Personalized Nutrition Update issue nr. 14/19

Nov 06, 2019 4:00pm

New partnership

We are super excited to announce our partnership with the Life science legal firm Axon lawyers. Based in Amsterdam, Axon lawyers are experts in the food regulation and life sciences and have worked with numerous startup and multinational companies in the industry. With increasing regulatory scrutiny and focus on data ethics, our partnership will provide our customers with a comprehensive service in terms of legal, nutrition and business expertise as it relates to the personalized nutrition, health and food industry.

For your questions and piece of mind on functional foods, novel foods (CBD), GDPR, data strategy, health & nutrition claims, clinical trials or devices get in touch with us here.


Research Update

Metabolic Trajectories Following Contrasting Prudent and Western Diets from Food Provisions: Identifying Robust Biomarkers of Short-Term Changes in Habitual Diet.

This is a study about sensitive biomarkers for short-term changes in habitual diet, in 42 healthy participants from the Diet and Gene Intervention (DIGEST) pilot study. The method used was the comparison of urine metabolites and fasting-plasma specimens in day 1 and after 2 weeks with a prudent or western weight-maintaining diet. The biomarker results, also have been compared with the self-reported diet by the participants.

Upregulation of Intestinal NLRP6 Inflammasomes After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Promotes Gut Immune Homeostasis.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) can negatively affect the intestinal microbiota by the deregulation of NLRP6 that can cause greater intestinal permeability along with increased CD8+ T cell infiltration. A study in obese rats, subjected to RYGB, suggest that the regulation of the gut-microbiota is dependent of taurine and histamine levels. Increased levels of taurine, can affect positively NLRP6 expression. On the contrary, increased histamine levels have the opposite effect on NLRP6 regulation.


Integrated Analysis of High-Fat Challenge-Induced Changes in Blood Cell Whole-Genome Gene Expression.

This study aimed to identify gene expression in blood cells in response to a high-fat challenge. The results suggest that over 1000 genes are upregulated which are related to inflammation. On the contrary, downregulated genes are related to unfolded protein response, protein processing, cholesterol biosynthesis, and translation.


Interplay between the human gut microbiome and host metabolism.

A study in 1,004 twins observed the relationship between microbiome and the systemic and faecal metabolic environments, by the use of whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing data. The results suggest that unrelated individuals share 82% of the metabolic pathways (almost the double between species). Another finding, was that metabolic pathways can be associated with 34% of blood and 95% of faecal metabolites, with over 18,000 significant associations. The study underlines the importance of studying the microbial metabolic potential to treat and diagnose.

Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia and Anxiety: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study

In this study, 60 patients with sleep disorders (insomnia and anxiety), were randomly divided into two groups: test (n = 40) and placebo (n = 20), with the objective to determinate the efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha root extract 300 mg, in a 10 week treatment.
The tools and data used to compare the test and placebo groups were the sleep onset latency (SOL), total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency (SE), wake after sleep onset (WASO), total time in bed (sleep log), mental alertness on rising, sleep quality, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) scales. The results suggest that Ashwagandha root extract 300 mg, can have significant improvement in sleep quality, more specifically in SOL, SE, PSQI and HAM-A Scales in 10 weeks.

Only 15% of healthcare apps meet safety standards, research reveals

Health app evaluation organisation ORCHHA evaluated more than 5,000 apps in relation of 260 performance and compliance factors and found that only 15% of healthcare apps meet the minimum safety standards. The most critical apps are in the areas of blood pressure and women’s health. With the results of this study ORCHHA advised that are needed more “appropriate research on their use and their impact so that information can feed the improvement of standards.”

Evidence for the association between FTO gene variants and vitamin B12 concentrations in an Asian Indian population.

This study was performed in type 2 diabetes Indian individuals (152 with pre-diabetes, and 220 with normal glucose-tolerant), selected randomly from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study. The study aimed to identify the relationship between Fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) and the influence on Vitamin B12 status. Using anthropometric data, biochemical investigations (vitamin B12, homocysteine, and folic acid), food frequency questionnaires and self-reported physical activity, the results suggests that an unweighted genetic risk score (GRS), that was calculated for two FTO single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs8050136 and rs2388405), was significantly associated with increased BMI and risk of obesity. Individuals carrying more than one risk allele for the GRS had 13.13% lower vitamin B12 concentrations, compared to individuals carrying zero risk alleles.


Technology News

McCormick unveils Flavor Maker app for home chefs

McCormick, a packaged foods and seasonings company, launched the “McCormick’s Flavor Maker” app. This app allows shoppers to scan McCormick products with a smartphone camera to see recipes and instructional videos. Furthermore, “Flavor Maker” also helps in the organization of favorite recipes, build “flavor boards” for menu planning and add ingredients to a shopping list. The users can even watch virtual reality videos, called “Fields of Vision” that shows how spices are harvested in different regions in the world.


Gut health collaboration: Carbiotix and Food Marble to team up over microbiome health research

Food Marble and Carbiotix announced a partnership to conduct an eight week study in 20 individuals, to understand the correlation between digestive health and gut health. The study will use two different prebiotic fibres and will be supported by gut health analysis services from Carbiotix. With this research, the two companies can eventually join efforts, by providing personalised (with real time dosing modification) Carbiotix products using the Food Marble digestive tracker.

