Down at HQ

We are still buzzing from our Qina platform launch last week and we are energized by the feedback we have received so far. Remember, that a limited version of the platform is available on the home page, to see a demo of the full platform, please book a 15 minute call. We have already added another few companies and updated a few, so it will always stay up to date.

This week's newsletter is packed with a couple of week's worth of news, so make sure you take your time to stay ahead.

Happy reading and stay healthy!!



Shedding COVID padding with personalised nutrition solutions 

Our latest blog covers current consumer trends in weight loss and how personalised nutrition solutions can play a role. To read the full blog post, click here.


Research Update

Cost-Effectiveness of Financial Incentives for Improving Diet and Health Through Medicare and Medicaid: A Microsimulation Study

This article investigates the potential cardiometabolic health and economic impacts of financial incentivized programs for healthful foods in Medicare and Medicaid. Studies conclude that, in over a lifetime, the “food and vegetable incentive could prevent 1.93 million cardiovascular diseases, 0.35 million CVD deaths and save $40 billion in healthcare costs”. The other program, the healthy food incentive, could “prevent 3.28 million CVD cases, 0.62 million CVD deaths, 0.12 million diabetes cases, and save $100 billion in healthcare costs”. Both programs prove to be cost-effective and potentially increase health rates. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States passed a $25 million Produce Prescription Program to evaluate healthcare interventions when fruit and vegetable incentives are encouraged among patients.


Genotype-Guided Dietary Supplementation in Precision Nutrition

This review focuses on the correlation between genotypes and responses from various dietary supplements. In order to determine how to achieve adequate micronutrient status while limiting the harmful effects and financial costs that occur with excessive oral nutritional supplements.


Lipid Ratios Representing SCD1, FADS1, and FADS2 Activities as Candidate Biomarkers of Early Growth and Adiposity

This review studies what the biomarkers are of future obesity risk to aid in its risk management. The focus is on altered lipid metabolism which is linked to weight gain. The researchers used a lipidomics approach (on mice) to capture biomarkers and measured infants’ growth and adiposity from 0-24 months by testing dried capillary blood spots for lipid profiling analysis.

“[In mice], cholesteryl esters were correlated with subsequent weight gain and considered educts or products of desaturases activities: stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1) and fatty acid desaturase (FADS) 1 and 2. [In humans], lipid ratios affected by SCD1 are positively associated with 12-24 months weight and adiposity gains. Lipid ratios affected by SCD1 and FADS2 were inversely associated with adiposity gain, but positively with height gain between 3-12 months.” The outcomes of both mice and humans, the ratios of lipid species, which indicate desaturase activities in lipid metabolism, could be a potential tool to predict early life weight gain.


Microbiome Connections with Host Metabolism and Habitual Diet From 1,098 Deeply Phenotyped Individuals

This review studies the associations of microbes with nutrients and food groups, especially from plant-based diets. With the correlation between obesity and risk of cardiovascular diseases, some microbes have shown Prevotella copri and Blastocystis spp to be indicators of postprandial glucose metabolism. Overall microbiome composition predicts cardiometabolic blood markers to be fasting and postprandial glycemic, lipemic, and inflammatory indices. The conclusion that the microbiome shaped by healthy dietary habits can overcome cardiometabolic and postprandial markers indicates that individuals’ gut microbiomes can be formed to healthier levels without the prognosis of cardiovascular disease.



Network Machine Learning Maps Phytochemically Rich “Hyperfoods” to Fight COVID-19

This study used a supercomputer, DreamLab App, to identify potential bioactive anti-COVID-19 molecules in foods. Based on its capacity to target the SARS-CoV-2-host protein-protein interactome. 52 biologically active molecules, including flavonoids, terpenoids, coumarins, and indoles are predicted to target SARS-CoV-2-host interactome networks. It was used to construct a food map based on its levels of antiviral properties. “From a network-based machine learning method, certain plant-based foods such as berries, cruciferous vegetables, apples, citrus fruits, onions, garlic, and beans are most enriched in diversity and abundance of bioactive molecules targeting the SARS-CoV-2-human interactome.” The study did not incorporate significant factors such as cooking methods, food processing, amount of compounds to exert biological activity, specific COVID-19 individual molecular phenotypic characteristics, and drug-food combinations. Researchers expect the food map to have a significant role in nutrition interventions against COVID-19 and other viral diseases.


Psychobiotics: Mechanisms of Action, Evaluation Methods, and Effectiveness in Applications with Food Products

“This review aims to explore the different approaches to evaluate the psychobiotic potential of several bacterial strains and fermented products. The reviewed literature suggests that the consumption of psychobiotics could be considered a viable option to both look after and restore mental health, without undesired secondary effects, and present a lower risk of allergies and less dependence compared to psychotropic drugs.”


The Human Factor in Automated Image-Based Nutrition Apps: Analysis of Common Mistakes Using the goFOOD Lite App

This review analyzes participants’ common mistakes when using the goFOOD Lite app which captures pictures or videos of foods to provide nutrient content. The objective of this study was to focus on what information and automated functions are necessary to improve the accuracy use of the app. In conclusion, the study proves that very detailed instructions are required for users to obtain precise data and future technological developments should involve increasing the app’s recognition of food on various sizes, colors of plates and using fiducial markers as an alternative.


