VLCD by Enteral Route for Weight Loss (NEP)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01965990
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 18, 2013
Last Update Posted : October 22, 2013
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Giuseppe Castaldo, San Giuseppe Moscati Hospital

Brief Summary:

Body weight excess, from overweight to overt obesity, is associated with adverse health outcomes. In view of the time-trends of the obesity epidemic and the related cost burden, the search for effective strategies for weight reduction and long-term maintenance of weight loss (WL) is at the top of the agenda of public health systems.

The current first-line strategy includes several treatment options and dietary interventions to be implemented together with an exercise program. Unfortunately, compliance with intervention in the long-term is difficult. It is not infrequent to observe people following one diet after another and experiencing multiple failures which, in turn, lead to higher body weight and adverse consequences on body composition and fat distribution. The higher the number of attempts, the more difficult the adherence to further interventions. In the presence of severe (body mass index >40 kg/m2) or complicated obesity, bariatric surgery could be proposed. This therapeutic option is effective, but is not devoid of complications and may be irreversible. Obesity-related complications, such as diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnoea are likely to occur more frequently with increasing body mass index (BMI) and rapid and considerable WL is mandatory to curtail such risks.

In this scenario, alternative treatment options are warranted. About 40 years ago, after the introduction of protein-sparing modified fasting (PSMF) achieved through the use of oral high-protein foods or liquid formula diets by Blackburn and Bistrian, several studies evaluated its effectiveness and safety. They showed that responsible and supervised very-low calorie diets (VLCDs) could be considered safe and appropriate therapy for obesity.

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the potential role of a 2-week course of enteral treatment with a very low-calorie protein-based formula in the management of severe obesity.

The rationale of this treatment option rests on the following considerations: 1) VLCDs appear to be able to reduce cardiovascular risk rapidly and effectively; 2) VLCDs induce considerable short and long-term WL; 3) optimal compliance with the intervention, as active participation of the patient is not required; 4) continuous administration of the intervention formula by enteral route enables the the maintenance of the body amino acid pool.

Before being proposed for clinical use, a new WL program should be scientifically evaluated. Accordingly, in the present study, attention was focused not only on efficacy in terms of improving the cardiometabolic risk profile, but also on the feasibility and safety of the procedure.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Severe Obesity Other: NEP

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 364 participants
Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: A 2-week Course of Enteral Treatment With a Very Low-calorie Protein-based Formula for the Management of Severe Obesity
Study Start Date : April 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : February 2013

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Group/Cohort Intervention/treatment
Patients undergoing the administration of a homemade very low-calorie protein-based formula (2000 mL per day) by enteral route for 14 days
Other: NEP
A homemade very low-calorie protein-based formula by enteral route (8-French nasogastric tube) for 14 days. The administration was continuous (h-24) by a feeding pump. The formula was made up of a fixed amount of aminoacids and a variable amount of high-quality proteins: 1.2 g/kg (ideal body weight). Other components were: pro-lipolytic substances (coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine), linseed oil, policosanol, fructo-oligo saccharides, potassium, sodium and magnesium chloride. The intervention included also the daily oral administration of a multivitamin-multimineral supplement, alkalizing substances (calcium carbonate, 1500 mg; magnesium carbonate, 850 mg; potassium bicarbonate, 500 mg; sodium bicarbonate, 1500 mg; potassium citrate, 500 mg) and herbal remedies. All patients were also prescribed treatment with a proton pump inhibitor and ursodeoxycholic acid. A minimum intake of 2 liters/day of unsweetened fluids was recommended (3 litres in case of a history of kidney stones).

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Weight loss [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Percentage of weight loss

  2. Feasibility [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Necessity to discontinue the intervention

  3. Safety [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Frequency of the following side effects: asthenia, headache, dizziness, fainting, orthostatic hypotension, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, muscle cramps, hunger, constipation. evaluation of changes in the following hematological and biochemical parameters and, for those presenting with normal values, by the excursion outside of the reference ranges of our laboratory (new cases): hemoglobin, total lymphocyte count, urea, creatinine, uric acid, albumin, serum enzymes (cholinesterase, transaminases, γ-glutamyl-transferase, serum creatine phosphokinase and serum lactate dehydrogenase ) and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus).

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Changes (increase [high density cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I and growth hormone] or more frequently reduction [all the others]) in the following study parameters: body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-hip ratio, uric acid, glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, C-peptide, glycosylated hemoglobin, insulin-like growth factor 1, total cholesterol, high density cholesterol, low density cholesterol, triglycerides, triglyceride/high density cholesterol ratio, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I ratio, transaminases, γ-glutamyl-transferase.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Consecutive severly obese patients attending the Clinical Nutrition Unit of our institution for a weight loss program

Inclusion Criteria:

  • age >=18 years
  • severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >=40 kg/m2)
  • history of multiple failures in weight loss programs

Exclusion Criteria:

  • age >=70 years
  • insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
  • a psychiatric disorder
  • previous (<1 year since last chemo- or radiotherapy) neoplastic disease
  • current neoplastic disease
  • established vascular disease
  • recent (6 months), history of diet-induced or unintentional weight loss
  • moderate-to-severe heart failure
  • arrhythmia
  • renal failure (creatinine >1.5 mg/dL)
  • current hepatitis
  • liver cirrhosis
  • any type of gastrointestinal disease
  • moderate-severe hypoalbuminemia (<3.0 g/dL)
  • altered serum electrolytes
  • any other contra-indication to enteral nutrition
  • refusal to give written informed consent

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01965990

Clinical Nutrition Unit - A.O.R.N. "San Giuseppe Moscati"
Avellino, Italy, 83100
Sponsors and Collaborators
San Giuseppe Moscati Hospital
Principal Investigator: Giuseppe Castaldo, MD Clinical Nutrition Unit - A.O.R.N. "San Giuseppe Moscati", Avellino, Italy

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Giuseppe Castaldo, Medical Doctor, Director of the Clinical Nutrition Unit, San Giuseppe Moscati Hospital Identifier: NCT01965990     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 23bis
First Posted: October 18, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 22, 2013
Last Verified: October 2013

Keywords provided by Giuseppe Castaldo, San Giuseppe Moscati Hospital:
Enteral nutrition
very low-calorie diet
severe obesity
weight loss

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Obesity, Morbid
Nutrition Disorders
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms