‘Feed the gut, protect the liver, support the brain…’ Dr. Robert Lustig’s strategy to re-engineer ultra-processed foods

Reformulation strategies at leading food companies typically involve reducing salt, fat, and sugar. A more effective approach, claims pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig, is informed by three core principles underpinning metabolic health: protect the liver, feed the gut, support the brain.

Dr Lustig, professor emeritus in the Department of Pediatrics and Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), joined forces with academics at King’s College London and George Washington University to test this ‘metabolic matrix’ strategy at leading Kuwaiti food company Kuwaiti Danish Dairy Company (KDD).

“We evaluated products based on their metabolic impact rather than on their nutritional content,” Dr. Lustig told AFN at the Future Food Tech conference in San Francisco, where he was representing BioLumen, a startup with a fiber-based supplement that can reduce the absorption of sugars in processed foods.

While the Nutrition Facts label is valuable, he said, looking at ingredients rather than nutrients “enables us to take a refined stance on additives according to current research on their potential harmfulness. It also allows us to precisely determine levels of processing levels rather than trying to derive them from nutrient profiles.”

He added: “Our criteria of how ingredients in a particular product might contribute to an adverse health impact focused on detriments to gut, liver, and brain function, the systems with the most significant impact on overall metabolism and disease.”

Read the entire article in Ag Funder News by clicking here.

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