Open Access Study protocol

Evaluation of yellow pea fibre supplementation on weight loss and the gut microbiota: a randomized controlled trial

Jennifer E Lambert1, Jill A Parnell2, Jay Han3, Troy Sturzenegger3, Heather A Paul4, Hans J Vogel45 and Raylene A Reimer14*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada

2 Physical Education and Recreation Studies, Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6K6, Canada

3 Food Processing Development Centre, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, 6309 – 45 Street, Leduc, AB T9E 7C5, Canada

4 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4 N1, Canada

5 Bio-NMR Centre, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada

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BMC Gastroenterology 2014, 14:69  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-69

Published: 8 April 2014



Fibre intake among North Americans is currently less than half the recommended amount. Consumers are interested in food products that could promote weight loss and improve health. Consequently, evaluation of unique fibre sources with potential gut-mediated benefits for metabolic health warrants investigation. Our objective is to assess the effects of yellow pea fibre supplementation on weight loss and gut microbiota in an overweight and obese adult population.


In a double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study, overweight and obese (BMI = 25-38) adults will be randomized to either a 15 g/d yellow pea fibre supplemented group or isocaloric placebo group for 12 weeks (n = 30/group). The primary outcome measure is a change in body fat from baseline to 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes include glucose tolerance, appetite regulation, serum lipids and inflammatory markers. Anthropometric data (height, weight, BMI, and waist circumference) and food intake (by 3-day weighed food records) will be measured at baseline and every 4 weeks thereafter. Subjective ratings of appetite will be recorded by participants at home on a weekly basis using validated visual analogue scales. At week 0 and at the end of the study (week 12), an ad libitum lunch buffet protocol for objective food intake measures and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan for body composition will be completed. Participants will be instructed not to change their exercise habits during the 12 week study. Glucose and insulin will be measured during an oral glucose tolerance test at weeks 0 and 12. Levels of lipids and CRP will be measured and inflammatory markers (adiponectin, leptin, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-8) in the serum will be quantified using Milliplex kits. Mechanisms related to changes in gut microbiota, serum and fecal water metabolomics will be assessed.


Globally the development of functional foods and functional food ingredients are critically needed to curb the rise in metabolic disease. This project will assess the potential of yellow pea fibre to improve weight control via gut-mediated changes in metabolic health in overweight and obese adults.

Trial registration (NCT01719900) Registered October 23, 2012.

Yellow pea fibre; Gut microbiota; Metabolomics; Obesity