DayTwo’s scientific founders, Profs. Eran Segal and Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute in Israel, recently published a study1 evaluating two options for blood sugar control. In a randomized clinical trial for early-stage type 2 diabetes, they demonstrated the superiority of DayTwo’s precision nutrition algorithm in a head-to-head comparison with the commonly recommended (and ADA-backed) Mediterranean diet. After 6 months of dietary intervention, they showed significant clinical benefits using the DayTwo algorithm, including a reduction in A1C levels to the extent of diabetes remission.
Why Diet and Blood Sugar Management Matter
Dietary changes are crucial for managing blood sugar levels with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. This is important in preventing many health complications including costly effects of vascular damage like retinopathy, kidney disease, and stroke. The authors of the study explain that,
The Mediterranean diet is typically recommended because it contains foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. This helps reduce inflammation, improve insulin resistance, and balance gut bacteria. The combination of carbohydrates with protein and healthy fat helps to control blood sugar.
However, as authors Segal and Elinav note, “In clinical practice, many patients fail to achieve clinical goals with diet alone, suggesting that alternative and personalized dietary strategies are needed to achieve glycemic control.” In other words, 1-size-fits-all diets don’t always do the trick for managing blood sugar. A personalized or precision approach is required.
So What is Precision Nutrition?
The field of precision nutrition, like precision health, attempts to understand the health effects of the complex interplay of the unique gut microbiome, metabolism, physical activity, behavioral characteristics, and even cultural norms.
As the name implies, precision nutrition or personalized nutrition, focuses on the needs of the individual rather than recommendations for a large group. This is not to say that population-based general nutrition recommendations are not useful. The idea of eating more vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and fewer processed foods definitely has a beneficial effect on the population. This is especially important for the diabetes community. However, strict (often no carb) diets are often hard to implement, and long-term adherence to restrictive guidelines isn’t always easy.
Precision nutrition, on the other hand, allows people with diabetes to move away from the idea that strict diets are their only option. It empowers them with knowledge about how their own unique microbiome responds to food, so they can adapt their diet in small ways that are more sustainable.
Ok, But What Exactly Is The Microbiome?
The gut microbiome is a collection of trillions of microbes including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes, that naturally live on our bodies and inside us. They play a key function in our internal workings, including breaking down certain foods and creating specific hormones and amino acids. The quantity and types present in our digestive tract are not the same for everyone.
We each have a unique gut microbiome footprint. Some foods that cause one person’s blood sugar to spike do not necessarily have the same effect on everyone. That’s why a 1-size-fits-all approach to dieting doesn’t always work.
In a previous study, the authors explained, “We devised a machine-learning algorithm that integrates blood parameters, dietary habits, anthropometrics, physical activity, and gut microbiota measured in this cohort and showed that it accurately predicts personalized postprandial glycemic response [blood sugar changes after eating] to real-life meals.”
Instead of another 1-size-fits-all diet, the personalization based on an individual’s unique microbiome enables DayTwo’s AI algorithm to provide customized food recommendations. Small tweaks like adding healthy fats or proteins to stabilize blood sugar can lead to dramatic results like lowering AIC levels, losing weight, and more.
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- “Effects of personalized diets by prediction of glycemic responses on glycemic control and metabolic health in newly diagnosed T2DM: a randomized dietary intervention pilot trial.” https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-022-02254-y