The Herman Trend Alert
November 30, 2016
Like "personalized medicine", which tailors the remedy to what works best with a person's DNA, now here's "personalized nutrition", helping people to eat what's right for them based on their nutrition-related blood and DNA biomarkers---all designed to promote optimum health.
Food informs the health of our DNA
For years now, we have known that there is a direct relationship between the food we eat and our health; what most of us didn't realize was that the food we consumed had a direct effect on our own DNA, thereby determining what diseases might affect us, including cancer. Nutrigenomics is "the scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially regarding the prevention or treatment of disease".
The next logical step
Imagine being able to know precisely what to eat so that you could stay in optimum health---even as you age? A new California-based start-up, Habit, does just that: it creates a food profile, based on your entire biology, including your DNA. (Though Habit does not use Nutrigenomics---a fact I only learned today---its science is somewhat similar. No one from Habit got back to me to clarify.)
Habit could turn the dieting industry upside-down
Every year, people worldwide spend billions on dieting, whether purchasing supplements or whole meal plans, or even investing in bariatric surgery. Habit's recommendations are based on the individual's entire biology including their unique genetic makeup. This approach eliminates the "one size fits all approach" which is why most diets fail. Though the company launched some months ago, Habit's At-Home Nutrition Kits for testing will only be available in early 2017. You can join their waitlist at https://habit.com/.
Weight loss is only the beginning
Eating the right foods for us and the right types of nutrients, micronutrients, and phytochemicals that are best for us based on our biology will not only allow us to normalize our body weight, but it will also help to support optimum health.
The process is not simple
Determining the individual food profile involves sending blood samples to a lab as well as drinking a supplied beverage called a "metabolic challenge". Once this beverage is consumed, there is another series of blood tests---to determine how well the body responds to the fats and sugars of a typical American diet.
Coaches and home food kits
There are two additional aspects that make this whole start-up so interesting to us---nutritional coaches to help us follow our personalized recommendations and food delivery to help ensure that customers do eat the right foods for them.
Expect to see top-drawer caterers and chefs offering to create meals and more, tailored to Habit's food profiles. Or perhaps Habit will offer a top-tier version of their program for an increased fee. This vision of the future appeals not only to the desire to stay slim and fit, but also to the desire to stay healthy. We also expect to see this personalized food profile to ultimately become part of the individual's health profile.
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