Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent 4th Annual Thought Leaders Consortium hosted by the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute, Dr Price told us that there is buy-in for “scientific wellness” from the nutrition community.
“I think it’s a small part of the nutrition community but a growing one,” Dr Price told us. “I think the food industry understands that there have been issues with a lot of processed food, it drives a lot of bad health, and so there’s a desire among a number of them to think about how to do nutrition in better ways.
“We’re seeing now that there’s an emerging movement where you can couple the wearable devices, omics measurements, blood measurements, different types of information to drive changes in particular individuals.
“There are companies that are arising that are focused on tailoring food to those types of measurements.”
The most recent example of these is Habit, a personalized nutrition and meal delivery company led by Plum Organics founder Neil Grimmer, which recently received a $32 million investment from Campbell Soup. San Francisco-based Habit develops nutritional recommendations based on an individual’s biology, metabolism and personal goals and then delivers customized meals to users’ doorsteps.
While dietary supplements could play a role, more science needs to be done, said Dr Price. “If you take a supplement did it change the level in your blood and did it affect downstream pathways, downstream aspects of health, which is what you really want to see?”
100K Wellness Project
Dr Price, along with Dr Lee Hood, is running the 100K Wellness Project, which is focused on understanding wellness, an area they refer to as “scientific wellness”. The project started with 100 pioneers (The Pioneer 100 Project – see image below).
“The idea there was to get enough data so that we could do dense dynamic personal data clouds around every individual so that we could build a database that would have sufficient density that we have enough kinds of measurements, dynamic in the sense that we can follow people over time, and that it’s personalized to the individual,” he explained. “So by doing that we wanted to get enough information so that we could back and look for early warning signs of disease.
“So out of that there are two different elements that we think about: There’s this optimization of wellness; and to think about ways to understand the early warning signs for disease.”
ISB is scaling this up in several ways, including its recent affiliation with Providence Health, as well as the spin-out company from ISB.
Dr Price is Professor & Associate Director of the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle, WA. He is also Affiliate Faculty in the Departments of Bioengineering, Computer Science & Engineering, and Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Washington. He is Co-Founder and on the Board of Directors of Arivale, Inc. which was recently named as Geekwire‘s 2016 “Startup of the Year.”