Research projects – University of Copenhagen

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Research projects

FINS – Fish Intervention Study

Obesity is a main underlying factor for development of the metabolic syndrome. Marine oils are well known to protect against diet-induced obesity in rodents and the protein constituent of seafood may be beneficial in weight management. The hypothesis of this project is that seafood proteins given in the right combination with carbohydrates are superior to meat in promoting increased energy expenditure and satiety. At NEXS, we perform at 4-way cross-over meal test study comparing cod or salmon vs veal as well as the combination with high or low–glycaemic index carbohydrates. A total of 48 subjects will be included and each measurement day will include ventilated hood measures, appetite scores and blood sampling. The study is part of a larger multicentre project with partners mainly based in Norway and Denmark and. The project is funded by the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund and runs from 2013 to 2016.

GLOW – Effect of Gelesis100, a medical devise, on body weight and glucose regulation

For many overweight and obese individuals, losing body weight and keeping a weight loss is a huge challenge. Gelesis100 is a hydrogel whose components can result in increased satiety, decreased hunger and reduced food intake when eaten with a meal. This is expected to reduce caloric intake and thereby body weight in the long term.  In this project, we assess the changes in body weight after repeated administration of Gelesis100 or placebo over a period of 24 weeks in overweight and obese subjects with and without type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, we investigate changes in different blood parameters related to diabetes as well as relevant safety parameters. The study is a multicentre, multinational study funded by Gelesis Srl (USA). The project period is 2014 – 2016.

GO Bypass - Patient profiling for successful weight loss after gastric bypass surgery – intervention in severely obese adults

This work study addresses the multiple factors potentially determining the large variation of weight loss after bariatric surgery in severely obesity. It combines physiological, metabolic, genetic, anthropological, psychological and novel imaging approaches in a genuinely interdisciplinary design. The specific aims are to evaluate a) what explains the large individual differences in weight loss seen after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB surgery), b) if it is possible pre-operatively to identify which patients will not obtain sufficient beneficial effects of bariatric surgery in relation to weight loss and quality of life and c) if patients in need of improved care can be identified pre- and/or early post-operatively. The project period is 2014- 2016.


EMIF plans to address the logistical challenges of developing a sustainable and scalable information framework which has the potential to access data on a scale and at a level of detail not currently available which will completely re-shape the way researchers currently approach key scientific questions and also to open avenues of research that so far have been out of reach. The current project will focus on two such research questions to provide focus and some guidance for the framework development. One of the research questions is the EMIF-metabolic topic, where the discovery of predictors of the metabolic complications of adult and paediatric obesity shall lead to innovative diagnostic tests, pave the way to novel therapeutics targeted to high-risk individuals, and provide the infrastructure to select individuals for such targeted pharmacological interventions. The project includes EPFIA partners and partners from universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups, Patients’ organisations and SMEs. The project period is 2013-18.


The MyNewGut Project, (Microbiome's influence on energy balance and brain development/function put into action to tackle diet-related diseases and behaviour) will research how the human gut microbiota and its genome (microbiome) influence obesity, behavioural- and lifestyle-related disorders and vice versa. It also aims to identify specific dietary strategies to improve the long-term health of the population. The objectives are to expand knowledge of the contribution of the human microbiome to nutrient metabolism and energy balance; identify microbiome-related features that contribute to or predict obesity and associated disorders; understand how the gut microbiome, under the influence of environmental factors, plays a role in the brain, metabolic and immune system development in early life and long-term health consequences; and provide proof-of-concepts of the disease risk and reduction potential of dietary interventions with new food products and ingredients that target the gut microbiome, in humans. The project is a multi-centre multi-national study funded by the EU 7th framework programme. The project period is 2013-2018.

Osterix - Cheese and metabolic risk factors

It is currently being challenged if all dairy products should be considered equal or if for example intake of cheese may prove more beneficial than intake of dairy fat from butter and cream with regard to metabolic risk factors. The aim of the present research project is to examine whether consumption of high daily amounts of cheese, both high-fat and low-fat, affects risk markers of disease in a study population of men and women with metabolic syndrome risk factors. This will be done by considering cheese as a food product per se and not as a sum of single nutrients, knowing that the single components of cheese cannot be adequately placebo-matched. A relatively high daily intake of high-fat cheese will be compared to a similar intake of low-fat cheese and with a carbohydrate control group. The project enrols up to 170 subjects who will be randomized to one of the three diets for a 12 weeks’ intervention period. In a sub-group, 4-h postprandial glucose and insulin response after 12-weeks’ intervention will also be examined. The funding comes from national and international diary research funds and companies and the study runs from 2013 to 2016.

