Blood sugar levels in response to foods are highly individual

Blood sugar level always rise after a meal but surprisingly, the rise in levels differ dramatically from person to person. Scientists have released this new results in the November issue of Cell, underscores the importance of a personalized diet, which explains that the bodily response to foods was highly individual. This means the same foods don’t necessarily have the same effect from person to person.

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Strikingly different responses to identical foods. In study participant 445 (top), blood sugar levels rose sharply after eating bananas but not after cookies of the same amount of calories. The opposite occurred in participant 644 (bottom).

The study being conducted by Dr. Eran Elinav and Prof. Eran Segal, Weizmann Institute of Science, called Personalized nutrition project focusses on “huge differences in the rise of blood sugar levels among different people who consumed identical diet and highlights the importance of personalized eating choices that helps people stay healthy than universal dietary advice”.

Each human being has a unique response to any food he or she consumes. In their study, they found that a large number of participants’  blood sugar levels rose sharply after they consumed a standardized glucose meal, but in many others, blood glucose levels rose sharply after they ate white bread, but not after glucose.

“Our aim in this study was to find factors that underlie personalized blood glucose responses to food,” said Dr. Elinav.

800 Israeli adults gave detailed information on their diet, lifestyle and medical history. Over one week, they used a smartphone app to record all of their daily activities, including the food they ate, while glucose monitors kept track of their post-meal blood sugar changes. They also included the analysis of gut microbes, collectively known as the microbiome, which had recently been shown to play an important role in human health and disease. So, each participant also gave a stool sample so the researchers could analyze their gut “microbiome”.

Taking these multiple factors into account, the scientists generated an algorithm for predicting individualized response to food. This algorithm has been standardized in a follow-up study of another 100 volunteers, the algorithm successfully predicted the rise in blood sugar in response to different foods, demonstrating that it could be applied to new participants.

In a final step, the researchers made some dietary modifications based on their algorithm so that the personal dietary recommendations can be made according to the individuals. Volunteers were assigned a personalized “good” diet for one week, and a “bad” diet, also personalized for another. Both good and bad diets were designed to have the same number of calories, but the diets differed between participants. Thus, certain foods in one person’s “good” diet were part of another’s “bad” diet. The “good” diets indeed helped to keep blood sugar at steadily healthy levels, whereas the “bad” diets often induced spikes in glucose levels — all within just one week of intervention. Moreover, as a result of the “good” diets, the volunteers experienced consistent changes in the composition of their gut microbes, suggesting that the microbiome may be influenced by the personalized diets while also playing a role in participants’ blood sugar responses.

Any alteration in an individual’s diet with a planned goal, would definitely help improve the individual’s overall health.These findings have great implications for designing dietary interventions as a therapeutic approach for metabolic syndromes, including diabetes.

Source: Sciencedaily.

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