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tumchi’s dietician centre stage in Channel 4’s gut health show





Sophie Medlin, tumchi’s head of nutrition and dietetics, had a lot of fun appearing as a lead expert on the Channel 4 show Know Your Sh*t, a six-episode prime time show about gut health, which made its debut last month.

tumchi head of nutrition and dietetics Sophie Medlin, left, with CEO and founder Daria Sopelkina at Cambridge Judge Business School. Picture: Keith Heppell
tumchi head of nutrition and dietetics Sophie Medlin, left, with CEO and founder Daria Sopelkina at Cambridge Judge Business School. Picture: Keith Heppell

The nutritional science company, a graduate of the Accelerate Cambridge programme at Cambridge Judge Business School, was founded in 2019 by Daria Sopelkina, a Ukrainian entrepreneur “at the intersection of start-up tech and gaming”.

tumchi has developed a personalised nutrition platform that marries dietetics, microbiome research and food science. The company made progress in 2022 – against strong crosswinds, reports Daria.

“Last year was a good year for tumchi,” she told the Cambridge Independent. “We won £75,500 in grants from Innovate UK and Santander Universities. At the moment, customers can go through tumchi assessment and receive personalised recommendations that Sophie designs.

“But 2022 wasn’t easy for us either, especially for our technical team, DataMix, and our designers in Ukraine. Our colleagues work from bomb shelters and their bathrooms occasionally. Sirens in the background during our team calls give us in the UK chills every time but our Ukrainian colleagues always say something nice to make us feel better and concentrate on work. I can’t express how happy I am to work with these brilliant and brave people. It’s so inspiring.”

Healthy food is essential for gut health
Healthy food is essential for gut health

Sophie has worked in the gut health space for 12 years and had previously worked with Know Your Sh*t presenters The Mac Twins.

“I am very happy to be the head of nutrition and dietetics at tumchi,” Sophie says of the journey so far. “I have been working with Daria at tumchi for 18 months but we have known each other for longer than that.

“The Mac Twins pitched the show to production companies. We were so happy to get commissioned by Channel 4 at the beginning of 2022 and we had so much fun filming through the year.”

The project is described as “a fun, accessible and light-hearted series that will teach people what is and isn’t normal about our bowels, as well as revolutionising our everyday health habits”.

“I loved it,” says Sophie of the experience. “It was really fun to do what I usually do everyday in clinic but with my lovely friends and in a fun environment.

“I am a massive advocate for raising the profile of dieticians – what we do, how we can help and our role as medical nutrition professionals – so it was such an honour for me to be able to share my expertise on such a big platform.”

tumchi CEO and founder Daria Sopelkina, left, with head of nutrition and dietetics, Sophie Medlin. Picture: Keith Heppell
tumchi CEO and founder Daria Sopelkina, left, with head of nutrition and dietetics, Sophie Medlin. Picture: Keith Heppell

She adds: “I really hope that in the near future, we’ll see improving our gut health as being one of the most important modifiable factors for our health alongside things like stopping smoking and moderating our alcohol intake. I am really excited and proud to be at the forefront of this with the show, my clinic and with tumchi.”

Daria tells us to “watch this space” for progress in 2023.

“We have big plans,” she says. “We are launching our platform with gamified features, our blood biomarkers testing kits with a good choice of panels – gut health, men’s health, preconception for both men and women, and also breastfeeding and menopause, where nutrition is often overlooked.

“We also can’t wait to launch our microbiome tests this year. We can’t reveal much at the moment about this but we promise it will be fun.”



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