What is the best diet for humans? | Eran Segal | TEDxRuppin

Translator: Rhonda JacobsReviewer: Leonardo Silva This is me ten years ago. I weighed 40 pounds more than today, and like countless parties, I wanted to lose weight. Like countless beings, I wanted to knowwhat is the best diet for humans. Many of us actually have an opinionabout this issue. Some argued that a low fat, plant-based diet is the best. Others, that a low-carb diet, rich in proteinand swine obesity, is the best. Others have opinionson how much sugar we should gobble, or how much salt, cholesterol, saturated fatty, eggs or dairy products we should have in our diet. But the question of what the best diet is, is a technical one, so there should be no roomfor rulings or beliefs. If Diet A is really better than Diet B, then a study that comparesthe two on enough parties should show that definitively. No sentiments , no creeds, just hard data, right? What is also clear is thatif the best diet does exist, then we haven’t yet determine it because the incidenceof diet-related disease has increased dramaticallyin the past various decades.Now, you might think it’s becausepeople don’t listen to what we tell them. But in fact, that’s not true, beings actually generallydo follow dietary guidelines. But according tothe Center for Disease Control, if you live in the United Commonwealth, there’s over a 70 percentage chancethat you’re either overweight, diabetic or have non-alcoholic fatty-liver disease. And there’s overwhelming evidencethat nutrition and lifestyle are major motorists of these conditions. So why is it that after so much research, we still don’t have an answerto the seemingly simple question of what is the best diet for humen? What I’d like to propose to you todayis that the reason we don’t have an answer is because we’ve beenasking the wrong question.And it’s the wrong questionbecause it am assuming that the best diet dependsonly on the meat and not on the person eating it. But what if differences in our genetics, life, our bowel bacteria stimulate us to respond differently to meat? What if these differences explain whysome nutritions work for some people but not for others? What if our nutrition needs to bepersonally adapted to our unique make-up? This is exactly the questionwe set out to ask in our own study, which I did with my colleague Eran Elinav and several graduate studentsfrom the Weizmann Institute of Science. To take a scientific approach, we firstly probed for a metricof healthy nutrition that we should study. Most studies examine weight lossor risk of congestive heart failure after some diet. But the problem is that these are affectedby countless influences unrelated to diet, they take many weeks to change, and in the end, you geta single measure of success. And if it didn’t work, well thenit’s very hard to understand why. And so instead, we examined for a metric that would still be relevantfor weight management and diet-related disease, but one that we could also easilyand accurately measure across countless people.And this led us to focuson blood glucose levels, and more precisely, changesin blood glucose levels after a meal. We announce this a “meal glucose response.” Why is it important? Well, because highglucose heights after a banquet promote both thirst and heavines gain. After we feed, our body grasps the carbohydratesin the food into simple sugars and liberations them into the bloodstream. From there, with the help of insulin, cells throughout our bodyremove the glucose from the blood so that they can use itas a source of energy. But insulin also signals our bodyto proselytize excess carbohydrate into fat and place it, and that’s a primary wayby which we gain weight. In addition, fast flowof glucose into the blood often makes our bodyto liberation too much insulin, which could lower our glucose levelsto below baseline, offsetting us feel hungry and snack more. Meal glucose responsesare also very relevant for our health because they’ve been shownto be determining factor for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseaseand other metabolic conditions. A recent study that followed2, 000 parties for over 30 years pointed out that higher mealglucose levels after banquets predict overall higher mortality.Finally, and not least important, with recent technological advances, we can now follow a person’sglucose elevations continuously for an entire week. And since the average personeats around 50 meals a few weeks, it allows us to measure glucose responsesto 50 snacks in exactly a single week. Meal glucose responses also provides us with a mode to directly measurethe effect of every single meal, as opposed to common comings that merely evaluatethe effect of an overall diet. Now, of course, there are many factorsbeyond glucose status that influence a healthful food. But this is a very important one, and solving itcan be a major step forward. Luckily for us, we managed to convince1, 000 healthy parties of this idea, and we connected themto one of these big glucose sensors and tracked their glucose levelscontinuously for an entire week. And during that week, participantslogged all that is they chew on a portable app that we