Nutrition is vital to health and bodily growth. Being conscious and educated about what you are putting into your body and the ways it will affect all bodily functions is, and always has been, one of the most underlying health issues, not just in Israel, but globally too. There exists an overwhelming amount of irony when discussing nutritional elements- maintaining a balance, food security and insecurity, malnourishment, obesity, diabetes, and food processing- as most remedies do not provide substantivity regarding short-term methods. In 2021, world hunger rose to as many as 828 million, yet global obesity rates increased by 13%. This obvious disconnect stems from global misconceptions and remedies for combating sufficient nutritional management. What is readily neglected is the fact that nutrition affects every sphere; there is this notion that dieting suffices our nutritional balance when in most cases it only ruins it. Nutritional management is a lifestyle concern that requires immense knowledge and efficient opportunities. Here in Israel, obesity prevalence is higher than the regional average of 10.3% for women and 7.5% for men. At the same time, diabetes is estimated to affect 5.8% of adult women and 7.4% of adult men. Moreover, 0.11% of total deaths in Israel stem from malnourishment. Fortunately, Israel's innovative nation has been able to harness its advanced tech for developing state-of-the-art nutritional management remedies. Listed below are 7 different startups that are hyper-focused on bridging nutritional gaps not just for Israeli health, but for health worldwide.
Metabolic flexibility is the body’s ability to switch back and forth between fat and carbohydrates based on their availability. This function is the main player behind health, weight loss, energy and longevity. For metabolic rates to reach this flexibility though, we need to understand our fat and carbohydrate levels- something that, in most cases, is not available nor accessible. Israeli startup Lumen has created the world’s first hand-held, portable device that accurately measures metabolism. Lumen provides daily measurements of your energy sources, uses these measurements to provide you with a metabolism flexibility score, and then tracks your metabolism, sleep, nutrition, and fitness data to provide a Lumen Flex Score that reflects nutritional success. This is done when the subject breathes into the Lumen device one time as Lumen’s system uses a CO2 sensor and flow meters.
Lumen was started by sisters Merav(CSO) and Michal Mor, who joined forces with health-tech trio Daniel Tal (CEO), Dror Cedar (CGO), and Avi Smila (CTO) where the five founded and boosted the company. Lumen’s mission is to create a world where every person has access to personalized nutrition and is provided with the necessary and substantial information to readily improve their health. The company has raised $18.76 million with investments from Gigi Levy-Weiss, Avishai Abrahami, Oren Zeev, Disrupt-ive, Sir Ronald Cohen, Red Swan Ventures, RiverPark Funds, Resolute Ventures, Indiegogo, Unorthodox ventures, H&H Group, Almeda Ventures, Joy Ventures. In 2018, the Lumen team launched on Indiegogo and broke the $1 million threshold on Indiegogo in weeks. Now, Lumen is leading the way in bringing personalized nutrition to the entire world.
In our gut alone we have around 100 trillion microbes which train our immune system and help our bodies regulate and recognize friend from foe. Unfortunately, there is no uniformity to microbiome studies as everybody’s microbiome is different as well as the impacts of our food choices. Those with diabetes though have much more difficulty with microbiome regulation as insulin resistance is directly associated with certain factors of the gut biome. Israeli startup DayTwo, though, has developed an AI-based algorithm that predicts blood sugar responses to food so those with diabetes, prediabetes, clinical obesity, and other metabolic disease have the necessary diagnostics, medicines, therapies, and care solutions for everyday and emergency use. The DayTwo app helps members with personalized meal planning to gauge glycemic control as it varies from a subject's clinical and personal traits. Rather than having to count carbohydrates, the DayTwo app’s model was built to accurately predict glycemic responses for foods and food combinations.
DayTwo was founded in 2015 by Lihi Segal. Segal intended to administer solutions specifically for those with type-2 diabetes, but instead focused efforts that cover a range of chronic conditions. The company has raised over $90 million with investments from Johnson and Johnson Innovation, Marius Nacht, aMoon Fund, Mayo Clinic, Seventure Partners, Omri Casspi, Samsung Next TLV, Longliv Ventures, 10D, Cathay Innovation, Poalim Equity, La Maison Partner, and Micron Ventures. DayTwo has office locations in Tel Aviv, Rehovot, and Walnut Creek, California.
The popular method of using boiling water to warm breast milk is not recommended by health professionals and the World Health Organization. In most cases, there is this inevitable likelihood of overheating the milk which damages the nutrients and creates hotspot risks which are severely dangerous for the baby. Israeli startup Nanobébé has created a synergy across multiple baby care sectors to provide the most advanced product ecosystem for modern parenthood methods and journeys. Among the array of products, Nanobébé’s Breastmilk Bottle is designed specifically to protect the vital nutrients in breastmilk- advancing the baby’s health, not administering risks or concerns. By spreading the milk into a thin layer across a concave surface, Nanobébé’s breast milk can both cool and warm 2-3 times faster than standard baby bottles. The longer it tastes to cool/heat the breast milk, the more bacteria grow and diminish the nutritional value. Nanobébé’s Breastmilk Bottle is the first ever nutrient-preserving breast milk baby bottle.