Porcine Proteins – the Effects on Protein Synthesis and Appetite

Several studies have shown that a diet high in protein increases weight loss and reduces weight regain after weight loss compared to a diet low in protein, possibly due to a beneficial effect on satiety and diet-induced thermogenesis. Moreover, dietary proteins play an essential role in the maintenance and increase of muscle mass. Today, research is primarily centred around the dairy proteins, whey protein and casein as animal sources, but in the present study we aim to test two porcine proteins (one from porcine blood and one from porcine muscle), which like the dairy proteins are of high quality. The hypothesis of the present study is that the porcine proteins will stimulate appetite and muscle protein synthesis to the same extend as whey protein. At NEXS we perform a 3-way randomized, cross-over study. In total, 22 subjects will be included and at each test day we will measure their subjective appetite, collect blood samples to measure the secretion of appetite regulating hormones and take muscle biopsies to determine the effect on muscle protein synthesis rate.
The project is funded by Svineafgiftsfonden ( and runs over the period 2015-2016. Afterwards, the results of the study will be published. The project will not be initiated before ethical approval is obtained.


PREVIEW is an acronym of PREVention of diabetes through lifestyle Intervention and population studies in Europe and around the World. The project is a large multi-national diabetes prevention project using two different lines of evidence. Thus, the project consists of a large 3-y multinational, clinical intervention study in up to 2,500 adults and 150 children/adolescents as well as population studies involving about 170,000 individuals. Data are expected to provide new important insights into the role of different dietary and exercise strategies, sleep, habitual stress and other behavioural and sociological factors. The project is led by Professor Anne Raben from the University of Copenhagen, and there are 15 partners in the consortium. The project will run for 6 years starting in January 2013. The project is funded by the European Union FP 7th, national funds from New Zealand, Australia and Canada as well as the Cambridge Weight Plan (UK).

SATIN – Satiety Innovation

Why do some foods fill us up quicker than others? Food experts understood that flavour, texture and visual appeal of foods contribute to the sensation of being “full”.  The SATIN research project is dedicated to identify which ingredients and processing methods that accelerate satiation, suppress appetite and extend satiety until hunger appears again. The SATIN project is a European collaboration between academic partners, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) and the industry with the overall objective to use novel food processing technologies to alter the structure of foods to accelerate satiation, enhance satiety and to reduce appetite. As part of the SATIN project, human intervention trials will take place at the Department, to investigate the effects of the novel foods designed within the project on appetite and weight management. The project was launched in 2012 funded by the EU, and continues until 2016. Read more on the study web site


The SoSu-liv project is a collaboration between University of Copenhagen, Pensam A/S and the IT company Mobile Fitness A/S. The project is 38 weeks health promotion project using web and mobile - based digital tools among Social and Health Care Assistants. The SoSu-liv program was specifically designed to be used in a SoSu colleague community, and thus make it possible for colleagues in the community to change habits in a fun and challenging way. The Web and APP tools contained social elements such as competitions and colleague challenges, as well as customized elements e.g. registration and calculation of food intake, exercise and smoking. The project involved almost 600 participants in 16 care units in 6 Danish municipalities.

STRUCSAT – How structure affects satiety

A research project funded by the Danish Council for Strategic Research, DuPont Nutrition Biosciences Aps and Arla Foods Ingredients Group R&DFoods destined for weight management are most often products with reduced energy content. An alternative strategy is to develop food products with enhanced effects on satiety that can decrease food intake. Deliberate modification of food structure and texture can provide novel possibilities for affecting the eating rate, amount consumed and satiety as well as energy homeostasis. The project StrucSat will show, at a fundamental level, how food structure can be used to affect satiety. Based on insight at the molecular level into interactions between selected food components (milk proteins, polysaccharides), novel model foods with identical energy content and composition will be developed. These foods will be designed to have different structure at the macro- and microstructural level, both pre and post ingestion. Digestion (both in vitro and in vivo) and physiological responses (energy uptake and satiety) will be quantified and related to the molecular and structural parameters. This will be achieved by applying a crossdisciplinary approach, bringing together competences within food ingredient manufacture, food structure engineering, sensory science, protein and polysaccharide chemistry, food intake and digestion, animal models, human nutrition, and the physiology and measurement of satiety and energy homeostasis. The aim is to provide a basis for a more intelligent approach to the design of sustainable food products and food ingredients. This will enable food and ingredient producers to predict and document how a given component or process will affect satiety and energy uptake, hence providing consumers with palatable and desirable products designed for satiety management.