How the Human Gut Microbiome influences our Health
Paul you (co-)founded BIOMES. Can you share about your offer to consumers?
We combine state-of-the-art DNA biotechnology with digital, preventive healthcare. Our first product is the intestinal flora analysis INTEST.pro. State-of-the-art biotechnology finally gives us the possibility to analyze DNA at lower costs and better than ever before and the applications seem to be unlimited. It may sound banal that our first product is an intestinal flora analysis. But it can do so much more than previous analyses - it captures the totality of all bacteria and thus simplifies the lives of many people. INTEST.pro informs people about their intestinal health, including individual recommendations for action. We are currently working on nutrition plans that are tailored to the individual intestinal flora weaknesses of each customer - there is no other provider offering that right now.
You have a PhD in systems biology and bioinformatics - how did you turn into an entrepreneur?
It all started with my desire to explore the world, but at the same time to do something that can help many people. When I first got in touch with the technology on which our test is based, I immediately knew that I wanted to develop analyses that could help millions of people. In June 2017, I launched BIOMES as an "Exist" start-up project from the technical university TH Wildau and a few months later founded BIOMES NGS GmbH. Our test has been on sale since February 2018 and we have already been able to help many customers.
Our bodies consist of around 30 trillion cells and even 1,3 times more microorganisms (39 trillion) live on or in our body. Is this the the human microbiome?
The term microbiome refers to the DNA of all microorganisms living in and on the human body, primarily bacteria with which humans have established a symbiotic relationship. The intestine contains the largest microbiome. It could not function without the billions of bacteria that colonize it and make sure to digest our food properly, support our immune system and produce vital hormones. So far, the impact of our bacteria on our health has been underestimated far too much.
Why should we care about the gut microbiome?
There are millions of people whose intestines are in imbalance, e.g. through the intake of antibiotics or an unhealthy diet. Many people live with diffuse complaints without knowing that the reasons for this lie in the intestine. Many of them could not yet been helped by a doctor because the full microbiome analysis has not been implemented as a standard medical application.
BIOMES offers tailored nutrition plans and makes nutrition more personal. Why are the developments we see in Personalized Nutrition so important?
The quality of metabolising different food components differs from each individual to another. In order to guarantee the best possible digestion and nutrient uptake, and thus to increase well-being and health, taking individual properties into account is essential. These physiological properties are determined in particular by our microbial and human genes, which we are now able to decode by means of modern biotechnology and use as the basis for calculating an individually optimised, personalised diet.
While everybody knows what food is, not everybody knows what nutrition is. What is it?
Nutrition is an elementary part of our lives and accompanies us every day. Everything we put into our mouths has an influence on our being. Due to today's industrially created oversupply of various foods, more and more people find it difficult to distinguish between good and bad foods. Through an effective personalized diet, we can now help everyone determine the foods that have a positive impact on them and minimize negative side effects such as digestive problems.
What do we need to do let Personalized Nutrition become fundamental Part of Public Health and Diet?
First and foremost, we need a broad education about the fundamental opportunities of personalized nutrition for each individual and for society as a whole. Personalized nutrition means preventive health care, which will relieve our healthcare system enormously. There will also be numerous new business opportunities for companies at the various levels of the entire value chain. Those who recognize these opportunities at an early stage will also be the ones who will benefit most from this change.
In 5 or 10 years, how does personalized nutrition look like?
I believe that we will develop user-friendly systems that help people to integrate a personalized, optimized diet into their everyday lives. In my opinion, there will be subscription models that use sensor technologies through wearables and biomarker tests to track individual physical characteristics on a daily basis. These data are used to calculate the foods and dishes that are optimal for individual nutrition. These calculated foods or dishes can be delivered directly to the customer's home by delivery services, or recommendations can be given in real time about restaurants close by offering suitable dishes. The customer no longer has to worry about the right diet, saves shopping time and lives a healthier life.
Find out more about BIOMES here: https://biomes.world.