Overweight adults needed for study exploring link between fats and heart disease

Overweight men and women are being encouraged to take part in a study which investigates if certain fats in meals can lead to heart disease.

Researchers at Loughborough University want to hear from adults aged 18-50, who are physically active, non-smokers and free from any heart, metabolic or inflammatory disease.

The study, funded by the British Nutrition Foundation, aims to investigate whether eating a meal high in good fats - compared to saturated fats - can  reduce cause long-term inflammation and that ultimately leads to heart disease.

As part of the study, participants will be asked to complete two seperate seven hour sessions at Loughborough University.

During the sessions, participants will be required to eat a breakfast which includes a milkshake and two small muffins. Small stomach fat samples and regular blood samples will be collected before and after the meal.

Rebecca Dewhurst-Trigg, a PhD researcher in the university’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, said: “One recommendation for lowering the risk of heart disease is replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated (such as walnuts, sunflower seeds and fish) or monounsaturated fats (avocados, almonds and cashew nuts).

“However, we don’t know exactly how our bodies respond to these types of fats after eating a meal. This study will allow us to explore this at a molecular and whole body level.”

Dr Oonagh Markey, a Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow in the university’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, said: “Understanding more about how specific types of fats in our diet impact on abdominal fat (adipose tissue) inflammation and heart health will have important societal and economic impact.”

Male participants must have a waist circumference of 94 cm or over (or 90 cm or over for Asian men). Female participants must have a waist circumference of 80 cm or over and/or a BMI of 25 and over.

Participants will be reimbursed for their time.

Anyone interested in taking part in the study or if they are unsure if they meet the criteria, should contact Rebecca Dewhurst-Trigg on r.dewhurst-trigg@lboro.ac.uk or Dr Oonagh Markey on o.markey@lboro.ac.uk or call 01509 222737.