The Metabolic Matrix

Re-engineering ultraprocessed foods to feed the gut, protect the liver, and support the brain


Citation of this Paper:

Cross-Classification Analysis of Food Products Based on Nutritional Quality and Degree of Processing

NIH National Library of Medicine link

Citation References

 2023; 10: 1098453.
Published online 2023 Mar 30. 
PMCID: PMC10097968
PMID: 37063330

Ultraprocessed food is established as a metabolic disruptor acting to increase adiposity, reduce mitochondrial efficiency, drive insulin resistance, alter growth, and contribute to human morbidity and mortality. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are beginning to understand the detrimental impact of the food they market, and have employed substitution strategies to reduce salt, sugar, and fat. However, the harms of ultraprocessed foods are far more complex than any single component, and are not ameliorated by such simple substitutions. Over the past two years, the authors have worked with Kuwaiti Danish Dairy Company (KDD) to conduct a comprehensive scientific evaluation of their entire commercial food and beverage portfolio. Assay of the macronutrients, micronutrients, additives, and toxins contained in each of their products was undertaken to determine the precise nature of each product’s ingredients as well as the health impacts of processing. The authors formed a Scientific Advisory Team (SAT) and developed a tiered “Metabolic Matrix” founded in three science-based principles: 1) protect the liver, 2) feed the gut, and 3) support the brain. The Metabolic Matrix categorizes each product and provides the criteria, metrics, and recommendations for improvement or reformulation. Real-time consultation with the KDD Executive and Operations teams was vital to see these procedures through to fruition. This scientific exercise has enabled KDD to lay the groundwork for improving the health, well-being, and sustainability of their entire product line, while maintaining flavor, economic, and fiscal viability. This process is easily transferrable, and we are sharing this effort and its approaches as a proof-of-concept. The key aim of our work is to not only make ultraprocessed food healthier but to urge other food companies to implement similar analysis and reformulation of their product lines to improve the metabolic health and well-being of consumers worldwide.

Link to the paper here.

Metabolic Health & Nutrition

Translational Science and Mass Market Media Strategies
for intersecting fields of Metabolic Health & Nutrition

Wolfram Alderson, MS has hyper-focused his lifelong career in the space he refers to as “metabolic health and nutrition.” Building on decades of work in food system change, Wolfram has built a global network of collaborators who are the leading thought leaders in this space. In a thriving consultancy, and in collaboration with the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation (HSF), Wolfram has forged an “eco-system of eco-systems” as he refers to it, creating and deploying a myriad of educational offerings and multi-media content presented in person and online. In alignment with these efforts, Wolfram has established a new publishing house under the umbrella of the HSF, called Serotonin Press.

National Conferences Featuring Metabolic Health & Nutrition


Bringing together national and international leaders who are advancing the field.

Metabolic Health & Nutrition Across the Life Span – 2018
(Swedish Hospital)

Pediatric Metabolic Health & Nutrition Summit – 2017
(Swedish Hospital)

Between 2017 and 2018, I was fortunate to be given the chance to organize Swedish Medical Center’s first and second “Metabolic Health and Nutrition” conferences. As the medical director and course chair, I am proud to reflect on how outstanding these conferences were, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received was resounding. In fact, I still receive regular requests, asking that the conference be put on again. A large part of the reason these conferences were so amazing, was due to meticulous planning efforts with exquisite attention to detail put forth by the wonderfully dedicated planning committee members, each of whom was hand-selected, to help me organize the days’ events. In this regard, Mr. Wolfram Alderson’s efforts were second to none. From starting with securing the best speakers from around the world, to finalizing event venues and schedules, Wolfram played an integral role in helping me plan out and organize every piece of the conferences. He put forth a colossal amount of time and effort attending dozens of meetings, sending hundred of emails, and spending countless hours in brainstorming sessions. I couldn’t have done it without him. Wolfram has excellent networking skills, accompanied by a very sweet, collegial personality, and is one of the most dedicated organizers, who works tirelessly towards his goals, ambitions and commitments.
Uma Pisharody, FAAP, MD

Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Swedish Hospital

These conferences were the best CME events I have attended in a decade. If you want to attend a conference that will help you move the needle forward in our fight to improve the health of all Americans, this is it. Cutting edge information presented by thought leaders dedicated to making a difference in healthcare, not just toeing the party line. Meticulously thought out and planned, these conferences were fantastic experiences (and had the best food of any conference I have attended to date). I cannot recommend it highly enough for any provider looking to make a difference in their patient’s lives.
Thomas Flass, MD, MS

Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Montana Children’s Hospital, Kalispell Regional Medical Center

Metabolic Health & Nutrition Projects


Delivering Art, Science, and Impactful Education to Millions

With my leadership, MyFitnessPal and the Institute for Responsible Nutrition joined forces to present the challenge of eating clean for 10 whole days. The challenge was simple. Choose a level of participation and commit to eating 1, 2 or 3 clean-eating meals a day for 10 days. When choosing snacks and beverages, skip the highly processed snack packs and go for nutritious, satisfying options and water instead.

Global Education Director for Dr. Robert Lustig
Designed, built, and maintain website.

Wolfram steered the Institute for Responsible Nutrition toward becoming an influential voice in the debate over processed food versus real food.
Robert Lustig, MD, MSL

Pediatric Neuroendocrinologist

Development of the Metabolic Matrix
It has been an honor to work with an amazing team of doctors, researchers, nutritionists, and data scientists to create the Metabolic Matrix. The creation of the matrix led to me working full time in Kuwait to put the matrix to work, transforming the product portfolio of one of the largest food & beverage companies in the MENA region. This initiative involved the development of a multi-dimensional database evaluating all KDD products, comprising over 75,000 data points from multiple sources, including ingredient/component spec sheets, KDD genesis system, Eurofins test results, marketing and sales, packaging, and sustainability information. The data was collated in a sophisticated data analysis platform that permits filtering and provides focused and actionable information designed to transform the KDD portfolio to deliver positive metabolic health and environmental impacts. Using criteria generated from literature review, scientific consensus, and regulatory agency frameworks, the team has generated actionable reports on sugar, juice, and fats. We have evaluated an extensive range of targeted solutions for ingredients (e.g., sugar alternatives, healthier fats, fiber, etc.) and processes (enzymatic, filtration, etc.) that may be employed to improve the KDD portfolio moving forward.

Content and Social Media Strategy Advisor for the Aging, Metabolism & Emotion Center, UCSF
New website design on Drupal platform:

CEO. Designed, built and maintain website.

The “Real Foods vs. Processed Foods” poster was the centerpiece of the IRN brochure.

Founder and Executive Director
Institute for Responsible Nutrition

Design, built and maintain website
Nutrition Toolbox

Nutrition Toolbox

Eat REAL Alliance

Marketing Strategy


Building a Following – from Strategy to Tactics to Impact

Wolfram’s passion for food security extends across decades of work advocating for the under-served and he is a pioneer in the movement for a more equitable and healthy food system. I appreciate Wolfram’s collaborative spirit and his advanced skills in creating social impact, forging creative strategies for online education, building community, and establishing productive partnerships.
Patrick O'Neill

CEO, Amp Your Good

Online Ecosystems


A systemic approach to online communications.

Health Campaigns


Developing approaches to changing lifestyle with narratives
that engage, educate, and delight.


Framing Health Narratives

What health trajectory are you on? A health trajectory describes the dynamic course of health (progressive, preventive, or mitigative) over time. What are your indicators of health status and what health trajectory do they align with? 

Advocacy, Speaking and Public Relations


Locally, Regionally & Nationally


Instead of blindly buying a product with 22 ingredients and just hoping it is safe, we are providing the tools for people to not only learn what is in their food but to be involved in figuring it out.
Wolfram Alderson

Big data became a big gun that big companies turned around and pointed at the consumer. They use the data to influence consumer decisions based solely on commercial interest. There are very few examples where organizations put the data in the hands of consumers and tell them, ‘Here’s the steering wheel, you’re in control.
Wolfram Alderson

Metabolic Syndrome and Mental Health

by Elissa Epel Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UCSF, Wolfram Alderson, CEO, Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, Dr. Robert Lustig Professor emeritus of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, Dr. Natalie Rasgon Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine

Interview with Roberta Ruggiero & Wolfram Alderson

by Blog Talk Radio with Marsha Thadison | There is a strong association between metabolic health and how well a patient with coronavirus may respond to treatment. Like so many other serious medical conditions, reactive / functional hypoglycemia and blood sugar health is both a challenge as well as an opportunity to take notice and intervene to assure an optimal state of health. Roberta and Wolfram will highlight the key role of "real food" and share some simple ways to strengthen blood sugar health to help make this unprecedented time of our lives as stress free as possible.

Wolfram is a wonderful and engaging speaker and educator. He engaged our 7th and 8th grade middle school Food and Agriculture Sciences students in a fantastic lecture about sugar. He has joined our class multiple times as a community expert sharing his personal experience around food, farming, and his experience working with the IRN. He talked about metabolic health, the dangers of sugar consumption to human health and brought with him 70 lbs of sugar in its many forms and loaded on our students to make “Dr. Sweetstuff”! It made for an experience students will never forget!! And even better they learned great information to help inform them on how to fuel their growing bodies.
Lily Sheridan

Food Educator, Children's Day School

Stanford University Food Summit – Poster for Wellness City Challenge

Detoxify Your Personal Exposome: The Exposome and Metabolic Health 2018 COAST / SSEW Symposium

Stanford University Food Summit – Poster for Collective Roots

Was there ever really a “sugar conspiracy”? published in Science Magazine

RESPONSE – Open Letter to the Editors of Science Magazine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Robert Lustig, M.D., M.S.L., Professor Emeritus, UCSF, and Wolfram Alderson, MS., CEO of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation

Live and online high impact events.

Hungry for Change Symposium

Fed Up Premier

Real Food Fun Event

Future of Food
Fundraising Soirée

Sugar Coated Documentary
U.S. Premier Event
Including Real Food Hackathon

 Working in the field of metabolic health and nutrition is exciting, in part because of amazing leaders like Dr. Joan Ifland and Julia Ross (pictured here with me after a Commonwealth Club event, Metabolic Syndrome and Mental Health). Such a blessing to work with such amazing talents who are advancing the science and also forging impactful intervention models. 
Wolfram Alderson



Translate complex health issues into viral graphics that inform and inspire change.


Metabolical Content Creation & Curation

Writing, Editing, Publishing Feature Articles on Metabolic Health & Nutrition

There is a huge gap between the research published in the academic journals and the magazines found on the rack at Whole Foods. On the one hand, you have scientific publications that are generally inaccessible to the general public, and on the other, you have magazines that are beautifully designed and loaded with enticing articles – that have little to do with science, or worse yet, take scientific information and and turn it into meaningless hyperbole. Nutrition science is often reduced to the vacillating, confusing, and whiplash-causing babble of nutritionism. How in the world is the average citizen supposed to make sense out of it all. This section of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation website offers stories that treat metabolical topics with depth and insight, written for the general readership, and written so that each article addresses the health of the individual, provides actionable intelligence – practical information that can be applied that is paradigm shifting and transformational.

Video Productions & Live Social Media

Educational, entertaining, and engaging content strategy & content.

Sweet Revenge program available in English and Spanish versions. Funded by foundations. Distributed via public television and through organizations as fundraising premium. Available online via Advise & Consent.

Sweet Revenge -Turning the Tables on Processed Food

Public Television Program – Advisory Role, Fund Development, Promotion
Seen by over one million people on 400 public television stations.

Wolfram and I worked together in coordinating and running webinars for the IRN. Wolfram is gifted at bringing people together for a cause, uniting them in voice, and amplifying that voice a hundred times over. I witnessed Wolfram gather a prestigious board, direct public education, and conceive, develop and coordinate events and fundraisers through multiple mediums. He’s not only competent and skilled, but he’s creative, compassionate, good-natured, and highly likable – a special combination indeed.
Luci Gabel, MA, MBA

Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Coach, Presenter and Content Manager, LuciFit

Hungry for Change Live Social
Periscope / Twitter Livecast 

Hacking the American Mind Interview

Real Food Fun Event
Panel Discussion – YouTube

Dr. Robert Lustig & Dale Bredesen
Live Facebook Conversation

Live Facebook Conversation
Hungry for Change Symposium

Keeping it Real 

Facebook Live Broadcast

Tweet Story – Storify
Hungry for Change Symposium