Last updated on April 2018

Complex Effects of Dietary Manipulation on Metabolic Function Inflammation and Health


Brief description of study

The purpose of this research study is to 1) understand how some, but not all people with obesity develop obesity related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and 2) compare the effects of 3 popular weight loss diets (Mediterranean, low-carbohydrate, or a very-low-fat plant-based diet) in people with obesity.

Detailed Study Description

Obesity is associated with a constellation of cardiometabolic abnormalities (including insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure and dyslipidemia) that are risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, not all people experience the typical "complications" associated with obesity. Approximately 25% of obese people are protected from the adverse metabolic effects of excess fat accumulation and are considered metabolically-normal, based on their normal response to insulin. The mechanisms responsible for the development of insulin resistance and cardiometabolic complications in some, but not all, obese persons are unknown.

In people that do develop the typical "complications" associated with obesity weight loss has profound therapeutic effects. Currently, there are three distinctly different types of diets that have demonstrated considerable benefits in improving cardiometabolic health in both lean and obese people: 1) a Mediterranean diet, 2) a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet, and 3) a plant-based, very-low-fat diet. However, there is considerable inter-individual variability in body weight loss among people in response to any given diet, and it is not known why some people lose more weight with one diet than another. The mechanisms responsible for the different weight and metabolic responses to specific types of diets and the independent effects of weight loss and dietary macronutrient composition on cardiometabolic health are unclear.

The overarching goal of this project is therefore to fill these gaps in knowledge by conducting a careful cross-sectional characterization of metabolically normal lean, metabolically normal obese and metabolically abnormal obese individuals to compare body composition, body fat distribution, the plasma metabolome, systemic and adipose tissue inflammation and immune system function, adipose tissue and muscle biological function, the gut microbiome, the brain's structure, cognitive function and central reward mechanisms, and taste sensation between groups. . Metabolically abnormal obese participants will then be randomized to follow a Mediterranean, a low-carbohydrate ketogenic or a plant-based, very-low-fat diet to examine the different effects of these diets on the above outcomes with the purpose to determine the beneficial or potentially harmful effects of these different diets.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02706262

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

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Samuel Klein, MD

Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, MO United States
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Recruitment Status: Open


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