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Video: Why The Same Healthy Diet Is Not Possible For Everyone - Research
Why the same healthy diet is not possible for everyone - research
Scientists have discovered how individual the metabolic response of different people to the same foods is. They hope that in the future it will be possible to develop a separate diet for each person.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
People's reactions to the same food can be very different. The authors of the new study, which is published in Nature Medicine, are confident that there is no one-size-fits-all diet, but ways to individualize the diet must be sought.
The new study involved 1102 healthy volunteers. For two weeks, they received the same food, and scientists observed changes in their metabolism. Participants' sleep, hunger, and physical activity were also assessed and samples of their gut microbiome were taken.
The main indicators monitored by the study authors were blood glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels. High values for all three substances may indicate the risk of obesity, triglycerides are a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and glucose and insulin are markers of diabetes risk. The level of these substances in healthy people after an identical meal in extreme cases could differ by 10 times.
Significant differences were found even in pairs of identical twins who participated in the study. The weak influence of genetic predisposition on how people react to food came as a surprise to scientists. They concluded that looking for a “diet that fits the genes” is a misconception.
In the identical twins in this study, the gut microbiome matched only one third. Scientists speculate that the role of gut bacteria in the human body's response to food will be better defined in the future. They also expect interventions at the gut microbiome level to help fight excess weight and promote health.
Meal time also played an individual role for each participant. The same food for breakfast and lunch caused different reactions in some people, but in others, such a difference was not found.
The scientists emphasized that, despite this diversity, individual participants' daily reactions to food were usually comparable, becoming predictable. They point out that this feature in the future may make it possible to predict how a particular person will react to different products.
If the bodies of the study participants "did not like" the foods, the levels of markers of inflammation in their blood increased, the scientists found. Researchers called this phenomenon "dietary inflammation."
“Our findings suggest that it may be possible to improve weight control and health through more personalized nutrition designed to avoid unhealthy inflammatory responses to food,” Professor Tim Spector, a genetic epidemiologist at Imperial College, wrote in The Conversation. London, co-author of the study.