Too much choice in the midst of too much noise?
In this week's newsletter: Our launch of QinaVer, latest research, Noom gets slapped with a lawsuit, Pinto merges with SPINS, Nahibu launches practitioner education program, NourishedRx raises $6m inseed funding, and plenty more.
This week we are launching QinaVer, a text analytics solution to help you find hidden patterns and trends in your data. Our unique Qina spin is that we layer the insights gathered from applying Natural language processing and machine learning to the data, with domain expertise in personalised nutrition. This means we don't just tell you what is happening but also provide you with context and the reason why it is happening and what you can do about it. Click here to download our QinaVer use cases.
This review aims to "provide an overview of how person-specific interactions between diet and the gut microbiota could play a role in affecting diet-induced weight-loss responses".
A posteriori dietary patterns better explain variations of the gut microbiome than individual markers in the American Gut Project
This study aimed to compare five dietary patterns (Plant-Based, n = 151, Flexitarian, n = 313, Health-Conscious Western, n = 368, Standard Western, n = 289, Exclusion Diet (low-carbohydrate), n = 345), and individual dietary components with gut microbiome diversity, on 1800 adults in the American Gut Project. By analyzing the Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010), the researchers found that "overall diet exhibited more significant associations with the gut microbiome than individual dietary components", and "Prudent-like diets—Plant-Based and Flexitarian—and exhibited the highest Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) scores. (...) Notably, gut microbiome alpha diversity was significantly lower in the most Western-pattern compared to the Flexitarian pattern and the Exclusion diet pattern was associated with low relative abundance of Bifidobacterium (P ≤ 1.2 × 10–7)."
Mitochondrial DNA and Epigenetics: Investigating Interactions with the One-Carbon Metabolism in Obesity
This study aimed to evaluate mtDNAcn (mitochondrial DNA copy number) and methylation levels in both mitochondrial and nuclear areas to test the association of these biomarkers with bodyweight, metabolic profile, and availability of 1CC intermediates associated with diet, on a cohort of 101 normal-weight and 97 overweight/obese subjects. The results show that body composition was associated with 1CC intermediate availability and reduced levels of GSH (glutathione) were measured in the overweight/obese group. Also, mtDNAcn was lower in overweight/obese subjects. These findings "suggest that increased body weight might perturb mitochondrial-nuclear homeostasis affecting the availability of nutrients acting as intermediates of the one-carbon cycle".
Validity of continuous glucose monitoring for categorizing glycemic responses to diet: implications for use in personalized nutrition
This study aimed to evaluate the concordance of two simultaneously worn Continuous glucose monitor (CGM) (Abbott Freestyle Libre Pro and Dexcom G6) devices in measuring postprandial glycemic responses. The 394 participants wore it for up to 14 days. The results demonstrated strong concordance of CGM devices in monitoring glycemic responses and suggest their potential use in personalized nutrition.
A pilot randomized trial of simplified versus standard calorie dietary self-monitoring in a mobile weight loss intervention
In this study, 72 participants that were overweight or obese were randomized into two groups: a simplified dietary self-monitoring of high-calorie foods group (Simplified) and a tracker calorie group (Standard), both through a mobile app. Both groups received a wireless scale, Fitbit trackers, and a 6-month intervention delivered via a smartphone application with lessons, text messages, and weekly personalized feedback messages. The results show that the "two mobile-delivered weight-loss interventions produced clinically meaningful levels of weight loss at 6 months (43.2% in Standard and 42.9% in Simplified)" and this tool can be effective in calorie monitoring.
The objective of this review was to identify and discuss nutrigenetic studies assessing the interactions between CETP SNPs and dietary factors on blood lipids. 27 studies were eligible for this review and reported significant interactions between 8 CETP SNPs and 17 dietary factors on blood lipids in 18 ethnicities. The most extensively studied was Caucasians, and the rs708272 (TaqIB) was the most widely studied CETP SNP, where 'B1' allele was associated with higher CETP activity, resulting in lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and higher serum triglycerides under the influence of high dietary fat intake.
I was recently interviewed on the Food + Health podcast hosted by Dr Julia Olayanju.
We discussed the opportunities in personalised nutrition and why the future of health is personalised nutrition. You can listen to the full episode here.
Noom settles billing lawsuit for $62 million and promises to change business practices to address customer complaints
Noom is facing controversial times. After some complaints about diets that were very low in calories and "copy-paste" messages on their coaching service, Noom will now pay $56 million in cash and $6 million in Noom subscription credits because of their expensive and hard-to-cancel subscriptions.