developed.And so that allowed usto measure glucose responses to 50 different banquets for each person and around 50,000 different mealsacross all 1,000 participates, originating our study the largest one that was ever doneon this problem until today. So what did we find? Well, when we lookedat medians, we discovered veers. For example, morecarbohydrates in the meal generally increase the response. This is not so surprising. Another, perhaps more surprising, vogue is that more overweight in the mealgenerally weakened the response. But – and this isthe key find of our study – for every trend we found, there is indeed countless peoplewho were very different from it. Mostly, when the same personate the same meal on different epoches, the response was very similar.But when different peopleate the same meal, the response was very different. For example, white breadinduced almost no effect on the blood sugar levels of some people, but in others, it induced vast spikes. And the same was truefor every single food we researched, including rice, pizza, sushi and even chocolate. For every food, there were some peoplewho had low-toned responses, others who had medium responses, and yet othersthat had very high responses. It wasn’t just about the menu, this report is also about the person eating it. So while averagesand veers are informative, for any given individual, they may not mean much. Now, it wasn’t just abouthow good the body was at handling sugar, every person had different foodsthat spiked his degrees. Some people even had opposite responses. For example, some peoplespiked for ice cream but not for rice.But then others spiked for riceand not for ice cream. In fact, more people spiked for ricethan for ice cream. Now, my partner is a clinical dietician, so when I demonstrated herthis data, she was outraged, because as medical practitioners, she of courserelies on general dietary recommendations, and so one of the first things that she tells her manynewly diagnosed pre-diabetics is to stop eating meat such as ice cream and instead eat morecomplex carbohydrates such as brown rice. So, as soon as she saw our data, she of course realizedthat for most of her cases not only does her dietary opinion not facilitate, but in fact, it pushes them fasterto develop the very same disease that her advice was meant to prevent.So these results of ourson such a large data set persuaded us that responsesto food are personal, and that diets that maintainnormal blood glucose levels must therefore be personallytailored to the individual. They also picture, in our view, why the present nutritional paradigm that searches for that one best dietis inherently flawed. The best diet for humen is not exist. Our responses to food are personal, so our dietary advicemust also be personal. And personalized dietary advicewas our next challenge. To undertake it, we measuredmany parameters across participates that we envisaged may explainpeople’s variability in glucose have responded to dinners. And these included basic metricsand lifestyle factors like age, weight, altitude and physical act, but also blood tests, medical backgroundand food frequency questionnaires, and too DNA sequencingof both the human genome and the gut bacteria compositionof each person. Now, of these, the gut bacteria was perhaps the most novelcomponent that we examined.For hundred of years, we knowthat bacteria live within our person. But simply with recent advancesin DNA sequencing could we begin to study them extensively. And when we did, we found that this vast collection of hundreds of different speciesthat we each host, collectively called “our microbiome, ” has a major impacton our state and ailment. And what starts the microbiomeeven more exciting is that unlike our genetics, we can also change it even by simple symbolizes, such as changing what we eat.Our bacteria help us digestsome of the food that we dine, and in turn, induce moleculesthat are taken by our own cadres and change our physiology. For example, in our own investigate, we studied artificial sweeteners, which the vast majority of usconsume on a daily basis in various food soda drinksand other commodities. And we found that consumptionof artificial sweeteners varies the composition of the gut bacteriasuch that when transferred into mice causes the miceto develop symptoms of diabetes. And so this and various other studies conducted us to ask whether the microbiomewould also be important for excusing people’sglucose variability in answer to dinners. And this is why we made this microbiomeand other clinical data that we mustered, and we utilized advancedmachine learning algorithms to automatically search for rules that prophesy personalizedglucose responses to banquets. For example, one such pattern could be that if you’re over 50, and you have a certain bacterial genus, then your responseto a banana will be high. The overall algorithmcombined tens of thousands of such rules that it automaticallydeduced from the data. This approach is actually similar to how websites like Amazonmake book recommendations, except that we utilized itto how people respond to food.And we could show that this algorithmcould then take any person, even