In the era of personalized medicine, researchers have now revealed that changes to blood glucose levels after eating may also be a highly personal process, supporting the development of personalised nutrition.
The incidence of both type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are on the rise, increasing the need for better control of blood glucose levels. A study published in the journal Cell has investigated the blood glucose levels in 800 participants over a one-week period. The researchers assessed blood glucose responses to over 46 000 meals, via small monitors worn by the participants, that continually measured blood glucose levels. The researchers reported that blood glucose responses to the same meals were highly variable between participants.
The researchers therefore suggested that a personalised approach would be better in terms of controlling blood glucose levels. They developed an algorithm to take into account several parameters, including dietary habits, anthropometrics, physical activity, and the array of bacteria in the intestines. When the researchers used this algorithm they found that it was accurate at predicting the glycemic response to meals at a personal level.
When the researchers used this algorithm as part of a dietary intervention, they found that it was useful in developing personal dietary interventions that resulted in significantly lower blood glucose responses after meals. The researchers are planning studies with a longer-term follow up of personalised dietary intervention. They are currently enrolling participants with high blood sugar levels, putting them at increased risk of diabetes. The follow up studies will determine whether the personalised nutrition approach will be successful at delaying or even preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. More information on study enrollment can be found at www.personalnutrition.org.
David Zeevi, Tal Korem, Niv Zmora, David Israeli, Daphna Rothschild, Adina Weinberger, Orly Ben-Yacov, Dar Lador, Tali Avnit-Sagi, Maya Lotan-Pompan, Jotham Suez, Jemal Ali Mahdi, Elad Matot, Gal Malka, Noa Kosower, Michal Rein, Gili Zilberman-Schapira, Lenka Dohnalová, Meirav Pevsner-Fischer, Rony Bikovsky, Zamir Halpern, Eran Elinav, Eran Segal. Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses. Cell, 2015; 163 (5)
Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD