Interdisciplinary research, products and services innovation to drive the future of personalised nutrition – China industry association

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

A scientist pipetting a sample for genetic testing with a background of a DNA sequence. ©Getty Images
A scientist pipetting a sample for genetic testing with a background of a DNA sequence. ©Getty Images

Related tags personalised nutrition China Nutrition and Health Food Association metabolomics AI

Interdisciplinary scientific research, as well as innovative products and services, is set to drive the future of personalised nutrition, according to a set of expert guidelines published by China Nutrition and Health Food Association (CNHFA).

The guidelines consisted of explanation on the history, basic understanding, unique features, and principles of the sector. 

These guidelines were introduced to help the domestic health supplement industry better understand the sector, drive research and uptake of personalised nutrition in the country, said the association.

“Personalised nutrition is a new concept that has surfaced in recent years. It has huge potential in improving human health and is a hot topic and area for development among the nutrition and health supplement industry.

“As personalised nutrition has continually achieved new breakthrough, to promote the understanding of this sector, accelerate personalised nutrition research application, and promote the development of personalised nutrition in our country, CNHFA has set up an expert group and drafted the ‘Personalised Nutrition Development Expert Guidelines’ for the health supplement industry.”

One of the key points highlighted, is how innovation in the research, methodology, and techniques across a range of subjects, such as medicine, nutrition, genetics, physiology, biology, bioinformatics, social ecology, and data science, would promote the materialisation of personalised nutrition.

“Currently, it is technically possible to introduce nutrition supplementation based on physiological and biochemical markers of biological samples and genomics decision-making.

“Big data and complex algorithms have been applied, while untargeted metabolomics, Al algorithm, cloud computing, and other cutting-edge technologies will be used in the future,”​ the experts said in the guidelines. 

In addition, they pointed out that achievability is the engine driving the development of personalised nutrition.

At present, diagnostic tools to measure a person’s nutritional status, dietary intake, lifestyle and personal health goals are just starting to see a greater uptake.

The sector behind customised health supplements designed to fulfill nutritional needs, taste preference, and lifestyle needs is also becoming more mature.

The experts believe that in the days to come, innovation in products and services, alongside higher health literacy, would propel the sector forward.

When dietary and supplement regime is designed based information unique to individuals, it is more likely that they will actively adhere to the regime customised for them, said the experts.

“Taking into consideration their ages, genders, occupations, physiological condition, health status, living conditions, personalised nutrition can provide the relevant interventions suitable to them,” ​said the experts.  

On the other hand, they pointed out four principles for the development of the personalised nutrition sector.

They are 1) the need to adhere to science and evidence, 2) efficient integration between different scientific disciplines, datasets in order to ensure that the data referenced is relevant and reliable, 3) education and promotion among health practitioners and consumers, and 4) standardisation to protect personal data, uphold food safety and regulate health benefit claims.

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