Dietary Carbohydrate and Internal Body Fat

2018-01-24 12:29:12 | BioPortfolio


This is a 2-year randomized controlled trial to test the effect of dietary carbohydrates, both quality and quantity, on changes in internal body fat mass. Up to 250 women and men with obesity are recruited in Bergen, Norway, and randomized to one of the following normo- and isocaloric dietary patterns (same amount of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids and moderate energy, 2,000 - 2,500 kcal per day): 1) a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet primarily with refined (e.g., flour-based) carbohydrate sources, 2) a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet based on minimally refined (e.g., cellular) carbohydrate sources, and 3) a very-high-fat low-carbohydrate diet.


Obesity, and high internal fat storage in particular, represents a tremendous and increasing health challenge across the world, and is linked to the recent introduction and globalization of an ultra-processed food supply largely based on refined carbohydrates. However, more high-quality studies are needed to directly assess the role of carbohydrate quality in abdominal adiposity. We also need studies with greater long-term adherence to prescribed food profiles, which may be achievied with the help of new electronic tools such as meal planning applications.

The participants select and plan all meals among a list of carefully designed options, using an application/recipe booklet developed for the study. Each recipe/meal/snack is designed to fully comply with the overall macronutrient- and dietary profile for the respective groups. We will further instruct the participants to record their meal choices during three days every 14 days, and to record all deviations throughout the intervention.

Enrolled participants are invited to study visits at baseline and after 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months. At all or some of these time points, the participants provide biological samples (blood, urine and feces, and for some, adipose and/or muscle tissue) and undergo phenotyping, e.g., measurement of body weight and fat mass by bioelectrical impedance analysis and low-radiation CT imaging, and a standardized meal test with blood sample collection up to 4 hours postprandially. In addition, participants will be asked to fill out a collection of questionnaires that assess quality of life, motivation, fatigue, gastrointestinal health, appetite and physical activity. We ask the participants to maintain the same level of physical activity throughout the study.

The primary outcome measure is change in internal body fat mass (visceral adipose tissue) measured by CT imaging. Secondary outcome measures include change in 2-hour postprandial serum concentrations of insulin, change in 4-hour postprandial serum concentrations of triacylglycerols, and change in fecal microbiota composition measured by 16S sequencing.

Study Design




Acellular carbohydrate diet, Cellular carbohydrate diet, Low-carbohydrate high-fat diet


Forskningsenhet for helseundersøkelser (research unit for clinical trials), Department of Clinical Science, University of Berge


Enrolling by invitation


Haukeland University Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2018-01-24T12:29:12-0500

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A diet that contains limited amounts of CARBOHYDRATES. This is in distinction to a regular DIET.

A diet that consists mainly of foods with a high content of protein and limited amounts of CARBOHYDRATES.


A diet prescribed in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, usually limited in the amount of sugar or readily available carbohydrate. (Dorland, 27th ed)

The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a carbohydrate.

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