The Microbiome and Alzheimer's Disease: Potential and Limitations of Prebiotic, Synbiotic, and Probiotic Formulations

The microbiome not only interacts with the gastrointestinal system, but also the central and nervous system through the brain-gut axis. As dysfunctional microbiota causes neuroinflammation that promotes Alzeheimer’s Disease-like symptoms, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics alter these symptoms. Furthermore, the capability to improve cognitive function and produce essential metabolites for the gut and brain barrier supports probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Technology News

CES 2021 Improve Your Health with Gene-Hub's Meta G - The World's First Handheld Device for Metabolic Analysis

Gene-Hub’s Meta G is the first hand-held device to estimate the 24-hour metabolism rate by calculating the respiratory exchange rate and basal metabolic rate from an individual’s breath. The inclusion of its app provides data on healthcare, exercise optimization, nutrition recommendations, and telemedicine to serve as an efficient and affordable personalized nutrition tool for people to use.


Edamam Announces A Unique Dataset for Food Logging and Meal Suggestions

Edamam is a provider of nutrition data that has a Generic Meal dataset built in to present nutrition information of 85% of the most commonly eaten meals globally. The dataset details macro and micronutrient content, allergens, serving sizes, and shopping aisle name for each ingredient of 70,000 meals. With this source, Edamam benefits both consumers and food businesses. For consumers, they can gain access to nutrition information that cannot be found in restaurants and home-cooked meals. While health businesses are provided with the flexible structure of personalized meal plans for their consumers.



Hy-Vee Launches Virtual Dietitian Platform as Grocers Ramp Up Focus on Health

Grocers such as ShopRite, Kroger’s, Stop & Shop, and Natural Grocers have taken steps towards health and wellness by providing nutrition services while their consumers’ shop. Hy-Vee has also taken to this trend with the launch of a virtual registered dietitian named Healthie which provides free introductory classes and store tours, especially for diabetic consumers. Also included is a Healthy Habits program that offers meal-planning for $99 and personalized nutrition counseling packages ranging from $125 to $250. To attract customers to these services, Hy-Vee offers a raffle to win health products and coupons to 100 people and $100 gift cards for 35 shoppers.


Lumen Partners with Anytime Fitness UK to Provide Gym Members with Opportunity to Track Their Metabolism and Nutrition From Home

Lumen, a device that measures metabolism from carbon dioxide in a breath, can determine if an individual’s body is fueling on carbohydrates or fat. Anytime Fitness UK’s collaboration with Lumen led to the launch of a new online member platform, AR Online, in which gym members receive an exclusive discount on the device to help them understand how nutrition impacts their fitness and health. The purpose of this collaboration is to not only bring awareness that overall health includes both nutrition and fitness. It also allows members to have readily available data of their food and workouts at their convenience especially during the pandemic.


PepsiCo Announces 2021 Greenhouse Accelerator Program Finalists

PepsiCo has been focusing on food and beverage trends as guidance for investment by taking notice of wellness trends, especially during the pandemic. Due to upcoming ingredients and technology, their investment focus has shifted to include companies within the broader wellness. Here are some of the finalists:

  • LifeNome-Ask Sophie: Pregnancy nutrition and health company targeting expecting mothers’ unique biological needs from preconception to post-delivery.
  • Melico Science: Provide metabolically personalized dietary advice using chemical fingerprinting of a urine sample.


Food & Consumer Trends

Functional Food, Sustainability, and Zero Waste are Consolidated in the Food Industry

This review highlights the growing market of different segments in personalized nutrition that revolve around functional foods, sustainability, and alternative nutrition.
-”[Alternative nutrition] has sales of $ 3.8 trillion and average annual growth of 4% since 2010, is the value registered by the food industry in 2019 and despite the crisis, it is estimated that it closed 2020 with an increase of 3.8%.”


5 Trends Fueling Food and Beverage Innovation in 2021

After the turbulent year of 2020, this review predicts that the key health theme for 2021 is immune-supporting ingredients such as elderberries, turmeric, and moringa. As technology continues to advance, there has been a focus to incorporate technology to elevate food safety and provide transparency of food product information like its origin and accurate expiration date. Gene-editing technologies, like CRISPR, will also shift its focus to consumer-centric foods to affordably improve its texture, taste, and production. Plant-based products are still a health trend; with common ingredients such as pea, soy, and wheat protein dominate plant-based products. There is speculation of a higher variety of plant ingredients such as algae, fungi, and mushrooms, legumes, and pulses to produce plant-based products. Global flavors will also be a consumer attraction as there has been an increased interest in the authenticity and story of the food product.
-”6 out of 10 global consumers are looking for immune-boosting products with 1 in 3 saying that their concerns increased in 2020.”
-”6 in 10 consumers interested in knowing more about their foods’ origin”
-Plant-based dairy and egg sales would register at about $4.3 billion and continue to grow at an annual rate of 6%.
-Meat alternative sales were up 129% compared to the first nine months of 2019


Job alert! Personalized nutrition Business manager in Saudi Arabia

I was recently contacted by a recruiter for an interesting Personalised nutrition business development position in Saudi Arabia. Looking at the JD, it appears as if Saudi is making inroads into how to connect the dots between stakeholders from agriculture, to food and health. Is this the Personalised nutrition example we will be following and writing about in years to come?, it's a bit early to tell, but if someone in our network is interested in taking on this role, do check it out here.


Coming soon: Personalised nutrition and Happiness the next frontier 

Upcoming Events

Moderating and speaking at Nutrevent 26 & 28th January online

Moderating Personalised nutrition innovation webinar at Teknoscienze 23rd February

Personalised nutrition & Health (Wageningen) - 7th October 

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