people who are not partof our original study, and foresee the responseto arbitrary dinners with high-pitched accuracy. So as a final step, we askedwhether we can also use this algorithm to design personalized dietsthat normalize blood glucose levels. So we recruitedand profiled brand-new participants, and we invited the algorithm to predicttwo diets for each person; in one diet, which we calledthe “bad diet, ” we asked the algorithm to predict menus for which that personwould have high-pitched responses.And in the other – “good diet” – we asked it to predict foods for whichthat person would have low-pitched responses. And each person then followedeach diet for one week. Now, by design, the dietshad to be identical in calories. In fact, all breakfasts, lunches and dinners had the same calories on different daylights. And it’s also important to note that each person receiveda different personalized diet, and there were even some meat that were given to some peopleon their good nutrition but to others on their bad food. Now, to show you that these diets are not the self-evident onesyou might think of, here they are for one of our participants.Now, take a moment and seeif you can guess for yourself which one the algorithmpredicted to be the good diet and which to be the bad dietfor this particular participant. And as you look at these, was noted that each food contains nutrients that would not frequently appearin standard foods. And now for amusing, let’s play a immediate venture competition, and you all have to participate. So, raise your hands if you thinkthe diet on the right is the good one.Okay. Now raise your hand if you thinkthe diet on the left is the good one. Okay, surely we seenearly a 50/50 divide now, demo you thatit’s definitely not negligible to guess. And I can tell youthat for this participant, the algorithm predictedthe nutrition on the right, the one with the ice cream, to be the good one. And so now the only question ishow good did these nutritions labour. And what I’ll evidence you next is in our view perhaps the most striking resultthat came out of our study. So here are the ongoing glucose levels of this participantwhen following the bad diet. And you can clearly see uncommonly highglucose stages after meals indicating that this participanthas impaired glucose long-suffering and is likely pre-diabetic. But on the good diet, the one with the ice cream and the same amount of caloriesas the bad food, this same pre-diabetic participantachieved amply normal blood glucose levels without even a single spikeacross the entire week. Obviously, we were very happyto find out these results, and, in fact, we discovered same resultsfor most participants for which we designed personalized dietsusing our algorithm.Now , not only that, but the good dietalso induced several consistent changes in the gut bacteria of most participants. And it seemed thatthese changes were advantageous, because bacteria that in other studieswere associated with good outcomes tended to increase after the good diet, and bacteria associated with diseasetended to decrease. And this result is of coursevery intriguing because it therefore seems that in additionto normalizing blood glucose levels during the intervention week, the good diet also inducedbeneficial effects that may persist even beyondthe involvement week. So what’s the take-home messagefrom all of this? Well, based on the glucoseresponses variability that we watched across 1,000 parties, our inference is thatthere is no single best nutrition for humen because we are all too different. It too means that ifa certain diet hasn’t worked for you, then maybe it was the wrong nutrition for you.Your dietary failuresmay not be your omission. Your diet may have neglected simply because it did not take informationabout you as an individual into account. So what can you dowith this information now? Well, right now, you can actually measure your personal glucose responsesto your favorite dinners applying simple glucose devicesthat you can buy at your neighbourhood stimulant place. And I guarantee that you’ll be surprised at which nutrients personally spikeyour glucose tiers and which do not. As a more complete solution, we are working hard to makeour algorithms available to everyone so that you’ll be capable of being, from your home, to provide basicclinical information about yourself, send a sample of your microbiome, and in return receivepersonalized dietary advice.We are also starting longer-termdietary intervention studies in both pre-diabetics and diabeticsthat will go on for a full time. Because we argued that if the effectof normalizing blood glucose levels that we were able to obtain in one weekcould persist for a longer time period, then we might be able to reverse, and even cure, these conditions, which constitute oneof the worst scourges of our times. More universally, I believe that we are enteringa new epoch in the study of nutrition, one in which we will move away from askingwhat is the best diet for humans, and instead, focuson the more suitable was a matter of what is the best diet for me. Thank you very much.( Applause ).

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