How gut health is gaining momentum in Personalized Nutrition

May 26, 2021 11:26am

In this week's newsletter: Latest research, Pepsico launches Nutrition Sciences hub, Smash releases healthy food discount app, Zemedy show the efficacy of their IBS app using clinical trial, ZOE launches challenge to gain gut health insights, Biohm creates interactive gut assessment tool, Eco-score moving in.

Happy reading!!



In the Headlines 

Evidence for a causal association between milk intake and cardiometabolic disease outcomes using a two-sample Mendelian Randomization analysis in up to 1,904,220 individuals

 This interesting large-scale Mendelian randomization study looked at the LCT gene variant, milk consumption, and the relationship between BMI and cardiometabolic markers. Researchers found genetic evidence for the association of milk consumption with higher BMI but lower serum cholesterol levels. These data suggest no need to limit milk intakes with respect to cardiovascular disease risk but suggest the observed benefits require further confirmation.


Research Update

Decreased butyric acid-producing bacteria in gut microbiota of children with egg allergy

This study aimed to review children with and without egg allergy. Focusing on the gut microbiota and the production of butyric acid ("butyric acid is confirmed to help increase the number of regulatory T cells, or Treg cells, that inhibit excessive immune reactions"). The findings show: "The bacteria level in the children with egg allergies was one-third that of their allergy-free counterparts. Therefore, the allergic children were prone to have fewer Treg cells in their blood, increasing the likelihood they had difficulty controlling extreme immune reactions. (...) children with egg allergies have a different distribution of intestinal bacteria from that of their healthy counterparts and a lower amount of the bacteria that produce butyric acid".


Public Health Decisions Are Made at the Tails of the Distribution: A Novel Tool to Estimate Usual Intake Distributions from Short-Term Dietary Assessment Methods

This review approaches the dietary data tool, most used in many nutrition applications ("usual” intake concept, 24-h recall (24HR) questionnaire, and the FFQs questionnaire) especially their measurement error. One of the conclusions was: "The 24HR is currently considered the least biased assessment method when compared with FFQs, relative to energy, protein, sodium, and potassium; but the 24HR suffers more from random error."


Evening Chronotype Is Associated with Poorer Habitual Diet in US Women, with Dietary Energy Density Mediating a Relation of Chronotype with Cardiovascular Health

This study "aimed to evaluate cross-sectional and prospective associations of chronotype with diet quantity and quality in US women, and to assess whether dietary energy density (ED), a robust predictor of cardiometabolic outcomes, mediates an established chronotype-CVH relation". "Data were collected from participants in the AHA Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network cohort (aged 20–76 y; 61% racial/ethnic minority) at baseline (n = 487) and 1-y follow-up (n = 432)". The findings show: "Evening compared with morning/intermediate chronotype was associated with poorer diet quality, including lower intakes of plant protein (...), fiber (...), and fruits and vegetables (...). Evening chronotype was also associated with higher dietary ED at baseline (...). Dietary ED was a partial mediator of the association between evening chronotype and poorer CVH (...).


Adherence to dietary guidelines and cognitive decline from middle age: the Doetinchem Cohort Study

From the Doetinchem Cohort Study, (...), 3644 participants (51% females) aged 45–75 y at baseline, were studied on global cognitive function, memory, processing speed, and cognitive flexibility at 5-y time intervals up to 20-y follow-up. The purpose of this study was to "quantify associations of a healthy diet, defined by adherence to either the Mediterranean diet, the WHO guidelines, or Dutch Health Council dietary guidelines, with cognitive function and cognitive decline from middle age into old age". The adherence to the eating patterns was measured by several modified scales and the scores on the dietary indices were classified in tertiles (low, medium, high adherence). The results show: "The highest tertiles of the mMDS, HDI, and mDHD15-index were associated with better cognitive function compared with the lowest tertiles (...) In addition, compared with the lowest tertiles, the highest tertiles of the mMDS, HDI, and mDHD15-index were statistically significantly associated with 6–7% slower global cognitive decline from age 55 to 75 y, but also slower decline in processing speed (for mMDS: 10%; 95% CI: 2, 18%; for mDHD15: 12%; 95% CI: 6, 21%) and cognitive flexibility (for mDHD15: 10%; 95% CI: 4, 18%)".


