Metabotyping: Nutrition does not work equally for everyone

Should diets be tailored?

Current research shows time and time again that healthier eating patterns are linked to better health outcomes. There are numerous recommendations on what a healthy diet should look like. However, a recent study shows that a general statement about this may not be possible at all, because due to different metabolisms, nutrition seems to affect everyone differently.

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the University of Barcelona in Spain showed that many people could benefit from personalized nutrition. The team wants to develop a meta-typing that can be used to determine the most suitable diet for each person. The research results were recently published in the specialist journal "Advances in Nutrition".

Effective weight loss through personalized nutrition

American dietary guidelines already recommend personalized nutritional interventions for obesity to achieve greater weight loss than through standardized dietary patterns. In addition, research showed that people are more likely to implement and follow health-promoting nutritional interventions when they are personalized.

Breakdown of metabolism into types

However, getting the optimal diet for each individual person presented the researchers with a difficult and costly problem to implement. Therefore, the research team wants to develop a method that can be used to determine a person's metabolic type. This metabotype provides information about which dietary patterns are best suited.

Metabolism shows the best nutritional strategy

The researchers emphasize that this metabotyping could be a promising nutritional strategy. The basic idea is to determine groups of metabolic phenotypes and to develop a preferred nutritional pattern for these groups. A person's metabotype can be determined using current nutritional patterns, anthropometric measurements, metabolomics data and samples of the gut microbiota.

Personalized nutrition not just for losing weight

According to the researchers, a personalized diet is not only suitable for losing weight, but can also prevent numerous diseases such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.

Research is still in its infancy

Despite promising first results, several hurdles still have to be overcome. A key challenge was to determine which basic parameters should be used to create metabotypes. A variety of factors come into question and there is a lack of usable data. Another challenge is that research in this area is not funded enough, although the success of such concepts can be demonstrated.

The study team concludes that more work and research is needed to align diets and diets with metabolism. Clinically, it must also be checked whether diets tailored to metabotypes can lead to clinically meaningful health improvements. Finding easily measurable biomarkers that give conclusions about the metabotypes is currently the top priority in this research area so that personalized nutrition can take place on a larger scale. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • American Society for Nutrition: Should Your Diet Be Tailored to Your Metabotype? (Published: 1/22/2020),
  • Marie Palmnäs, Carl Brunius, Lin Shi, et al .: Perspective: Metabotyping — A Potential Personalized Nutrition Strategy for Precision Prevention of Cardiometabolic Disease; in: Advances in Nutrition, 2019,

Video: How to Permanently Change your Metabolic SetPoint for Lasting Weight Loss with Jonathan Bailor (October 2021).