Plain English Summary
Background and study aims:
Personalised nutrition is commonly described as dietary advice tailored to an individual. Recent studies successfully demonstrated that personalised dietary advice is more effective in producing appropriate changes in dietary intake and health outcomes compared to general population level advice. However, the focus on individuals is still not easily achievable in a public health perspective and may have limited impact on populations.
To take into account the individual biological characteristics in personalised healthcare, metabotypes have been suggested as a potential tool. Metabotypes are groups of individuals defined based on their similarities in the metabolic profile. Metabotypes have been successfully associated with diet-related diseases and differential responses to interventions, which support their use as a means to deliver personalised dietary advice at a group level.
The investigators previous work developed a framework to deliver personalised nutrition advice based on metabotypes. They compared the advice delivered by the metabotype approach to the advice delivered by a dietician and demonstrated that there was a good agreement. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of such an approach to induce behaviour changes and in this instance changes in dietary quality.
Who can participate?
Healthy adults aged between 18 and 65 years old.
What does the study involve?
Participants will be randomly allocated to receive either dietary advice or personalised dietary advice. Measurements include the following: weight, height, waist circumference, hip circumference, blood pressure, blood sample levels of fats and sugars, urine sample, and a 4-day food diary. Participants will follow this dietary guidance for 12 weeks and then measurements will be repeated to see if there have been any improvements.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Risk: A small percentage of individuals feel faint or faint after giving blood. We will ask all participants to rest for a few minutes following the blood collection. Trained phlebotomists or health care individuals will take blood samples.
Benefits: There will be no direct benefit to the participants from taking part in the study. However, all participants will get to learn about their dietary intake.
Where is the study run from?
University College Dublin (Ireland)
When is the study starting?
From June 2020 to June 2023
Who is funding the study?
University College Dublin (Ireland)
Who is the main contact?
Professor Lorraine Brennan
Impact of personalised nutrition advice on diet quality compared to general population advice in healthy volunteers: a randomised controlled trial
Personalised dietary advice delivered using a biomarker-driven approach is more effective in changing diet quality than general dietary advice delivered at a population level.
Approved 20/12/2019, UCD Human Research Ethics Committee (Roebuck Castle, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland; +353 1 716 8767; firstname.lastname@example.org), ref: LS-19-98-Brennan
Single-blind randomised controlled trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet.
Improving quality of dietary intake
Participants will be randomised (please give ratio of randomisation and method use to randomise) to one of two groups:
1. Intervention group receiving personalised dietary advice using a biomarker-driven approach
2. Control group receiving general dietary advice based on the Healthy Ireland food pyramid
Participants will be followed over a period of 12 weeks. Following a baseline assessment (anthropometry, blood pressure, blood and urine samples, diet intake), participants will receive a report indicating key foods and guidance to follow to improve dietary quality. This will be delivered via email. Measurements will be repeated following 12 weeks and change in diet quality assessed.
Primary outcome measure
Diet quality assessed by the Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score at baseline and 12 weeks
Secondary outcome measures
1. Change in blood biochemistry assessed from lipid parameters and glycaemic parameters (For ex: glucose, Cholesterol, HDL, Triacylglycerol) of blood samples taken at baseline and 12 weeks.
2. Change in metabolite levels assessed from blood and urine samples taken at baseline and 12 weeks using untargeted metabolomic analysis.
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Aged between 18 and 65 years
2. BMI ≥18.5 Kg/m2
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Pregnant or lactating
2. Diagnosed with metabolic disease which interferes with nutritional requirements
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
University College Dublin
Investigator initiated and funded
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Planned publication in a high-impact peer-reviewed journal.
IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are not expected to be made available as consent from participants does not include this.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not expected to be available
Basic results (scientific)