What is FoodOxys
Ensuring nutritional wellness at a personalized level
Metabolic health is built on five key pillars. The first three have been known for years: our genetic substrate, that is, our genes, whether we get proper nutrition, and whether we do the exercise we need almost daily. In recent years, however, two other key factors of metabolic health have been added to the literature: well-structured fasting and the consumption of very specific foods that have proven to improve metabolic health.
Modern literature shows that the role of genes is not as important as we thought, since its effect is limited to 15%. All the rest is regulated by proper fasting, proper nutrition and exercise. Foodoxys’ philosophy is founded on this important scientific finding. After about 20 years of research in the research laboratory of the Department of Biochemistry-Biotechnology of the University of Thessaly, Professor D. Kouretas and his colleagues decided that they now had the information from nearly 200 articles they had published in international literature and several others by other research groups, to move on to the next step, the practical application of the acquired scientific knowledge to the service of humans, with the creation of FoodOxys. With special tests performed on a drop of blood, FoodOxys’ scientists look in detail at the expression of critical genes related to antioxidant defense, anti-inflammatory potential, and the body’s basic cellular defense mechanism. Having developed algorithms, they create a general framework for every person, including the way they should be fed and trained on a daily basis. The adjustments required take approximately 4 weeks. In a month a second blood sampling takes place and the scientists measure the changes in critical genes, showing how the person’s metabolic health has changed; a very useful tool in the hands of doctors, dieticians and ultimately people themselves. That is, now in a very specific way, one can see what changes in his genes at the level of expression after a period of targeted nutrition and physical activity.
This information will accompany him for the rest of his life, helping him lead a healthy lifestyle. It is advisable to repeat the test 2-3 times a year to make sure the beneficial effects of his diet on his metabolism are maintained.
But what are these tests? There are three levels of measurement.
FoodOxys is a spin-off company of the University of Thessaly, which aims to ensure nutritional wellness on an individualized basis.
Its scientific team consists of distinguished researchers with many years of experience in the field of nutritional biochemistry and human metabolism. Under the scientific guidance of Dimitris Kouretas, Professor of Animal Physiology-Toxicology, FoodOxys scientists have published more than 180 papers in world-renowned scientific journals and have remarkable experience in biochemistry of nutrition.
The term antioxidant has invaded our daily lives in recent years. But what are the antioxidants about which so much has been said?
Antioxidants are compounds that are either naturally produced by our body or ingested through food. They play a particularly important role in protecting both the cell and the whole body against free radicals, and have been associated for many years with a variety of pathological conditions such as various cancers, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and more. Free radicals are potentially harmful molecules that can be produced as a by-product of our metabolism but also from exogenous factors such as smoking or air pollution. They play an important physiological role, so they are needed in small quantities for the body to function properly. However, when in excess they can damage DNA, proteins and lipids. Τhe antioxidants eliminate the excess amount of free radicals protecting the body functions. However, when the endogenous antioxidants do not suffice, it is necessary to supplement nutrition with dietary antioxidants.
Plant products undergo treatment before they reach the consumer, which can greatly affect their properties. But again, the finished product can enhance the body’s antioxidant defense, as shown in clinical studies conducted by Professor Dimitris Kouretas’ scientific team at the Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the University of Thessaly. More precisely, daily consumption of pomegranate juice for two weeks (as shown here here) appeared to improve the body’s redox profile, increasing antioxidants and reducing oxidative stress.
Subsequently, Professor Kouretas’ team, in collaboration with Polytech Company, came up with the idea to develop a device that could measure the antioxidant capacity of foods like coffee, juices, beer and wine, milk and so on. The publication of this work is here. These are beverages and foods that we all use in our daily lives, however, without being aware of their potential benefits on one’s wellness if their consumption is adjusted to obtain the ‘ideal’ amount.
Checks on the antioxidant capacity of food are carried out by the respective industries, but the machinery used is expensive and requires specialized handling. As a result, the mere consumer or nutritionist who would be interested in getting this information on foods and drinks cannot get it. The developed device answers to this need, as it is much cheaper and quite easy to use. It includes a colorimeter and an application, the combination of which allows us to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of a liquid using essentially a drop of it. An additional application can measure the antioxidant status of human blood, calculate the consumption of antioxidants and create an individual diet based on the person’s needs. The whole idea behind the creation of our device is in accordance with a new international trend, that of individualized medicine and nutritional intervention.
Professor Dimitris Kouretas’ research team, listening to the need to measure levels of antioxidants in various products and in the human body, founded the company FoodOxys, which is a spin-off company of the University of Thessaly. An important innovation of the company is that part of the company’s shares have been distributed to young researchers who are graduates of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the University of Thessaly. In this way the young scientists stay in Greece and invest in the country in the midst of a difficult financial situation. Alumni and shareholders of the Department of Biochemistry – Biotechnology are: Nikos Goutzourelas, Maria Kanaki and Fotis Tekos.
The services of the company can be divided into 2 main branches:
The first concerns the measurement of antioxidants in foods. This service studies the origin and quality of products in order to provide better information to the company that manufactures or sells the products.
This service is of great interest to large food companies and large supermarket chains, because it allows them to evaluate their suppliers and enables them to adjust product purchase and sale prices accordingly. Restaurants can also take advantage of FoodOxys’ services; by identifying antioxidants throughout the restaurant’s menu, a new informed menu could emerge, in which clients would find the amount of antioxidants contained in all dishes. This would enable them to choose what to eat combining potential health benefits with one’s needs and preferences.
The second branch of the company deals with the determination of antioxidants in humans. For this purpose, a drop of blood is taken from the finger of the subject. Antioxidants are identified by FoodOxys scientific staff with modern portable machinery (company patent) and at the same time individualized dietary plans are created based on the person’s measurement of antioxidants, to promote health and wellness, which is the company’s innovation.
This innovative service of FoodOxys can be used by amateur or professional sports clubs (individual or group sports) to protect their athletes’ bodies from the stress caused by training or intense physical activity during matches/games. Wellness tourism can also integrate to the services it offers its guests the measurement of antioxidant levels upon arrival at FoodOxys partner hotels. During their stay at the hotel guests will be provided with meals that will regulate their antioxidants. Antioxidants will also be determined at the end of the holidays, before the guests leave, for the results to be compared.