Scientists at the Mayo Clinic are researching the effectiveness of using the particulars of the human gut microbiome to determine the healthiest diets for individual people, with a study suggesting the best way to manage nutritional health is to build personalised diets.
As nutrition science and technology have evolved, so has our insight into what’s happening on a chemical level inside our bodies, with some scientists, dietitians, and food companies now focusing on how our individual bodies process foods.
The researchers built a model for predicting how different foods impact people’s blood sugar levels. By analysing a person’s gut microbiome, age, level of physical exercise, and other factors, they could very accurately predict how the body reacts to food; more than if they attempted to do so by counting calories or carbs.
The scientists followed 327 healthy people for six days. Each person submitted stool samples and kept food diaries, noting the exercise and rest they got. They were also given blood-glucose monitors that tracked their glycemic responses to food.
The model could accurately predict blood-sugar changes 62% of the time. Previously, when only predicting based off carbs or calorie intake, they could accurately guess fluctuations 40% and 32% of the time, respectively.