In 2013 Asaf Kehat (CEO) and Ayal Lanternari (Executive Chairman) founded Nanobébé. Since then, the two have administered a series of health-focused essentials that allow parents to focus on the little moments with their newborns. Some of the company’s notable investors include Ellen, CNN, Business Insider, TIME, PopSugar, Babylist, theBump, ScaryMommy, Gugu Guru, Pregnancy & newborn, and the Fast Company. Nanobébé is based in Herzliya and has geographical markets in Europe as well as the United States.
Plate My Meal
Children, if they are not given it readily, are not fans of healthy food. The smelly, green vegetables that “never taste good,” are, in most cases, always the last resort. Parents want their children to eat healthily and avoid obesity but lack not only the knowledge but also the opportunities. Instead of creating conflict with your children and having doubts about portion sizes and food variety, wouldn’t you rather have a pre-organized method that not only provides a healthy balanced meal but opens your child’s eyes to the benefits of nutritional care? Israeli startup Plate My Meal ™ is here to provide a simple, professional, inexpensive method that turns the food pyramid into an array of tasty, colourful plates. Plate My Meal ™ works closely with leading nutritionists to create healthy solutions based on scientific knowledge and is also backed by clinical trials that exhibit niche eating habits amongst children. Plate My Meal ™ customers can choose from a variety of food groups and food to create 5 plates for 5 meals and a snack a day that is portioned properly by compartment size.
Plate My Meal ™ was founded in 2012 by Dror Tamir (CEO) and Dr. Liat Zivan (Director). For 10 years, the company has specialized in the nutritional health of children and families by encouraging better nutrition through preventative education. Plate My Meal ™ products have been endorsed by Israel’s Ministries of Health and Education and have received over $300K from Angel Investors, Indiegogo, and eBay Startup Cup. The company is based in Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Israel.
Children with autism are not just picky eaters but have reduced absorption rates as well as a higher demand due to altered neurological development. Nutritional status for children with autism is usually disregarded in the standard care of therapies as there are “more pressing,” concerns, yet nutrition deficiencies are common for these children. Israeli startup ANeuSTART has created a nutrient-based action plan for children on the autism spectrum or those with ADHD by tapping into each child’s niche biochemistry to enhance their lifestyle functions. ANeuSTART created noninvasive, at-home diagnostic kits to detect which biological pathways are impacting brain flow based on a urine sample. The company’s algorithm converges the detections from the kit along with the patient’s health history, current symptoms, and current diet to provide food and supplemental recommendations that will restore the impaired biochemical pathways in the child. By intervening in the nutritional sphere, the child’s path for every other paramedical surgery is not only set up but is advanced.
ANeuSTART was founded in 2018 by Maya Lebow (CEO) and Yael Kuperman. The company’s mission is to immediately incorporate nutrient needs in the standard care for those with autism directly after their diagnosis. They follow the motto of “making special-needs brains optimal.” The company is based in Rehovot, Israel.
Obesity has been a lingering medical condition for decades as it increases the likelihood of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. There are very few solutions that combat the challenges associated with obesity as the existing solutions are restrictive. Israeli biotech startup CaleeTech has developed a specialized oral formation that administers caloric reduction methods by limiting the absorption of fats and sugars in the customer’s small intestine. The product creates an intestinal overall on the gastrointestinal tract and directly lowers calorie absorption, blood sugar, and fat levels. Consuming the beverage will allow customers to enjoy tasty meals while simultaneously being nutritionally benefited.
CaleeTech was founded in 2017 by Igor Gindin (CEO) who now works alongside co-CEO Itai Tzchori. The company’s allocated funds have been provided by Israel MedicUp and the Israel Innovation Authority. CaleeTech is also currently participating in Kinnery Innovation Center’s Entrepreneurship program. The company is based in Kfar Baruch and has geographical markets in the United States.
Many critically ill patients in the ICU have serious malnutrition issues that are present before this hospitalization or develop once hospitalized. A large-scale 2016 study has shown that more than 74% of ICU patients worldwide failed to receive at least 80% of their prescribed nutrition. This stems from the loss of nutrients due to gastric residual evaluation or if feeding is interrupted for medical procedures, and adversely affects the length of stay, morbidity, and mortality. ART Medical’s smART+ platform places provincial focus on maintaining and achieving target nutrition for those who are hospitalized. The system automatically detects any interruption in feeding through sensor-based technology and immediately delivers the required nutritional elements to avoid malnutrition. smART+ also recommends additional protein supplements to improve recovery as well as calculating optimal enteral nutrition formula plans based on the patient’s resting energy expenditure.
ART Medical was founded by Liron Elia (CEO) in 2008. She set forth with a mission to significantly reduce hospital-acquired complications through automated, real-time nutrition management. Elia is working to bridge nutrition gaps by offering target nutrition compensations readily and rapidly. So far, the company has received $27 million from the Israel Innovation Authority, Bill Gates’ Grand Challenger, and Advanced Medical Technologies U.C. ART Medical is located in Netanya, as well as in Palo Alto, California.
Written by Leah Frey