Why study alterations in diet?
Diet and lifestyle are the main influencers in the development of the diseases of civilization such as obesity, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. An increasing body of scientific evidence supports the view that alterations in diet markedly affect the progression of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Our nutrition services
Profil has a metabolic ward that is specialized in meeting nutritional requirements in clinical research. Our metabolic kitchen allows the investigation and control of the impact of nutritional conditions in clinical trials. To date, Profil has performed more than 70 studies with standardized nutritional regimens. This significant experience means we can help match nutritional plans to the objectives of any trial, even when mixed meal tolerance tests or individual diets are needed.
Following the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association and the German Nutrition Society, we ensure adequate nutrient intake levels for regular meals. If required, our team of research dieticians can plan palatable daily menus meeting both individual preferences and prescribed nutrient content, while our metabolic kitchen allows a gram-exact weighing of dietary components. We have the capacity to adapt the patient’s diet on a day-to-day basis and standardize their intake of macro- and micronutrients and fluid. We collaborate closely with a bakery and sub-contracted laboratories so that specific foods can be produced according to the needs of any study (e.g., low-sodium-bread or baked goods with tightly defined water content).
Energy requirement determination
To develop specific nutritional regimens, energy requirements are routinely determined onsite. Depending on the study design, total energy requirements can be determined based on resting metabolic rate, measured via indirect calorimetry or estimated with commonly used formulas using individual anthropometric measurements including body composition. In addition to resting energy expenditure, nutrient-induced thermogenesis and exercise-induced thermogenesis can be assessed via indirect calorimetry as contributing variables to total energy expenditure. Finally, the doubly labeled water method may be used to directly measure total energy expenditure. This is the best predictor of true energy requirements.
Individually tailored energy intake, the highest grade of standardization, has been show to enable the detection of body composition changes within two to three weeks, dependent on the efficacy of the intervention. Through high standardization of food components, we are able to minimize the impact of nutrients on metabolic parameters, thus reducing the variability of study results and increasing the potential to further optimize the sample size.
To accommodate the widest range of nutritional studies, our methodological setup is also designed to accurately assess ad-libitum nutrient intake of each individual using a digital system. Quantifying energy intake in a buffet-style setting enables us to assess food choice or food preference. Simultaneously, we provide electronic visual analogue scales (eVAS) to measure the sense of appetite and perceived food preference in appetite research.
Last but not least, close monitoring of water and nutrient intake and excretion gives us the opportunity to evaluate daily metabolic balances and to quantify changes in the total body content of certain nutrients (e.g., sodium, water).