Key Message: There is “no one size fits all” dietary advice.

Action PointDiets should be tailored to individuals based on a number of factors and further study is needed to determine if gut bacteria is one of them.

According to a new study, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all dietary advice. Everyone metabolises meals differently so based on this, Israeli scientists believe that diets should be tailored to an individuals microbiome or combination of gut bacteria.

The three phase study shows that different people can have a very different blood sugar response to food. It appears that the individual’s gut bacteria was a key factor influencing whether a food delivers a long, slow rise in blood sugar or a short, sharp spike. 1

Over one week, hundreds of healthy and pre-diabetes volunteers had their blood sugar levels monitored and also recorded their every meal and daily activity which revealed dramatic differences in each person’s blood sugar response to different foods.

An algorithm was developed to predict an individual’s glycemic response to a food based on factors such as their microbiome, daily activity, blood parameters and food content.

They then tested the algorithm against customised advice of experienced dieticians for a group of people with pre-diabetes and found that the algorithm created a better diet that would improve people’s blood sugar profile that are considered at risk.

Interestingly, some of the food ingredients included in these people’s good diets were also included in other people’s bad diets.

Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, director of the Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service, commented on the study stating that such information was already well known as “the response was influenced by factors such as exercise, sleep and stress.”

She also stated that the variation of glycemic index would average out over time and pointed out that the study was too short to draw any conclusions.

Dr Elan Elinav, from Immunology Department at Weizmann Institute of Science said further study is needed to “determine if the algorithm-tailored diet held up against gold standard diabetes diets over longer periods of time”. Watch this space.



  1. Nogrady, B (2015) “Diets should be personally tailored to your gut microbiome, study says” ABC Science News. Accessed online on 26 November 2015 at’s-gut-microbiome-study/6956436

Sarah Giacomo Written by: Sandra Di Giacomo