Find out about our current, on-going, diet research trials

Diet research trials

 

Trial: The effect of L-phenylalanine on appetite

Research area

Metabolic and endocrine

Summary

Diets which are rich in proteins are known to suppress appetite e.g. how hungry someone feels, but the reason why this happens is unknown.

Proteins are broken down by your body into smaller molecules called amino acids. This study is looking at whether L-phenylalanine (a naturally occurring amino acid) also reduces appetite. 

The findings may be important in terms of controlling body weight and therefore preventing obesity. We aim to investigate this by measuring how hungry a person is after ingesting this amino acid.

Who can take part?

Adults aged between 18 and 60 years, with a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 30 kg/m2.

Contact

Email: aminoacids@imperial.ac.uk

 

Trial: Escalation study to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of single and multiple doses of pancreatic polypeptide (PP) 1420 in healthy individuals

Research area

Nutrition and diet

Summary

When we eat, the bowels naturally secrete chemicals into the bloodstream which make people feel full and stop eating.

One of these chemicals is known as pancreatic polypeptide (PP). We have previously shown that injections of PP reduce appetite and food intake in volunteers. We have now developed a long-acting version of PP, called PP 1420, as a treatment for obesity.

PP 1420 has been tested on animals where is has shown to reduce their appetite whilst also being safe. PP 1420 was tested in humans for the first time in 2010 and was shown to be safe and well tolerated.

This study is a follow-on study to test PP1420 over a higher dose range (Phase 1B) and to test PP1420's effects over a one month period, assessing its safety and tolerability.

This is a double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled study.

Who can take part?

Men who are overweight/obese but otherwise healthy, non-smoking and aged between 18 and 50 years.

Contact

Professor Tricia Tan, consultant in metabolic medicine and endocrinology

Email: food@imperial.ac.uk

 

Trial: Do gut hormones mediate the beneficial effects of Roux-en-Y bypass surgery?

Research area

Nutrition and diet

Summary

We are investigating the effect of natural hormones that reduce appetite and influence the way the body handles sugar. We are also looking at the effect of low calorie diets. The study involves up to nine visits and expenses of up to £100 per day will be paid.

Who can take part?

Healthy overweight volunteers who are non-smokers and aged between 18 and 55 years.

Contact

Professor Tricia Tan, consultant metabolic medicine and endocrinology

Email: food@imperial.ac.uk

 

Trial: Long-limb gastric bypass

Research area

Metabolic and endocrine

Summary

Obesity is the main cause of diabetes. Weight loss, or bariatric surgery produces major and sustained weight loss and is being increasingly used to treat obese diabetic patients.

There was initial optimism that these procedures might “cure all diabetes”. However, the gold-standard operation, standard gastric bypass, effectively cures diabetes in only four out of ten patients. To design a safer and more successful procedure we need to understand how bariatric surgery works to improve diabetes.

Hormones from the gut are released when we eat food and these control how the body uses the food it absorbs. They release the sugar-lowering hormone insulin, and also greatly reduce appetite. We have discovered that the good effects of bariatric surgery, and in particular the gastric bypass, are mainly due to the increased release of gut hormones, reducing the patient’s appetite and improving the release of insulin.

In this project we will be testing a new procedure called the long-limb gastric bypass which involves one change to the design of the standard-limb gastric bypass. We want to investigate whether it is better than the currently available standard-limb gastric bypass for curing sugar diabetes (type 2 diabetes mellitus) and if so what are the mechanisms.

This is a new procedure so we also need to find out more about its safety and whether it is associated with the same, fewer or more complications than the standard-limb gastric bypass.

Who can take part?

Adults aged between 18 and 70 years who have chosen and are eligible to undergo the gastric bypass, and have type 2 diabetes mellitus which is not well controlled.

Contact

Dr Alex Miras, clinical lecturer in metabolic medicine

Email: a.miras@nhs.net

 

Trial: Dietary resistant starch from peas for healthy glucose homeostasis

Research area

Nutrition and diet

Summary

We are investigating the beneficial effects of a dietary resistant starch found in peas on human health.
Participants will be asked to eat food products containing different peas and complete study visits at the centre.

Who can take part?

Adults aged between 18 and 65 years (inclusive).

Study location

NIHR/Welcome Trust, Imperial Clinical Research Facility at Hammersmith Hospital.

Contact

Dr Ed Chambers, research fellow

Email: peas@imperial.ac.uk

 

Trial: Impact of a low calorie Cambridge based diet programme (CDBP) on weight loss in obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with insulin

Research area

Nutrition and diet

Summary

This study aims to assess if weight loss by a six month Cambridge diet based programme (CDBP) followed by a six month follow up is enough to get type 2 diabetes patients off insulin and diabetes medication.

Who can take part?

Adults aged between 18 and 70 years with type 2 diabetes with a BMI over 30 kg/m².

Contact

Professor Gary Frost

Email: weightloss@imperial.ac.uk

 

Trial: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain understanding food reward in the treatment of obesity

Research area

Metabolic and endocrine

Summary

We are studying how the brain controls eating behaviour in people who are obese, and how this changes after gastric bypass surgery.

Volunteers will have functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans while doing various tasks to see which parts of the brain are activated.

The study will involves up to three non-scanning visits, and two scanning visits.

Who can take part?

Adults both non-obese (BMI 18-28kg/m2) and obese (BMI > 28kg/m2)

Please note you cannot take part if you:

  • are vegetarian, vegan, gluten or lactose intolerant
  • have a pacemaker, or some types of metal implants and clips
  • are claustrophobic, pregnant or breast feeding

Study location

HAMMERSMITH HOSPITAL

Contact

Navpreet Chhina, research fellow

Email: OBESITY@IMPERIAL.AC.UK

 

Trial: Effect of increased propionate in the colon on appetite and glucose homeostasis

Research area

Nutrition and diet, diabetes

Summary

We are investigating a dietary supplement, propionate ester, and the effect it has in your colon on appetite and glucose homeostasis (the balance of insulin and glucagon to maintain blood glucose).

This propionate is chemically bound to the natural dietary fibre inulin. Inulin is a fibre normally found in garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory and onion.

The propionate ester has previously been tested in humans and presents no health risks.

Who can take part?

Adults aged between 18 and 70 years with type 2 diabetes and a BMI over 30 kg/m².

Contact

Dr Ed Chambers, research fellow

Email: e.chambers@imperial.ac.uk

 

Trial: Gut hormones in addiction study

Research area

Addiction and obesity

Summary

We are recruiting volunteers for a study which is investigating the effects of gut hormones on eating and addictive behaviours.

Volunteers will have functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans, and receive an infusion of two different hormones on different occasions to see how the brain responds.

You will also have blood samples taken and will be required to undertake tests, such as questionnaires and computer-based tasks which will help us to review your eating and addictive behaviours.

The hormones have been safely administered in many previous studies. You will first need to attend Hammersmith Hospital for a health screening visit. This will be followed by three additional study visits.

Who can take part?

Men and women aged 18 to 60 years who are either:

  • overweight or obese and currently taking part in a weight management programme (or planning to do so in the near future)
  • an ex-smoker, having given up cigarettes within the last year (or planning to do so in the near future)
  • previous alcohol dependence, having given up alcohol within the last year (or planning to do so in the near future).

You will not be able to take part if you are diabetic; vegetarian, vegan, gluten or lactose intolerant; claustrophobic; pregnant or breast feeding or have a history of drug dependence.

Contact

Visit WWW.GHADD.CO.UK, email GHADD@IMPERIAL.AC.UK, or call: 020 7594 6648