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Published: 10 September 2018

Volunteers needed for diet study on blood cholesterol

Are you a healthy man aged between 30 and 65 years old? If so, we need your help!

Researchers from the University of Surrey are undertaking an exciting new study, investigating the effects dietary fat has on blood cholesterol levels. Volunteers are required to help researchers learn more about this.

Blood cholesterol, or more specifically LDL “bad cholesterol” is a well-established risk factor for heart disease. The level of LDL cholesterol in your blood can be raised by diets rich in saturated fat, but it does not have this effect in everyone. When some people eat too much saturated fat their LDL cholesterol level can stay the same or even go down, and little is known about what causes these different responses.  

In this study, healthy men will be asked to follow two 4-week diets, one after the other, which contain different amounts of dietary fat.  The different amounts of fat in each diet will be achieved by swapping usual butters/spreads, dairy products and snacks, with foods that will be provided. Researchers will then monitor blood cholesterol levels to see how individuals respond to each diet, and attempt to explain what causes the differences in LDL cholesterol response to the diets.

Results from this study will help dietitians and doctors to tailor dietary advice to people for whom eating saturated fat is either more or less important to their heart health. 

"The advancement of health research is dependent on volunteers, and I would ask anybody who is interested in taking part in this study to get in touch."

Bruce Griffin

Bruce Griffin, Professor of Nutritional Metabolism at the University of Surrey, said: “The dangers of saturated fat in our diet are well documented, but how it affects an individual’s cholesterol levels remains unknown. Once we understand this, dietary advice can be targeted to help those most at risk of heart disease”.

“The advancement of health research is dependent on volunteers, and I would ask anybody who is interested in taking part in this study to get in touch.”

If you would like to take part in the study, please contact Dr Rona Antoni (r.antoni@surrey.ac.uk). Suitable volunteers should not be on any prescription medication and be non-smokers.