


Diet quality and risk and severity of COVID-19: a prospective cohort study

This article was performed with 592 571 participants from the smartphone-based COVID-19 Symptom Study and "aimed to investigate the association of diet quality with risk and severity of COVID-19 and its interaction with socioeconomic deprivation". The findings show "a diet characterized by healthy plant-based foods was associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19. This association may be particularly evident among individuals living in areas with higher socioeconomic deprivation".  


The possible role of increased consumption of ultra-processed food products in the development of frailty: a threat for healthy ageing?

This article aims to: “(i) discuss the role that ultra-processed food products (UPP) might have on the development of frailty considering the inflammatory potential of this type of food; and (ii) to raise awareness on deleterious effects of excess UPP intake in the development of adverse health outcomes, in particular, frailty and compromised healthy ageing”.


Nutrigenetic variants and response to diet/lifestyle intervention in obese subjects: a pilot study

This pilot study aims to "evaluate the effects of the interaction between nutrigenetic variants and nutritional intervention, as well as the changes in clinical parameters and the adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and physical activity, of 18 overweight or obese subjects affected by T2D", in 12 months. The results show "the subjects carrying the A allele in FTO lost less weight and had a lower BMI decrease from baseline to 12 months than TT carriers. In addition, there was a significant PREDIMED score modification over time, according to genotypes for FTO rs9939609 and NPY rs16147, respectively".




Technology News


Vertical farming meets personalised nutrition for the ‘kitchen garden’ of the future

The EIT Food-backed PERsonalised Nutrition through kitchen gardens (PERNUG) project aims to develop vertical farmings, in a domestic setting, and create biofortified plants to ensure individual dietary needs (RDA). "The project will link consumers to the latest scientifically validated data on nutrition and health, enabling them to select from a range of different crops and varieties linked to their own personalized nutritional needs. (...) The app will use the user-inputted data, combined with data on food composition, bioavailability, and how to maximize nutrients of interest to provide recipe recommendations (...) [and a] source of plants biofortified with nutrients of choice."  2022 will be the pilot year, and iron and vitamin B12 will be the first ones to be developed. In 2023, the commercial product is expected.


CVS Health, Novo Nordisk Inc. join forces to provide enhanced, personalized support for obesity in retail settings

CVS Health and Novo Nordisk have announced a new, personalized nutrition coaching program to support people struggling with obesity. "The complete CVS Health nutrition coaching program includes a personal nutrition assessment; twice-monthly body composition tests and dietitian coaching sessions; a coupon for up to 10 free healthy meals; and a digital app with shopping lists, recipes, a restaurant guide, and dietitian messaging capability. CVS Health also offers a “basic” program including only some of these elements. The expanded pilot program will be available in-person in select locations and virtually, providing an affordable, community-based option".


Equinom links up with Meatless Farm to incorporate AI-backed “superior” yellow peas

The Israel-based company "Equinom" is an agri-food-tech company that uses AI to elevate the nutritional profile of seeds. Equinom creates “superior seeds” naturally by crossbreeding exotic, ancient, and modern varieties. Using its varied seed bank, Equinom employs computer-based breeding and traditional genomic technologies to predict and simulate new varieties. An example is the yellow peas, which are among the fastest-growing protein sources for plant-based meat alternatives. Between several partnerships in recent times, Equimon has now announced a new partnership with Meatless Farm and its ingredients subsidiary, Lovingly Made Ingredients.





Join us on 12th October for the Personalized nutrition innovation summit at Anuga where we are speaking and moderating 


Food & Consumer Trends


Fifty-seven percent of consumers want digital engagement in the aisle to improve CX and inform purchasing decisions, new report shows

“Original research of over 2,000 UK shoppers in the latest ‘Pricer UK Consumer Insight Report 2021’ showed that two-thirds (65%) would be more likely to buy a product in-store when they can easily and clearly access information about the product digitally.  In what it describes as ‘the information revolution at the shelf-edge’, almost six in 10 (57%) consumers would like to have more access to product details in addition to pricing, whilst nearly half (49%) would like more digital signage at the shelf-edge to help inform their buying decisions”. 


Study: 97% of consumers expect retailers to visit manufacturing facilities, test supplements for safety

According to a survey from NSF International, 95% of the consumers have concerns about the quality and safety of dietary supplements. They expect more independent product testing to ensure product quality. The findings revealed some ideas about this topic: "62% said "independent certification from a health and safety organization", 61% said made in a facility that has been inspected for good manufacturing practices" 44% said "lab testing by the retailer", and 17% said "social media comments" and "celebrity endorsements", to help build consumers trust.


“Nutrition is an under-utilised area of care for Covid-19” says Nutricia

A survey conducted by Nutricia on a total of 453 adult patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19 across the UK, Spain, Italy, and Germany highlights the gap in nutritional care after hospitalization. The findings show that 65% of the patients have significant weight loss, and many reported symptoms that could worsen their nutrition status, such as diarrhea, loss of taste/ smell, and difficulty swallowing but only 50% received medical nutrition treatment. 


Upcoming Events

American Nutrition Association (ANA) - Mapping the future 28th-1st October Chicago hybrid event

Vitafoods Personalised nutrition roundtable - 6th October

Personalised nutrition & Health (Wageningen) - 7th October

Personalised nutrition innovation summit Newtrition X (Cologne) - 12th October

Sports & active nutrition summit (Nutraigredients) online 12-14 October