Functional foods and personalization: Two major trends come together as a part of an EU granted H2020 project

As part of EU granted H2020 project, Metabolaid is the new functional product of Monteloeder company. Inserted in a functional yogurt, Metabolaid is “a proprietary blend of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Lippia citriodora extracts, clinically-proven to help weight management”. To test the adherence of the consumers to the product, the functional yogurt is supported by a mobile app, “that guide consumers through healthier lifestyle changes and an adequate product use”. This app features: product intake registration and reminders through push notifications to ensure consumers adherence, basic nutritional intervention, reminding users the importance of fruit and vegetables consumption and proper hydration, encourage physical activity, weight and habit tracking; all in a framework of weekly challenges to make the journey easier and fun for all participants”. This app is scientifically supported by JITAI (Just In Time Adaptive Interventions, Nahum-Shani I et al, Ann Behav Med 2018) that is an emerging intervention model.

Foodvisor automatically tracks what you eat using deep learning

Foodvisor, is an app launched that can identify and estimate in quantity the ingredients present at the meals, by the use of image recognition. With this, the app can evaluate the distance between the plate and the smartphone using camera autofocus data, and like this calculate the area of each food item. With this data, the app can provide nutritional information of the meal, set individuals goals, log activities, monitor progress over time and is also available a chat with registered dietitian/nutritionist.

GNC launches personalized daily vitamin delivery as part of new wellness program

The health company GNC launched the GNG4U, a monthly subscription programme, that delivery at home, personalised supplements such as vitamins, by the information provided by the customers (age, gender, health, personal objectives and genetic data)
Based on the science and with high quality ingredients, GNC4U, elaborated on their personalised 30-days supplements packs that include up to eight different vitamins and supplements, which are divided into once or twice daily packets. Furthermore, the programme also includes exercise and nutrition plans which can be accessed in their personal online wellness dashboard.

People Are Now Selling Their DNA For Money

Genomelink and Sano Genetics created a partnership to revolutionize the personalised healthcare. Genomelink is a web platform that enables consumers to upload their DNA report and provides information, for free, of more than 150 genetic data in the categories of food and nutrition, personality, cognitive, fitness and phenotype. On the other hand, Sano Genetics is a data-sharing platform where consumers submit their medical history and genetic data, that are used for clinical studies. Together they will pay their consumers up to $500, for the donation and use of their DNA. In this way, will enable large-scale genetic and medical research without sacrificing data privacy. The large-scale DNA data will be used to researches of disorders, such as, psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, mental health, eczema, or rare diseases like muscular dystrophy.


Mariette Abrahams Foodmatterslive


Food & Consumer Trends

37% of consumers use functional food for health, Tastewise finds

Tastewise, a startup of food trends prediction and intelligence, say that “37% of the consumers are using food as a functional tool to reach their goals”. The major concerns of the consumers are in the areas of depression, wellness, weight loss, energy boost and gut health, this report says. Futhermore, the 2019 food predictions for functional food are the provolone cheese and maple syrup (for weight loss), pea protein (for wellness), fermented milk drink kefir and powdered peruvian root maca (for depression), CBD (for gut health, sleep, energy and immune system) and watermelon, peppermint to soothe digestive (for a healthy digestive process).


Is plant-based reaching saturation? Innovation opportunities in a meat-free market

Experts of Oatly, Bol Foods and Sainsbury’s, say that “by 2025, it is predicted that vegans and vegetarians will make up a quarter of the British population, with flexitarians expected to account for under half of all UK consumers”. This brings the idea, that the plant-based trend continuous emerging, but some products are reaching the saturation point. In the experts opinion, “there is too much hype” in burgers, and so this is a product that is lacking innovation. On the other hand, the plant-based innovation is the non-diary industry with soy-based and coconut-based products for principal ingredients. But, they also advice, the industry must be careful with the ultra-processed products, because “they are not healthy”, contradicting the plant-based industry concept.

NPD Group: US consumers beginning to weigh in environmental impact when making food and beverage purchases

According to NPD Group’s National Health Aspirations and Behavioral Tracking Service:
“- One in ten U.S. adults have switched to a different food or beverage brand because it had “Earth-friendly” packaging.
– 9% of adults consider the environment a top factor when making food and beverage purchase decisions. Younger adults, aged 18 – 44, are most likely to feel this way.
– Over half of adults who ordered restaurant take-out or delivery in the past 30 days report that the restaurant they ordered from had Earth-friendly practices, like using food containers made from recycled materials.”

Sports Nutrition – key trends for 2020

According to Pew Research, “62% of 18 to 49 year-olds check online reviews and ratings and social media posts”. Because of this, the trends reveal the importance of positive online reviews in sport supplements. According to Lumina Intelligence report, plant and animal-based protein powders, BCAAs, probiotics, creatine and pre-workouts blends are the most quoted in online reviews worldwide.


Resources- New textbook just launched!

Principles of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics: 1st Edition


Upcoming Events

Personalized nutrition webinar (Nutraingredients) 12th November

Foodmatterslive 19-20th November (London)

Food ingredients 2-4th December (Paris)

FREE British Nutrition Foundation Webinar: Personalised Nutrition – Is it all in the gut? 18th December

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

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