Nutrition, precision, and nature the focus on the individual, not the average individual

"The majority of articles included in this issue take a closer look to aspects of precision nutrition, an area exploring the complex interplay among factors that contribute to interindividual variability we observe in response to food"


Gut microbiome diversity and composition is associated with hypertension in women

This study investigated the relationship between hypertension prevalence and gut microbial composition in two cohorts (871 women of the TwinsUK and 448 women from PREDICT-1). The results suggest: "(...) measures of alpha diversity are significantly lower in hypertensive cases and a significant association between beta diversity and hypertension. (...) The genus, Ruminiclostridium 6 was less abundant in hypertension cases. The uncultured microbe Erysipelotrichacea-UCG003 was more abundant in hypertensive cases (...). [it was] established a 100% identity match with the 16s rRNA sequence of the genus Faecalibacillus. (...). In conclusion: "in this large human observation, we show that gut microbiome diversity and composition are associated with hypertension. Our results suggest that targeting the microbiome may be a novel means to prevent or treat hypertension".


Technology News


PepsiCo launches website to make nutrition research more accessible

The website, created by the partnership between PepsiCo Health & Nutrition Sciences (H&NS) offers internal education to healthcare professionals. This platform is composed of four focus areas: Guide New Product Development & Portfolio Expansion, External Engagement, Nutrition Science Research, and Internal Education. "Another core aspect of the website is the company's nutrition policy, which is a set of science-based nutrition guidelines that serve as a compass to assist PepsiCo's portfolio transformation". Gut health has a major spotlight with a number of resources such as FODMAP guidance, probiotics, fiber, and digestive health.


Smash: Healthy food discount app for young people launches

Smash is a UK app designed for young people between 13 to 24-year-olds, providing them discounts on more than 300 products from 55 food brands. "To access the app, users must take a selfie to pass a facial age scan, which uses technology powered by Yoti. They can then scan a curated menu of food options and see what savings can be made at nearby participating retailers. The menu can be filtered by price, retailer, and any dietary requirements." It’s also available in restaurants, the users must "present a QR code at the point of paying the bill, which is scanned by the cashier to apply the discount". This app was developed with the support of youth advisors from Jamie Oliver’s Bite Back 2030.


Bold Health's CBT-based IBS Self-Management App Demonstrates Efficacy in Clinical Trial

Zemedy is a mobile digital therapeutic for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) designed by Bold Health. The results from the clinical trial show "patients using Zemedy revealed significant improvements in IBS symptoms, quality of life, and mental health scores compared to the waitlist control group". "Zemedy consists of six modules focusing on psychoeducation, relaxation training, exercise, and nutritional information. Its cognitive model of stress management applies CBT to IBS symptoms, reducing avoidance through exposure therapy and behavioral experiments''. The app was designed by the consultation of several experts in the areas of cognitive-behavioral in IBS and gut-brain regulation.


Dr. Mark Hyman Joins Levels as Advisor

"Levels' mission is to solve the metabolic health crisis by tracking glucose in real-time and providing granular visibility into how diet and lifestyle choices affect health. In the same way, fitness trackers quantify physical activity and exercise, Levels measures the impact of one's diet and lifestyle on metabolic health by pairing continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology with intelligent software". They have announced that Dr. Mark Hyman (an expert in Functional Medicine) has joined the company as an advisor.


ZOE Launches #bluepoopchallenge to Help People Learn About Their Gut Health

The #bluepoopchallenge is an initiative of ZOE and inserted on the ZOE PREDICT study. This challenge consists of eating "two muffins for breakfast and tracking the time it takes until blue-green poop appears. After participants enter their gut transit times on and answer a few simple health questions, ZOE will reveal fascinating and fun gut health insights based on comparing them to thousands of participants in ZOE's research studies''.


BIOHM Health Launches Interactive Gut Assessment Tool that Incorporates Proprietary Clinical Data is an online interactive gut assessment tool based on one of the largest comprehensive microbiome datasets in the world. This tool has been designed by BIOHM Health and the "consumers can log onto to answer a short series of demographic, health, lifestyle and diet questions. Once they've completed the questions (which takes about two minutes), they will be given insights regarding the likelihood of their gut being imbalanced, their associated Gut Score™, and whether they are more likely to have higher levels of Candida compared to levels normally found in the gut".


