Personalized Nutrition Update issue nr. 13/19

Oct 30, 2019 4:00pm

It has been a hectic two weeks attending the recent personalized nutrition events in London and Wageningen. If you did not manage to attend either of them, here is my quick fire summary

  1. To be successful in the personalized nutrition industry, stay focused, choose 1 target group and be prepared for slow growth
  2. More investment can mean more pressure in a historically slow growing industry (it is only picking up now). Staying lean and close to your customers wins out in the end.
  3. The industry is still seen as niche, small and aimed at the worried well. We need more inclusive initiatives and research to ensure personalized nutrition products, services and solutions are representative of the populations they serve
  4. Partnership is the new competition, find partners and channels that match your vision and values
  5. Data privacy and tightening of regulation will mean that companies especially those who want to sell into Europe will need to be very careful in their data management. Check out our new partnership below!
  6. Behaviour change takes a long time and individuals are not prepared to pay out of pocket for a coach. If you want to go for the long run, build coaching into your product with additional incentives such as rebates for increased adherence

So the secret sauce is a cohesive personalized nutrition strategy which is inclusive, data-driven, consumer-focused with the aim of impacting health outcomes for all.
Want to discuss how? Why not get in touch today



In the Headlines

Bill Gates: ‘Probiotics key to solving malnutrition’

According to Bill Gates, within ten to twenty years, the knowledge about the microbiome can solve the problems of malnutrition around the world. The analysis of the gut microbiome, and the development of “microbiota directed complementary food”, are especially important to understand causes of microbiome imbalance. Do yo agree?


Research Update

Personalised nutrition – phenotypic and genetic variation in response to dietary intervention.

Personalised nutrition aims to provide specific dietary and lifestyle advice that is relevant to the individual. To do this, the impact of individual differences in dietary, lifestyle, anthropometry, phenotype and genomic profile have to be used concurrently to provide personalised nutritional counseling. The present paper describes examples of the impact of phenotype and genomic profile in the influence response to nutritional interventions.

Genetic and nongenetic factors explaining metabolically healthy and unhealthy phenotypes in participants with excessive adiposity: relevance for personalized nutrition.

A Cross-sectional study in 298 overweight and obese Spanish adults aimed to detect metabolic healthy phenotypes (MHP) and metabolic unhealthy phenotypes (MUP), by the use of genetic and lifestyle data. The results suggest that 44,3% of the sample were considered MHP and 55,7% MUP. Overall, 12 obesity-related genetic variants were associated with the MUP. The categorization of the individuals metabolically can be a powerful tool for the implementation of personalized nutrition interventions aimed at promoting metabolic health.

Effects from diet-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis and obesity can be ameliorated by fecal microbiota transplantation: A multiomics approach.

This study in rats that evaluated the effect of fecal microbiota transplantation after the use of antibiotic treatment to deplete the microbiota after a high-calorie and high-fat diet. The results suggest that antibiotics can reduce the intestinal bacterial content and the fecal microbiota transplantation can restore the homeostasis and by conclusion this can be a complementary obesity therapy.


Vitamin D ‘one-size-fits-all’ rules are questioned as optimal levels vary between different ethnic groups

A review with over 100 studies question the current guidelines of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important micronutrient to the maintenance of calcium and phosphate homeostasis, and is the micronutrient with more deficiency in the develop countries. This paper highlights the need to gain consensus by future researches, in the areas of vitamin D metabolism, action and treatment. For example, the dietary intake of Vitamin D is something that can vary by region, and is not clear that “the most optimal levels for Vitamin D are the same for Caucasians, Black or Asian alike. In conclusion, “one-size-fits-all” guidelines for vitamin D should be revised.


Technology News

FoodTracker: An AI-powered food detection mobile application

Food Tracker, is an app developed by researchers of McGill University (Canada), and gives their client nutrition information in real time. By pointing the camera of a smartphone to the product or meal, the app, that doesn´t need any manual data entry, gives the ingredient list and the nutrition facts (calories, macro and micronutrients).
Food Tracker, is “very practical and easy to use”.


Futuristic FODMAP dieting: Startup creates pocket-size food intolerance tracker

Food Marble, is a startup that created a pocket-size food intolerance tracker, by using hydrogen levels data of breathalysers, to diagnose carbohydrates malabsorption. The importance of this technology is that Food Marble is also working with researchers of King´s College Hospital in the UK to develop personalised LOW-MAP Diet, which can be a less restrictive diet to individuals with food intolerance. Because “it seems that only some of the foods are often the cause of the problem”.

What’s the Favorite Junk Food in Your State?

Lifesum, a healthy living and weight loss app, used by 35 million users to track food and exercise as well as create diet plans. With a database of 2 million foods, the researchers of Lifesum used data from their customers to characterize the eating habits of junk food in the USA, by type of food and region/ state. The researchers identified 27 common junk foods and found out that Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, North Dakota and Kentucky are the top five states eating more junk food. Do you agree?

Lark Health Named to the 2019 CB Insights Digital Health 150

Lark Health is a leading chronic disease prevention and management platform, which use AI health coaching and smart connected devices to deliver better outcomes with their customers. By the personalised counseling by nurses at real-time and programs like the Lark’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), Wellness Program, Diabetes Care Program, and Hypertension Program, Lark Health has nominated to the Digital Health 150!
Their programs that serve nearly 2 million members have demonstrated clinically validated outcomes published in 11 peer-reviewed journals, analyst reports, and papers.

Sentio collects $4.5M to measure, treat behavioral health

Sentio, is a health startup in the mental and behavior area. They launched the Feel Emotion Sensor that is a wristband that monitors physiological signals such as heart rate, skin temperature and galvanic skin response. The wristband is connected with an app that responds with personalised cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mood education for the user´s. Their target is intervention at real time in cases of depression, panic attacks or other mental disturbs. I am sure it won’t be long before food behaviours are also included.


Nestlé on board with Swiss nutrition innovation enterprise

Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley is a new research center that is expected to be launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos (House of Switzerland) at 23 January 2020, and is a group of companies that aims to build a global innovation ecosystem on food and nutrition, specifically on the areas of nutrigenomics and alternative sources of proteins. This enterprise group is now compose by Nestlé, Swiss Canton of Vaud, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL Group).


Food & Consumer Trends

Forget animals, animal cells, and plants, says Air Protein: The most sustainable ‘meat’ is made from microbes… and thin air

Air Protein is a startup that produces protein by the fermentation of biomass present in greenhouses into gas carbon dioxide (specifically hydrogenotrophs). This substance that is considered a bacterium has 80% of protein with all essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins (including vitamin B12) and small amounts of oil and fiber.


Nutrient supplementation beneficial for a range of mental disorders

A national survey made by Trust Transparency Center (TTC) in 1,003 US supplements consumers showed that nearly 30% of the responders say that the major reason for the intake is to combat anxiety and stress. By examining the benefit of nutrition supplementation in mental disorders, the review “The efficacy and safety of nutrient supplements in the treatment of mental disorders: a meta‐review of meta‐analyses of randomized controlled trials” suggests that omega 3, folate and gut microbiome can have influence in the treatment of mental disorders. In its turn, the vitamins E, C, D and the minerals zinc and magnesium, appear do not have impact in mental diseases.
“The efficacy and safety of nutrient supplements in the treatment of mental disorders: a meta‐review of meta‐analyses of randomized controlled trials”




Upcoming Events

Foodmatterslive 19-20th November (London)

Food ingredients 2-4th December (Paris)

Future of Personalised nutrition Summit 20-21st February (Valencia, Spain)

FHIN summit 24-26th March (Lisbon, Portugal)