Finding the Right Diet – More than a “Gut” Feeling

There are over 100 trillion microbes in our gut. These bacteria differ wildly from person to person and play a role in how each of us uniquely respond to food.

For example, one person with diabetes might eat 1/2 cup of rice and their post meal glucose may be right on target. Yet their neighbor could eat the same 1/2 cup and experience a glucose surge.

More science is emerging to explain these differences and how adjustments in food intake can be made that actually compliment the individual’s unique microbiome. The goal is to match the food to the host’s microbes to improve glucose levels and overall health.

A study conducted by Mayo Clinic set out to determine a better way to predict changes in blood sugar than measuring carbs or calories.

To do this, the researchers followed 327 people for six days. Mayo Clinic first collected a stool sample from the participants so that they could figure out the makeup of their microbiome in their gut. Then, they recorded what they ate, how much they exercised, and how long they slept for. The participants also wore a blood-glucose monitor to track their glycemic levels. Using these results they were able to come up with a model to accurately predict changes in blood sugar.

The model was a success, correctly predicting the blood sugar changes 62 percent of the time compared to the carb-based predictions which only yielded 36 percent accuracy.

The Mayo Clinic study determined that this novel method of predicting changes in blood sugar will help to individualize meal plans based on their unique microbial make-up.

The work supports the findings of a similar study from 2015  conducted by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Currently, there is an app available to customize food intake based on the individuals’ microbiome.


To read more about Mayo Clinic’s study click here!


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