What are biomarkers?
Biomarkers are biological parameters that can be measured and used to determine something about our health. There are many kinds of Biomarkers from the number of steps on our Fitbit to a brain biopsy result.
What is a Nutritional biomarker?
A nutritional Biomarker is any parameter that reflects a biological consequence of dietary intake or dietary patterns and should indicate the nutritional status for intake or metabolism of dietary constituents [Molecular Basis of Nutrition and Aging, 2016]
What are blood biomarkers?
These are biological parameters that represent the chemistry of our body. The FDA lists almost 3000 different blood Biomarkers. Fortunately, by measuring a well-curated list of 30-60 Biomarkers from our blood we can get a comprehensive picture of the nutritional and physiological state of our bodies.
What can we learn from tracking Biomarkers in our blood?
We can learn about the levels of vitamins, iron and important minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Monitoring the levels of triglycerides (a kind of fat) and glycosylated hemoglobin are very important for early diagnosis and prevention of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The levels of different hormones can be monitored along with markers for inflammation.
How can we use Biomarkers to eat better?
When we go on a new diet, we change our metabolism. This can have tremendous an effect on our health. This holds especially in cases where there are underlying conditions. Food intolerances, hormonal imbalances and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases all have a complicated relationship with our diets. We can use blood testing to detect many of those conditions so that optimal diets could be prescribed.
Biomarkers can also reveal useful information about the kinds of diets most beneficial for a particular person. For example, persons with low levels of iron will get much hungrier during a restrictive diet. Supplementing iron through iron-rich foods or supplements can help these people to adhere to their diets and achieve successful results.
The combination of a Biomarker-based diet and periodical repeated blood testing can prove to be extremely efficient for personalizing our diets. In the near future, repeat blood test results data can be used to optimize the personalized meal plans of every one of us.