loading page

Science AMA Series: We are David Zeevi and Tal Korem, graduate students at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and authors of a recent study which showed that people respond differently to the same food
  • Zeevi_and_Korem ,
  • r/Science AMAs

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
r/Science AMAs
Author Profile


Hi Reddit! We’re David Zeevi and Tal Korem, graduate students working on personalizing nutritional recommendations by prediction of postprandial glycemic responses. AUA! Obesity and diabetes are practically pandemics; but the dietary recommendations aimed to deal with these conditions are pretty much uniform across all people. Does this make sense? Are people that similar? In our research, we chose to focus on one quantification of the human response to food - the postprandial glycemic response (PPGR) When we digest our food, carbohydrates are broken down to simple sugars, and these are absorbed into the bloodstream, causing an increase in blood glucose levels, which later return to normal, usually with the help of insulin. That same PPGR is linked to obesity, diabetes risk and management (people with the disease try to lower their PPGRs), cardiovascular disease, and many other ailments. But it has an amazing added value - it allows us to immediately measure a response to every food eaten. So instead of prescribing a diet and waiting for months to see how it worked, we can test individual meals and analyze a person’s response to them immediately. In our study (video abstract), we profiled 800 people, and found out that they respond very differently to identical meals, which raises the question of effectivity in non-personalized dietary recommendations. We then showed that many personal factors associated with this difference in response: anthropometric measurements (height, weight, etc.); blood test results; and also the composition and function of the microbiome. What we did next was to integrate all of these personal factors and more, as well as what the person actually ate, in terms of fat, protein, etc., into a prediction algorithm that could accurately predict PPGRs to unseen meals. And then finally, we performed a diet intervention study, in which we prescribed subjects with personally tailored diets created with our predictor, and demonstrated that they can reduce PPGRs in a clinical setting. About us - we’re both graduate students at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. We’re interested in the link between nutrition, microbiome, and glycemic control. Aside from this project, we are also developing methods for microbiome analysis. We’ll be back on November 23rd, at 1PM ET (10 am PT, 6 pm UTC) to answer your questions! EDIT: Thanks so much to everyone who participated and asked questions. We had a great time going over your clever insights and doing our best to answer them! We did our best to answer as many as we could. Special thanks to Surf_Science for the initial invitation and for moderating this session. We look forward to bringing you new and exciting research in the future!