Request for Information (RFI): Precision Nutrition Tools for Continuous Monitoring of Nutrients and Metabolites in Humans

Notice Number: NOT-DK-19-021

Key Dates
Release Date: July 29, 2019
Response Date: September 30, 2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)


The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit public input to advance precision nutrition research, specifically related to the availability of tools for continuous monitoring of nutrients and metabolites.

The information respondents provide will help characterize what monitoring technologies are currently available for precision nutrition research approaches as well as identify key priorities and recommendations for future research efforts.


A significant challenge in nutrition research is the difficulty in establishing quantifiable links between the consumption of specific nutrients or food constituents and biophysiological processes, such as inflammation, aging, and the development of chronic diseases. While several factors underlie this challenge, one key factor is interindividual variability in response to dietary exposures. The challenge of interindividual variability has led to impediments to advancing personalized or precision approaches in nutrition science. Recent advances in precision nutrition and circadian metabolism have come from studies utilizing continuous glucose monitors. However, diet leads to metabolic excursion of thousands of nutrients and metabolites, some linked to gut microbiota metabolism. Presently, the only continuous sensors widely available for research are continuous glucose monitors (CGM). However, as solid-state clinical chemistry assays, ion-selective electrodes, and analytical techniques have become increasingly miniaturized and streamlined, there is an opportunity to expand sensing capability to other nutrients or metabolites with potential public health implications (e.g., Na+, free Ca2+, folate, choline, trimethylamine, amino acids, microbiome metabolites, vitamins, phytonutrients, free zinc). Dual purpose probes (e.g., glucose/Na) could hypothetically help assess whether changes reflect actual nutrient excursions or differences in hydration status. In addition to solid-state sensors, cell-based biomedical tattoos and tooth sensors for nutrient sensing are under development.

Information Requested

This RFI seeks input from stakeholders throughout the scientific research community and the public regarding any of the following topics:

  • Awareness of any continuous nutrient/metabolite sensors, beyond CGM, that are currently in development or available for use in clinical studies to help identify individuals who respond differently in absorption, distribution, circadian metabolism, or elimination of nutrients or metabolites from foods.
  • Challenges that need to be overcome, or technologies that need to be further developed to advance the use of continuous nutrient/metabolite sensors, beyond CGM, in the realm of precision nutrition and metabolism research.
  • List nutrients or metabolites, if any, that you would prioritize for continuous monitoring and state the reason.

How to Submit a Response

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to

Responses must be received by 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2019.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, trade secret, or sensitive information in your response. The responses will be reviewed by NIH staff, and individual feedback will not be provided to any responder. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public NIH websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements.

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation, grant, or cooperative agreement, or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the NIH, or individual NIH Institutes and Centers to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. The Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government's use of such information.

NIH looks forward to your input and we hope that you will share this RFI document with your colleagues.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Christopher Lynch, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-827-3988