Relatively few people know that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to human performance, limiting overweight and cardiometabolic diseases. This project will establish (cause-effect) relationships between blood-glucose homeostasis, the underlying physiology and effects on mental and physical performance and well-being. It is increasingly recognised that maintaining well-controlled blood glucose concentrations is essential for remaining healthy and preventing chronic metabolic diseases. Additionally, there is evidence that well-controlled blood glucose concentrations (by boosting physical and mental energy) may be an important determinant of well-being, mental and physical performance. The link between blood glucose and the latter factors has hardly been studied. Moreover, it is not known to what extent these relationships differ in healthy subjects and subjects with an impaired glucose metabolism, and what the impact is of a disturbed circadian rhythm. When people feel better, fitter and/or otherwise motivated to follow a dietary advice, for instance by personalized feedback on physiological measures of glucose control or other indicators of health status, the implementation of a healthy lifestyle is expected to be more successful.
Furthermore, despite being compliant to lifestyle advices, the metabolic flexibility to respond to lifestyle intervention may vary between individuals. Recent evidence indicates that insulin resistance and metabolic inflexibility may develop separately in different organs, representing different etiologies towards cardio-metabolic diseases. Interestingly, these tissue-specific sub-phenotypes may have a differential response to diet. In a recent ground-breaking study, it was shown that, despite high inter-individual variability in glycemic response, responses to individual meals in daily life could be more accurately predicted by means of an algorithm that included lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity) and microbial composition as compared to a prediction by common practice. The above data suggests that successful lifestyle interventions may require a more personalised approach.
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