Personalized nutrition start-up DayTwo looks at stool samples to create bespoke diets based on users’ gut microbiomes

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

The question that sparked the research behind DayTwo was why some people gain weight or experience a blood sugar spike more easily than others despite eating the same diet. To find out, researchers looked at stool samples.

“It sounds gross, but for now that’s the only way we can look at your gut microbiome,” DayTwo​’s CEO and co-founder Lihi Segal told audience at the FoodVision conference in Chicago​. Simply put, the application and platform assigns food recommendations to users based on an analysis of their gut microbiome.

Last year, DayTwo exclusively licensed the technology developed by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, based on a five-year research project that was published in the journal Cell​. “What we’ve been doing since then is building a product, an application that will be a consumer-based product,”​ Segal told NutraIngredients-USA.

How the gut microbiome and blood sugar index relate

The original study that sparked DayTwo’s conception looked at week-long glucose levels of 800 study participants, measuring responses to 46,898 meals, and pinpointed a high variability in the response to identical meals.

Researchers then designed a machine-learning algorithm that integrates blood parameters, dietary habits, anthropometrics, physical activity, and gut microbiota gathered from stool samples. According to the researchers, the algorithm “accurately predicts personalized postprandial glycemic response to real-life meals.”

A blinded randomized controlled dietary intervention based on the algorithm significantly lowered postprandial responses and consistent alterations to gut microbiota configuration—and this is the model that DayTwo uses in its consumer-facing app.

Launched in Israel, engines ready for the US

Well-rehearsed after month of media appearances in Israel, Segal said that the app is up-and-running in the company’s home country. This means that Israeli customers can sign-up, fill out the online questionnaire (which illustrates the user’s dietary habits and physical activity), and wait for their kit to arrive in the mail to collect and send back a stool sample.

Once the sample is analyzed in a lab, the user will start receiving dietary recommendations on a mobile app.

“We also launched it on a pre-order basis in the US,” ​Segal said. The company is planning to launch in additional territories throughout 2017.

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Posted by Seth Kaplan,

Nutritional supplements, like dietary intake, affect people on an individual basis, too. Will your stool sample methodology and algorithms take this into account and offer recommendations? I ask because stool sample analysis by itself depends a lot on the lab used; even then, it is still only 50% accurate at best.

Don't get me wrong. I think the work you are doing will change the lives of many people who have access to dietary choices based on glycemic index and glycemic load. Positive changes of the sort you hope for will have far-reaching implications for physician training, health insurance and services, food production industries, and many other areas.

Let me know your thoughts.

Seth Kaplan

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Posted by Lihi Segal,

We do not use the notion of dysbiosis. We examine the entire microbiome composition and use numerous features including abundances of different bacteria, and abundance of different genes and metabolic pathways to generate our predictions.

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"good microbiota"

Posted by Francoise,

Do you use the notion of dysbiosis of the gut microbiota and if yes what are the criteria that you use ?

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