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, 22 (2), 83-85

Getting Personal About Nutrition


Getting Personal About Nutrition

Cecilia Noecker et al. Trends Mol Med.


Nutritional guidelines for maintaining healthy blood glucose levels are commonly portrayed as universally applicable. However, a new study now demonstrates that the impact of each food on blood glucose varies dramatically across individuals and largely depends on personal characteristics and gut microbiome properties, laying the foundation for the broad implementation of personalized nutrition.


Figure 1
Figure 1. The Impact of Diet on Blood Glucose Is Highly Variable, but Predictable
(A) Personal and microbiome properties are analyzed in response to diet (including clinical and anthropometric measures, lifestyle, medical background, and the functional pathways and taxonomic composition/species of the gut microbiome). These properties markedly affect the glycemic response over time to various food items for each individual. One person, for example, may have a high postprandial (post-meal) glycemic response to bananas and a low response to cookies, while this ordering may be reversed for another person. (B) Using large-scale data on such personal and microbiome properties, along with continuous glucose monitoring and detailed dietary logs, Zeevi et al., (2015) developed an algorithm to predict with high accuracy, individual glycemic responses for each meal (computer symbol). (C) With this algorithm, it is possible to generate personalized intervention diets designed to regulate glycemic responses, promoting either low (“good” diet) or high responses (“bad” diet). (D) “Good” intervention diets can promote microbiome shifts towards a healthier composition, lowering the abundance of specific bacteria previously associated with diabetes and/or obesity (“blue” coded), while increasing the abundance of bacteria associated with good health (“green” coded).

Comment on

  • Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses
    D Zeevi et al. Cell 163 (5), 1079-1094. PMID 26590418. - Randomized Controlled Trial
    Elevated postprandial blood glucose levels constitute a global epidemic and a major risk factor for prediabetes and type II diabetes, but existing dietary methods for con …

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