Banner|Aetna (a health insurance company from Arizona) has announced a partnership with Virta Health (a digital health app for type 2 diabetes). This partnership will provide Banner|Aetna eligible members along with the app, personalized nutrition, and virtual care.
SPINS Acquires Product Intelligence Innovator Pinto; Doubles-Down as Product Intelligence is set to transform innovation, merchandising, and consumer experiences
PINTO (a New-York based company with roots in personalized nutrition and food labeling) and SPINS ( a wellness-focused data company) have announced a fusion with the acquisition of Pinto by SPINS. Together the two companies will fuse their platforms into "SPINS+Pinto Product Intelligence Platform." This new platform will deconstruct the label information, translate the data, and output relevant insights of products. It can also be used across many applications and provides deeper insights into product trends including consumer preferences, search terms, certifications, compliance with specific diets, clean labels, thousands of different product types, flavors, market positioning, functional ingredients, etc.
Helo, a leading developer of wearable, wireless devices and a pioneer at the forefront of digital health, has announced that it has provided funding to support the development of santéPatch, a technology that claims to enable monitoring of the wearer’s micronutrients. "The santéPatch uses an advanced biochemical process (called reverse iontophoresis) built into the patch worn on the skin to attract nutrients present in the fluid around skin cells. A spectrometer micro-sensor in the patch non-invasively measures the fluid for nutrients and provides a view of the vitamin and mineral levels present. This data can then be transmitted wirelessly to the cloud for further analysis. The whole process is easy, convenient, pain-free, and real-time."
The French start-up Nahibu has launched the "Nahibu PRO" - a digital platform on which healthcare professionals can register to access online training and resources on the microbiota subject. The platform gives access to a series of free training modules, monthly webinars about digestive disorders, IBS, and additional paid training modules. The training is delivered online and supervised by Dr. Emmamuelle Lecommandeur, Nahibu's Head of Research & Development, at the moment, it's only available in French.
SUANFARMA strengthens positioning in clinically proven active nutraceuticals with the acquisition of Monteloeder
"Only three months after the entry of healthcare-focused investment firm ArchiMed, SUANFARMA has reached an agreement to acquire a majority of Monteloeder, a world leader in the research and development of scientifically proven and patent-protected botanical extracts supported by clinical studies."
NourishedRx raises $6 million in seed funding to accelerate growth of the first intelligent food-for-health platform
NourishedRx (formerly Project Well) is the first smart, Food-for-Health market platform designed to drive lasting dietary change for health plan members. The company's core AI-enabled platform matches at-risk members with personalized, Registered Dietitian–vetted high-quality meal and grocery offerings that leverage behavioral science to support lasting dietary change and, ultimately, improved health outcomes. They have announced $6 million in seed funding. The principal investors are S2G Ventures, Route 66 Ventures, Connecticut Innovations, and Primetime Partners. This funding will allow NourishedRx to expand its high-tech, and high-touch platform to provide personalized, culturally relevant food solutions to health plan members nationwide.
InsideTracker Grows Genomics, Bioinformatics Expertise on Scientific Advisory Board with Appointment of Ali Torkamani, PhD
"InsideTracker has announced the addition of Dr. Ali Torkamani, who currently serves as director of genome informatics for Scripps Research Translational Institute's Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology, to its scientific advisory board. (...) In his role on the scientific advisory board, he will advise the company on new genetic approaches, developing advanced genetics scores, and utilizing Mendelian randomization techniques on InsideTracker's growing database of biometric data — thought to be the largest in the world".
Food & Consumer Trends
The microbiome and personal nutrition in food and beverages: ‘There is so much potential for innovation’
In this article, Dr. Tatiana Sergeenko, Principal Technology, and Innovation Consultant at Sagentia Innovation, speaks about the potentialities of the gut microbiome, personalized nutrition, and segmentation to personalized microbiome-based.
Where am I speaking next?
I will be speaking at the upcoming Food innovation & investment summit in San Francisco. The lineup of speakers is excellent and I look forward to sharing insights on Personalised Nutrition. click the image for more info.
“The Power of Genetics”, written by Dr. Yael Joffe (3x4 Genetics), is an illustrated and scientific book to help dietitians educate their clients about genetics. The book also has the goal of explaining how genetic insights can unlock optimal health and influence daily decisions.
Food Innovation and Investment Summit, Kisaco Research, San Francisco, California, 18-19 May 2022