GB HealthWatch Launches Nutritional Genomics Analysis within Digital Health Platform to Combat Coronary Heart Disease, Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

GBinsight Nutritional Genomics is the new tool of GB HealthWatch, it "(...) focuses on the detection of diet-modifiable genetic risk factors often associated with hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Analysis of some traits that affect individual nutritional requirements and dietary preferences as well as food intolerances and sensitivities is also included. Each GBinsight Nutritional Genomics Report provides the clinician and patient with personalized diet and nutrition recommendations that follow the guidelines of professional organizations such as the National Lipid Association (NLA), American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC,) and American Diabetes Associations (ADA). Furthermore, connecting personal genetic data with the HealthWatch 360 app encourages patient engagement by allowing patients to view digital versions of their genetic test reports, navigate relevant gene-nutrition-disease educational information, and self-monitor diet quality and lifestyle changes".


DSM launches season of cycling challenges to drive public health

Royal DSM has created its own cycling team. The Team DSM (an elite team from Germany, that will compete on the Tour of France). Now, they have announced a season of cycling challenges (DSM Keep Challenging Series) to encourage consumers to improve their health. "Starting with a short warm-up period, participants in the DSM Keep Challenging Series will get regular encouragement and nutritional advice from Team DSM riders, experts and coaches over four months". The goal is to compete at a distance that coincides with the Tour de France!


Join us for the upcoming not-to be missed Personalised nutrition Summit where we are speaking and judging!


Food & Consumer Trends


Comparison of appropriateness of Nutri-Score and other front-of-pack nutrition labels across a group of Moroccan consumers: awareness, understanding and food choices

This study performed by WHO aimed to prove if NutriScore is an efficient tool in Morocco. In comparison with three other front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labeling (References Intakes; Warnings, and Multiple Traffic Light), and by testing three product categories (yogurt, biscuits, and cold cuts), the study also questioned "814 participants about which product they would prefer to buy and to rank them according to their nutritional quality. This task was undertaken twice: both with and without the help of nutrition labels". The findings "revealed that Nutri-Score was associated with the highest improvement in the ability to correctly classify foods based on their nutritional quality. (...) [also], a total of 64,9% of respondents ranked Nutri-Score as their preferred label". Consistent with the rest of Europe, Nutri-Score seems to be an excellent nutritional tool to make healthier food choices.


After Nutri-Score, Get Ready for Eco-Score

Eco-Score is a front pack label to encourage consumers to make healthier choices on environmental and ecological impact when purchasing food. With Eco-Score "food producers will soon be competing more directly on sustainability, likely resulting in more transparency regarding sourcing and packaging, as well as in greater motivation to pursue certification". (...) Eco-Score allows consumers to consider the environmental impact of a product when shopping. An A score suggests the product is a sustainable choice, while an E score represents a relatively high environmental footprint. What makes Eco-Score unique is the integration of many sustainability aspects in one label; something that does not yet exist (...) Eco-Score captures the total environmental footprint, making it easier for consumers to compare products".


A lack of basic agricultural data is holding African countries back

"Agriculture accounts for more than 25% of GDP in some developing countries, employs 63% of the world’s poor people, and has the potential to improve food security for 80% of them, then why hasn’t this investment translated into stronger economies and better livelihoods?". To address this question, the Food Systems Summit will take place in September, with many experts in different areas and with the objective of improving stability and prosperity for people and the planet. To achieve this objective one thing that has to be improved is data: "Many low-income countries are limited by gaping holes in agricultural and rural data that could inform planning, budgeting and policymaking in this vital sector. The scarcity of high-quality, timely agricultural data is directly complicating countries’ plans for economic growth and efforts to reduce poverty."


Upcoming Events


Food as medicine: Understanding the power of food & possible impact on future of food healthcare - 26th-27th May

Kisaco Personalised nutrition summit, 28-29th June

Personalised nutrition & Health (Wageningen) - 7th October

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