A new study published this week in the journal Cell called found out that blood glucose level responses between individuals to same foods can differ extensively. Researchers of the study created an algorithm that could predict glucose responses in different people from different food.  

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) high blood glucose, which is known as hyperglycemia, is related to several health problems such as Type II diabetes, liver disease, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Some nutritionists seem to suggest diets that focus on glycemic index on foods as a principal factor.

The glycemic index (GI) measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. Foods are ranked based on how they compare to a reference food. A food with a high GI raises blood glucose more than a food with a medium or low GI, as the ADA states.

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The research tried to demonstrate how people might be eating foods that increase their blood sugar more than expected and at the same time they might be skipping foods that would not affect them in a significant negative way.

The study lead by Eran Segal from Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot Israel studied 800 participants who wore glucose monitors for seven days, they also registered they meals, sleep and exercise in real time with a smartphone app. Monitors measured blood glucose levels every five minutes.

Results would appear to show that even when participants consumed almost the same meals they all had a high level of variability in their glucose responses. The first meal of every day was standardized by scientists so they could measure glucose levels from different people while eating the same food at the same time.

An interesting thing about the research is that scientists developed a new algorithm with all the data they have obtained. The formula would predict blood glucose responses to different foods based on people’s individual factors such as exercise, sleep,  and the presence of specific bacteria and microbiome features in their stomachs.

“As scientists we are motivated by curiosity. Given the lack of evidence of a lot of nutritional advice, we wanted to do a scientific, unbiased approach to nutrition. We’re licensing the technology to a company which is working to develop it further to bring it to the masses. If it’s done in the proper fashion it has the potential to really improve people’s health.” Segal said.

The obtained results are just part of the beginning of an era where people will have strictly personalized diets according to multiple factors that work different to everybody. Researchers of the study used the algorithm to assign people better diets according to their physiological features and they obtained lower blood glucose responses.

Segal told Scientific American Blog the vision for this technology was to refine the model, and in the end, to bring it very broadly to the general public as it could be accessible to individuals and could also be used by insurance companies and government health services.

“This study shows that there cannot be one solution that can work for all. Many of the diets out there have no or very little science backing them up . . . It’s very easy to pick any diet and cherry pick people that it works for and hold them up as examples of its success,” he said.

Source: Cell Journal