The same diet may not be beneficial for all people, since the gut and genes of each individual often make a difference. Now, a mega-research by the US National Institutes of Health promises to anticipate which diet is right for each individual.
The science of nutrition could be truly transformed by a new study being carried out by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is the largest investigation ever to look at what they called “precision nutrition“.
The NIH will examine how 10,000 Americans process food by collecting multiple data, ranging from their blood glucose levels and recording their physical activity and the foods they eat, to microbes in their gut, reports Science Magazine.
In addition to recording data from 10,000 people, the NIH will investigate in a subgroup of up to 1,500 people how they react to three different diets, both at home and in the clinic. In turn, between 500 and 1,000 volunteers will live in a clinical center for two to three week stretches while eating three highly controlled diets.
In addition to recording data from 10,000 people, NIH will investigate in a subgroup of up to 1,500 people how they react to three different diets, both at home and at the clinic. In turn, between 500 and 1,000 volunteers will live in a clinic for 3 two-week stretches while eating three highly controlled diets.
AI developers will use the data collected to create models that predict the best diet for different genes and intestines. With the findings, experts say new nutritional tools and methods will be generated; finally, a diet that adapts to each person.
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The mega-research “is part of a broader push at NIH to advance nutrition science, a field that is sometimes considered ‘confusing’ because ‘we are free choice eaters’ and our diets are difficult to control,” says Paul Coates, vice president of the American Society for Nutrition, who led the NIH’s Office of dietary supplements until it retired in 2018.
For the study, which will take five years, the NIH is expected to spend $ 156 million.
The study is part of the NIH’s Nutrition for Precise Health project.
“We realized it would be a really great fit” to take benefit of the data and infrastructure of the program, Holly Nicastro, coordinator of the study, told Science.