1. UK’s Chief Medical Officer talks up personalized DNA-based dietary rules
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Britain’s Chief Medical Officer, has said that technologies combining nutritional guidelines, genetic information and behavioral science can ‘nudge’ individuals to achieve personal behavior changes.
Writing in her annual report, Prof Davies cited personalized DNA-based dietary guidelines as an example of predictive analytics that “enable individuals to absorb the knowledge, be empowered and use it”.
She added: “With the availability of more diverse data, such as the data that is now becoming available in UK Biobank, wearables, social media and a plethora of apps that track exercise, nutrition and vital signs, machine leaning can unravel a variety of determinants of health; not only clinical factors but also social, environmental, nutritional and behavioral factors.”
“This provides the potential to identify and to personalize the determinants of health (risk factors) that go beyond well-known clinical markers.”
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2. Indian regulator amends standards for children's supplements
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a gazette notification of its amendments to the standards for children's supplements.
The new amendments are referred to as the Eleventh Amendment Regulations, 2018. Under the regulation for cereals and cereal products, the category for malted and malt-based foods has a new sub-regulation on formulated supplements for children between two and three years old.
In the notification, the FSSAI states: “Formulated supplements for children shall be of appropriate nutritional quality to provide additional energy and nutrients to complement the family foods derived from local produce by providing those nutrients that are either lacking, or are present in insufficient quantities. These foods may be presented in any other age-suitable food format.”
For legumes and pulses containing a minimum of 20% protein on a dry basis, FSSAI recommends fortification with L-methionine, an essential amino acid.
As with cereals, the FSSAI recommends processing methods that will reduce ‘anti-nutritional factors’ like phyates, lectins, as well as trypsin and chemo-trypsin inhibitors.
Read the full coverage on our Asian edition.
3. Could detox diets damage livers?
Our last news to note this week comes from our European edition. Craig Lane, health and wellness adviser for Latus Health, expressed concerns around the potential liver harm of detox diets .
Lane said that companies jumping on the detox diet bandwagon are selling products that have no scientific evidence and the majority of these extreme diets could be doing the exact opposite of what is hoped. He added that the liver is the body’s natural filtration system, converting toxins into waste products, cleansing your blood, and metabolizing nutrients and medications to provide the body with some of its most important proteins.
But many cleansing diets involve people attempting to cut meat and dairy – a key nutrient for the liver’s function.
“In scientific terms, the liver is key to metabolic detoxification,” said Lane. “It works through a series of enzymes, via pathways referred to as phase I and phase II detoxification. This system is reliant on adequate nutrients, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and protein.
"These pathways in the liver transform chemicals, hormones, and toxins into water-soluble metabolites that can then be excreted by the intestines, kidneys, and skin. Many cleansing diets are deficient in protein, which inhibits the body’s ability to get rid of toxins via phase II conjugation.
“Basically, you cannot effectively conjugate toxins without amino acids that bind the toxins that are transformed in the liver in phase I.
"And if phase II is impaired, free radicals will build up and cause damage. Simply, amino acids help drag toxins out of the body and prevent toxins building up.”