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Dear all,

I hope you’ve had a smooth week so far and that you’re enjoying the “Women’s Week” celebration, which is also a reminder that we need celebrate every day! My message for all women? Go and grab the moon (“décrocher la lune”) and make your dreams come true! 

 

Now let's learn a few things together :)

Here’s what we’ll talk about in this newsletter:

  • Inspirational story
    Proud of you

  • News:  
    Individualized diet with microbiome data and AI analysis

  • My personal health experience:
    Greens and Reds
     

Visit www.drionita.com ;) or keep reading :)

INSPIRATIONAL STORY 
Proud of You

It was difficult this week to pick only one inspirational story, so I’ve decided to put them all (ok almost all :) I sometimes don’t say just how proud I am of my patients and how much I learn from them every day; and oftentimes, I would like for their stories, their fights, their progress to inspire others. To wit, during the past 2 weeks, many of my patients had to deal with different kinds of “exceptional” events. To better understand the context, the daily follow-up questionnaire that I set up for my patients includes a question about “exceptional things”, meaning events that don’t happen every day (good or bad, like getting promoted or getting fired, falling in love or breaking up, moving, etc.). And so, recently, I’ve seen a patient who had to have her cat euthanised, another who was being sued (unfairly), one who had their computer stolen, and others who have had emotional family problems (sick parents or children, losing a loved one). And then there are also some people who haven’t necessarily had anything “exceptional” happen, but who are struggling to get back to a healthy routine and are feeling very frustrated.

Each of these individuals have passed moments of pain and doubt, where it’s hard to hold onto hope. Yet every single one of them is getting better, through their own efforts, with me doing as little as sending an email or having a call, or even just including a few smilies at the end of a short text message.

They are all growing, overcoming their challenges, and getting stronger. And I am so, so proud of them, so proud that I invite all of you to give yourselves a collective, giant (imaginary ;) hug. Because if they can, you can too, I promise.

INDIVIDUALISED DIET with AI ANALYSIS 

This is not the first time researchers have found correlations between diet and microbiome. A few years ago, in 2015, I was so excited by this study (there’s a nice video about it here) performed by Eran Segal and his team from the Weizmann Institute in Israel that I contacted them to find out more. I even asked the crazy question if they would be open to an academia-industry partnership (I was already dreaming of crossing this kind of data with more biological parameters from blood tests and even genomics). Well, they weren’t, as they were launching their own business, Day2. Still, ever since I’ve continued to admire their work and watch their research, and I’ve become pretty obsessed with checking my gut bacteria and my blood sugar to improve my diet :)

Last month, the Mayo Clinic published a study in collaboration with Day2 that confirms some of the initial findings of the Weizmann Institute, that the microbiome greatly influences blood sugar; as such, they found that microbiome composition was a much better predictor of blood sugar response to meals than the glycemic index based on carbohydrates or calories. In another words, their algorithm was able to predict if one person, by eating fruits, would feel good and energised (with no spike in their glucose) while another person, after eating the same fruits, would have a spike in their blood sugar and therefore feel tired (and that’s without mentioning that, over the long term, persistently high glucose levels are harmful for health).

This week, Eric Topol write in the New York Times related to the same topic, with the catchy name of “The AI Diet”. He talks about his personal experience participating in a 2-week experiment while monitoring his diet, blood sugar, microbiome, sleep, exercise and medication. He was then given personalised diet advice coming from Dr Segal’s algorithm. There was some unexpected advice regarding the food he should eat more and what he’d do better to avoid. However, that advice didn’t take into consideration Topol’s medical history and the fact that, for example, he is prone to getting kidney stones, therefore he needs to avoid some food rich in oxalates, like nuts and strawberries, which the algorithm recommended as good for him.

Despite the fact that lots more research is still needed in this area, we are getting closer to an individualised diet based on crossing multiple data sets from one individual (what I was dreaming about a few years ago). Until then, eat smart and keep in mind that there is no such a thing as a universal diet that’s good for everyone - try to find yours, step by step with data and science.

 

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Boosting my energy

This week, I was tired. For some reason, I was just exhausted (yes, this happens to doctors too :) I was so tired that I couldn’t even go to gym.

Knowing that my iron is low, having a bit of anemia, and forgetting my iron pills coupled with barely eating red meat these past few weeks, I had to get back on track fast - I was too busy to be tired and even if I wasn’t, I just hate feeling that way. I love having an energy level that usually allows me to do whatever I want, and when I lose this freedom (however rarely), it almost makes me feel depressed.

This time, I was also caught for a second by the “What if” trap: “What if my full energy never comes back?” “What if I won’t be able to do all my projects and conquer the world as planned?” (Yes, I confess, I plan for that :)

I got so scared that I quickly prepared my “fresh green juice”, consciously took my pills (not only iron) and had a steak later on in the day. Two days passed with no spectacular change, the third day I felt slightly better (I was consoling myself, saying that I will be better in a week, when I will be in another menstrual cycle). But guess what, it wasn’t even necessary to wait that long, I am still in the luteal phase (theoretically when women are more tired anyway) and I already have my energy back, alleluia. Maybe my energy would have came back anyway, but I am sure that my daily formula with 2 fresh green juices (with some raw cocoa beans, tumeric, flaxseed, chia seed, etc.) and one steak gave me the boost I needed.

By the way, speaking of new projects, here the first episode of my Podcast! It is in French, but soon one in English too :)

If you want to discuss more, drop me an email at lavinia@drionita.com

 

Want to know more?

Just give me a signal, I’m happy to talk :)

Be well, 
 
Lavinia  ❤

Medical Doctor | Dr Ionita

Founder | Akesio

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Dr Ionita · 10 Harley Street · London, London W1G 9PF · United Kingdom

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