Vegetables are not always healthy, and proteins do not cause everyone’s muscles to grow. In order to find out what will help a person’s body, it is necessary to first perform an individual metabolic analysis. From genetic tests to breathing air analysis, various exhibitors at FIBO demonstrate how to find out what an individual’s body can process. This allows nutrition and training to be precisely tailored to requirements. Tools that promise greater success for athletes can offer physiotherapists, studio owners, nutrition consultants and personal trainers a decisive edge over the competition.
A slim and fit physique continues to be a goal shared by many people, yet it is something that fewer and fewer people are able to achieve. “According to the German Federal Statistics Office, 67 percent of men and 53 percent of women in Germany are overweight. This situation has become the norm,” said Dr. Hossein Askari, who gave a presentation at FIBO CAMPUS on the topic of ‘Molecular genetics and individual nutrition planning: reality or a project for the future?’. Dr. Askari, a biologist who is Managing Director of CoGAP GmbH, uses knowledge and science to combat excess weight. “Genetics are a decisive factor when an individual becomes overweight.”
He says that human DNA is a bit like a vehicle registration document, which contains the most important data: the car’s horsepower, the fuel it runs on and what it consumes. It is possible to obtain similar information from a person’s ‘design manual’ as well. “By conducting a test, we can find out how a person’s metabolism reacts, whether they are an endurance athlete or a sprinter, and just how high of a risk they have of suffering a yo-yo effect. Based on this data, we can draw up an individual nutrition and training plan,” says Hossein Askari. He is convinced that this method can help someone not only reach their ideal weight, but also to maintain that weight over the long term. “We followed our test subjects for two years, and 91 percent managed to do just that.”
Which is better – pasta or steak?
A similar approach was also taken by Novogenia. The company decodes a person’s individual internal values in its own laboratory, allowing them to glean precise knowledge of their client’s daily nutritional requirements, as well as any possible intolerances and their individual metabolism. As Stefanie Eichinger put it at this year’s FIBO: “If someone is taking Q10, for example, it is essential that they have a functional gene for converting this coenzyme in the body. Otherwise, it will have no effect whatsoever.” The marketing manager is certain that the future belongs to processes such as these. “There is a clear trend towards greater investment in health and well-being. Anyone who wants to help their body over the long term should really know their genes.”
The company says it has already subjected approx. 900 different foods to genetic analysis, and it compiles nutrition plans for each individual client on the basis of their personal test results, which reveal, for example, whether someone is able to digest broccoli, or if they would perhaps be better off with pasta and tomato sauce or a juicy steak. The company offers micronutrient mixtures as nutritional supplements to fit each client’s individual profile. These mixtures are meant to foster their strengths and balance out their weaknesses. Stefanie Eichinger is certain: “By using our analyses and recommendations as a foundation, it is possible for anyone to change their lifestyle in order to prevent illness, become healthier and improve their performance.” In future, physiotherapists, studio owners, nutritional consultants and personal trainers should be able to convince their clients of the benefits of genetic testing. The marketing manager believes that “this programme could offer a competitive advantage in future,” and she believes that the scepticism of many clients can be overcome by providing them with more information. “We communicate our process very transparently, and we frequently witness an ‘aha’ effect.”
What the body is able to process
The FIBO exhibitor Kiweno specialises in the analysis of food intolerances. Managing Director Robert Fuschelberger: “Our approach begins one step before nutritional supplements, as we search to see what a person’s body is actually able to process.” He recommends that power athletes in particular get tested before resorting to protein shakes, because it is only by doing so that they can be certain that their body is able to absorb the protein components. “The trend towards convenience products and increased use of preservatives in individual products has contributed to the spread of intolerances in recent decades.” The analysis makes it clear if an individual’s nutrient intake is meeting their body’s needs. As Robert Fuschelberger explains: “If someone is fructose-intolerant, fruit and vegetables are not really a good idea.” In a case such as this, the ‘healthy’ choice might even lead to reduced performance. The way in which the blood is taken is similar to that for a diabetes test, and it can be done easily at home. “The blood sample is then sent to our laboratory, and we supply all the key results.”
Breathing air analysis reveals the metabolic rate
Dynostics focuses on a fast and simple method for conducting individual metabolic analysis. The company has developed a mask that is able to filter out the required data from breathing air. “We measure the gasses for at least five minutes while a person is resting, and this allows us to determine a person’s ideal metabolic rate.” The app makes it possible to calculate the nutrients someone needs on a daily basis, as well as the amounts thereof,” reports Stefan Bartenschlager. He believes that these values are the key to individual nutrition aimed at improving performance or targeted weight loss. “Before now, we generally had to rely on rules of thumb. Now, we are able to say precisely how much protein, fat and carbohydrates each person really needs.” For a person who is able to do a good job of burning carbohydrates, a low-carb diet is a bad choice. Such a strategy would miss the point entirely, and have no effect. “This is a field that is becoming more prominent. We started off with performance analyses, but for roughly a year now, demand in the field of nutrition has been rising sharply.” Because being slim and fit will continue to be desirable in future.