Targeting DNA-methylation Fingerprints Linked to Ultra-Processed Foods Consumption to Prevent Non-communicable Diseases: the METHYL-UP Study (METHYL-UP)

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    IMDEA Alimentación
Updated on 20 April 2022
cardiovascular disease
metabolic syndrome
nutrition education
overweight or obesity


Non-communicable diseases (NCD) are the main health challenge in industrialized countries. However, these diseases are preventable if an intervention based on lifestyle is implemented at the population level. Diet has a great impact on the onset and progression of NCD. In this regard, ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption has been related to higher morbidity and mortality. UPF are defined as "formulations made mostly or entirely from substances derived from foods and additives, with little if any intact unprocessed or minimally processed foods" (NOVA definition). UPF are rich in saturated fats and additives and poor in fiber other nutrients. UPF consumption has raised in the last decades in the industrialized countries and this increase has been associated with higher prevalence of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. However, mechanisms that link UPF consumption with NCD are poorly understood and clinical trials are needed to unravel these mechanisms and how to impact on them through lifestyle interventions. The investigators have previously identified DNA methylation marks associated with UPF consumption. DNA methylation marks are modifiable. The aim of the study is to assay if DNA methylation marks related to UPF consumption are reversible by reducing UPF consumption in a population of adults with overweight or obesity and with a high basal UPF consumption (>35% of total food consumption in g/day).


The investigators propose a controlled, randomized, parallel groups intervention study based on nutritional counseling to reduce UPF consumption. Eligible participants are adults (18-50 years old), men and women, with overweight or obesity (BMI 25-40 Kg/m2) with a high basal consumption of UPF (>35% of total intake in g/day).

Recruited participants will be randomly allocated into a control group or an intervention group. Participants in the control group will be provided with nutritional guidelines to follow a healthy diet based on a Mediterranean diet. Participants in the intervention group will follow a nutritional intervention program aimed to reduce UPF consumption. Nutritional intervention will not modify basal caloric intake but will record energy intake along the intervention. Nutritional counseling will be based on nutritional educational material such as encourage and discourage food items, recipes, menus and food shopping lists based on unprocessed or minimally processed foods.

Total intervention will last 6 months for both groups. During the intervention phase, a monthly interview with nutritionist/dietitian is scheduled. Face-to-face interviews will be carried out in months 2 and 4. Phone interviews will be carried out in months 1, 3 and 5. In the baseline and final visits (months 0 and 6) a sample and data collection will be performed.

Data collected will include general socio-demographical data (age, sex, educational level, working status, civil status, rural/urban status), lifestyle data (smoking habits, dietary habits, physical activity, sleeping habits), anthropometric data (height, weight, waist circumference, body composition), and clinic-phenotypical parameters (blood pressure, medication, adverse effects, disease prevalence). Biological sample collection will include blood, urine, saliva and feces. Biochemical and blood cells parameters will be measured (blood cell count, glucose, lipid and hepatic profiles).

Condition Obesity, Overweight
Treatment Control, nutritional intervention
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05319327
SponsorIMDEA Alimentación
Last Modified on20 April 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

-50 years old
BMI 25-40 Kg/m2
UPF consumption > 35% of total intake in g/day

Exclusion Criteria

IMC <25 Kg/m2 or > 40 Kg/m2
Excessive alcohol consumption
Prevalent cardiovascular, renal, lung, pancreatic or liver disease
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes with poor glucose control or unstable medication during last 3 months
Prevalent endocrine disease
Changes in anti-hypertensive medication during last 3 months
Insulin, systemic anti-inflammatory, or glucocorticoid medication during last 3 months
Food allergies or intolerances
Psychosocial or cultural factors that prevent from following the intervention
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note