We’re looking up close at the future of health, and it’s personal
What is the best nutrition for you - not someone of your age or physique, but you?
The answer lies in personalized nutrition. Science has shown that the ‘one size fits all’ solution is no longer valid. We now know that different people respond differently to food and nutrients. Personalized nutrition is built on understanding the “quantified self,” from data derived from blood biomarkers (indicators visible from blood tests), DNA and microbiome (micro-organisms present in your body). Through evidence-based monitoring and measuring, researchers and supplement companies alike are establishing tailor-made nutrition, dietary and supplement plans to help people live healthier and longer lives.
In a paper published by Celis-Morales et.al1, a six-month intervention showed that advice on personalized nutrition delivered to a sample of 1,269 adults resulted in larger and more appropriate changes in dietary behavior versus a conventional approach.
Interest in personalized nutrition is quickly gaining momentum in Asia as consumers become aware of the benefits of the role of data-driven recommendations in supporting a healthy lifestyle. To further develop the science in this area, BASF and China’s leading nutritional supplement company, By-Health, have founded the Alliance of Precision Nutrition with independent research organization, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and the Shanghai Academy of Science.
The Alliance is a collaboration platform dedicated to the research and development of personalized nutrition products and services. By bringing together expertise in data tracking and collection, precision nutrition, and detection technology, the network can make progress and bring solutions to market more quickly.
BASF offers a broad portfolio of essential health nutrients for disease prevention. We are also increasing our focus on personalized nutrition solutions. Knowing that science has always been the key to healthier, BASF believes that our biggest investment in the nutrition of tomorrow is the research we do today. This commitment will ensure that we are constantly innovating with our customers to improve the health of consumers.
Personalized solutions based on specific health needs through diagnostic tools and devices are also gaining traction. A diagnostic tool that can be easily self-administered is an omega-3 index test kit which allows you to find out your total concentration of omega-3 in red blood cells, expressed as a percentage of total fatty acid content.
Research has shown that a low omega-3 index level is associated with increased risk in cardiovascular problems, while a high omega-3 index -- more than 8% -- is associated with protection from coronary heart disease. However, the omega-3 index in many parts of the world, including Asia Pacific, remains low: less than 6%.
Thus the ability to accurately test your omega-3 index can help consumers understand their current risk profile, select the right supplements and track progress. It is both an important innovation and an excellent example of the benefits of personalised nutrition.
“Personalized nutrition is at the cusp of transitioning from niche to mainstream, especially in Asia. BASF has consistently demonstrated leadership and dedication in this fast-emerging topic as we see it as a vehicle in driving relevant, longitudinal and holistic health benefits for consumers through evidence-based recommendations,” said Francois Scheffler, Senior Vice President of Human Nutrition at BASF. “As we continue to innovate in this space, we are bringing to life our vision of providing the right nutrients to the right people at the right time.”