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Design and implementation of a cross-sectional nutritional phenotyping study in healthy US adults.



Metabolic imbalance is a key determinant of risk of chronic diseases. Metabolic health cannot be assessed solely by body mass calculations or by static, fasted state biochemical readouts. Although previous studies have described temporal responses to dietary challenges, these studies fail to assess the environmental factors associated with certain metabolic phenotypes and therefore, provide little scientific rationale for potentially effective intervention strategies.


In this phenotyping study of healthy US adults, we are evaluating lifestyle, biological and environmental factors in addition to metabolic parameters to determine the factors associated with variations in metabolic health. A series of practical fitness, dietary, and emotional challenges are introduced and temporal responses in various areas of specialization, including immunology, metabolomics, and endocrinology, are monitored. We expect that this study will identify key factors related to healthy or unhealthy metabolic phenotypes (metabotypes) that may be modifiable targets for the prevention of chronic diseases in an individual.


This study will provide novel insights into metabolic variability among healthy adults in balanced strata defined by sex, age and body mass index. Usual dietary intake and physical activity will be evaluated across these strata to determine how diet is associated with health status defined using many indicators including immune function, metabolism, body composition, physiology, response to exercise andmeal challenges and neuroendocrine assessment. A principal study goal is to identify dietary and other personal factors that will differentiate different levels of "health" among study participants.

Trial registration NCT02367287.

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