Volunteers required for plant protein study

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health are examining whether augmenting our diets with plant protein could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and improve gut health.

The study will explore if there are nutritional and health benefits to be gained from increasing the level of protein-rich foods such as buckwheat, broad bean, hemp and green peas in our diets.

The team performing the research believe that increasing consumption of these foods will result in a healthier and more sustainable diet.

In order to gather information, the scientists are hoping to recruit volunteers to help with the study.

Participants will need to be between 18 and 65 years old with a body mass index (BMI) of 18-40. The team are looking for both vegetarians and meat eaters who are non-smokers. Before the study begins, volunteers will attend the Rowett to ensure that they are eligible to take part. Those who are eligible will then be assigned to a group and will be advised on what diet they will follow. From a total of 60 volunteers, only 20 will be assigned to follow a specific diet, the other 40 will continue eating their normal habitual diet.

Participants following a diet rich in plant protein will have food provided to them on a weekly basis.

Dr Madalina Neacsu, Research Fellow at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, said: “There is scientific evidence that shows that consumption of legumes such as peas and beans, may lower the risk of CVD. This may be by having favourable effects on blood pressure, blood glucose and insulin levels and by satisfying hunger and helping body weight management.

“We are hoping that this study will establish that plant protein can deliver a healthy and sustainable diet.”

Anyone interested in volunteering to take part in the study, or for more information about the research, should contact Dr Neacsu on 01224 438760 or email m.neacsu@abdn.ac.uk

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