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Metabotyping for the development of tailored dietary advice solutions in a European population: the Food4Me study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carlos Celis Morales, Professor John Mathers



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Traditionally, personalised nutrition was delivered at an individual level. However, the concept of delivering tailored dietary advice at a group level through the identification of metabotypes or groups of metabolically similar individuals has emerged. Although this approach to personalised nutrition looks promising, further work is needed to examine this concept across a wider population group. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to: (1) identify metabotypes in a European population and (2) develop targeted dietary advice solutions for these metabotypes. Using data from the Food4Me study (n 1607), k-means cluster analysis revealed the presence of three metabolically distinct clusters based on twenty-seven metabolic markers including cholesterol, individual fatty acids and carotenoids. Cluster 2 was identified as a metabolically healthy metabotype as these individuals had the highest Omega-3 Index (6·56 (sd 1·29) %), carotenoids (2·15 (sd 0·71) µm) and lowest total saturated fat levels. On the basis of its fatty acid profile, cluster 1 was characterised as a metabolically unhealthy cluster. Targeted dietary advice solutions were developed per cluster using a decision tree approach. Testing of the approach was performed by comparison with the personalised dietary advice, delivered by nutritionists to Food4Me study participants (n 180). Excellent agreement was observed between the targeted and individualised approaches with an average match of 82 % at the level of delivery of the same dietary message. Future work should ascertain whether this proposed method could be utilised in a healthcare setting, for the rapid and efficient delivery of tailored dietary advice solutions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Donovan CB, Walsh MC, Woolhead C, Forster H, Celis-Morales C, Fallaize R, Macready AL, Marsaux CFM, Navas-Carretero S, Rodrigo San-Cristobal S, Kolossa S, Tsirigoti L, Mvrogianni C, Lambrinou CP, Moschonis G, Godlewska M, Surwillo A, Traczyk I, Drevon CA, Daniel H, Manios Y, Martinez JA, Saris WHM, Lovegrove JA, Mathers JC, Gibney MJ, Gibney ER, Brennan L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The British journal of nutrition

Year: 2017

Volume: 118

Issue: 8

Pages: 561-569

Print publication date: 28/10/2017

Online publication date: 23/10/2017

Acceptance date: 14/07/2017

Date deposited: 20/12/2017

ISSN (print): 1475-2662

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0007114517002069

PubMed id: 29056103


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