The University of Auckland
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HVN PANaMAH TOFI_Asia study Metadata Record - Characterising the Pre-diabetic Asian and Caucasian Phenotype: The 'TOFI' Profile

posted on 2024-05-03, 01:44 authored by Sally PoppittSally Poppitt

This metadata record and it's attached files make statements about the kinds of data collected as part of this research, and set out policies for governance of that data, now and in the future.

Description: Background: People of Asian descent are at much greater risk of poor metabolic health and diabetes at a younger age and a lower body weight than those of European Caucasian descent. The reason why some individuals are more susceptible than others and what controls their diabetes risk may lie in the storage of body fat, and may be identified through early changes in serum metabolite profile. Gaining even small amounts of body weight can lead to the fat ‘spilling over’ from adipose tissue and into important organs such as the muscle, liver and pancreas, which in turn may significantly increase risk of disease. Often known as the TOFI profile – ‘Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside’ – people who appear ostensibly slim and/or mildly overweight can develop diabetes whilst those who are very overweight and/or obese may not. Few predictive biomarkers of early diabetes risk and propensity to susceptibility or resilience have yet been determined.

Objective: To investigate diabetic risk profile, susceptibility and resilience to weight gain and increasing adiposity in a population of Asian Chinese and Caucasian adults; using body composition and metabolomic techniques.

Design: This is a cross-sectional study, 400 participants, aged 18-70 years, of Asian Chinese (n=200) or Caucasian European (n=200) ethnicity. A fasting blood sample will be collected to assess diabetic profile based on fasting plasma glucose, and also for untargeted metabolomics profiling; whole body and segmental fat free mass and adipose tissue fat mass will be measured on a single occasion using DEXA scanning; and in a subset of 100 individuals ectopic lipid storage in key organs including liver, pancreas and muscle will be measured using MRI/S.

Findings: This is a program conducted within the National Science Challenge High Value Nutrition (HVN) program which aims to determine novel prediabetic biomarkers which, in future studies may be shown to be responsive to nutrition intervention.



University of Auckland

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HVN Project / Programme Name


Data access requirements

No individual participant data for this trial will be made available. This is in accordance to National Health and Disability Ethics Committees application that all data generated will only be used for this study only.

Principal investigator organisation

University of Auckland

Collaborating researchers and affiliations

Principal Investigators: Professor Sally Poppitt, Director, Human Nutrition Unit, University of Auckland, Auckland Dr Karl Fraser, Senior Research Scientist, AgResearch, Palmerston North Dr Ivana Sequeira-Bisson (University of Auckland) Associate Investigators: Dr Rinki Murphy (University of Auckland) Dr Justin O'Sullivan (University of Auckland) Dr John Ingram (Plant & Food Research Ltd)

Data description

Outcomes of the study and associated data Primary outcomes - Characteristics that predict susceptability and resilience to type 2 diabetes from blood markers and body composition - Novel metabolomic markers predictive of pancreas and liver fat deposition and risk of developing type 2 diabetes using untargeted LC-MS methodology Associated data: plasma metabolome (untargeted, LCMS) profile, fasting blood glucose, fasting plasma insulin, HbA1c, fasting blood lipid profile, fasting liver function enzymes, blood peptides (including adiponectin, amylin, glucagon, GLP), anthropometry (height, weight, waist and hip circumference), blood pressure, body composition (DXA) Secondary outcomes - Impact of MRI determined pacreas and liver fat on pancreatic beta-cell function and insulin secretion using an intravenous glucose tolerance test (subgroup) - Cardiorespiratory fitness as assessed by the YMCA cycle ergometer submaximal test (subgroup) - Fasting and postprandial insulin/glucose measures (ivGTT subgroup) - Food frequency questionnaire Associated data: liver fat - MRS (subgroup), abdominal fat - MRI (subgroup), pancreas fat - MRI (subgroup), cardiorespiratory fitness (subgroup), fasting and post prandial rate of insulin secretion (ivGTT subgroup), fasting and post prandial glucose (ivGTT subgroup), food frequency questionnaires, MiRNA analyses Other outcome measures and associated data - Gut microbiome (subgroup, n=40) - Adverse events - Demographics, medical history, concurrent medication and alcohol

Principal investigator contact email

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