The Impact of Glucagon Timing and Protein Replacement on Metabolism

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    The Impact of Glucagon Timing and Protein Replacement on Metabolism



  • Contact name

    Tricia Tan

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

  • Identifier

    44714, ISRCTN reference number application

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 5 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Obesity and fatty liver disease are very common problems in the UK affecting 1 in 3 people. These conditions are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. To treat diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease, drug companies are developing drugs based on two hormones, glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucagon. Combined, these two hormones reduce weight, eliminate liver fat, and improve blood glucose control.

    However, treatment with the hormone glucagon may cause a reduction in circulating amino acids (the building blocks of protein and muscle). This could be a problem as pharmaceutical companies are developing these drugs which are long-lasting and given weekly. Therefore, the drug stays in the body throughout daytime and night-time. There is a possibility that a long-term reduction in circulating amino acids reduces muscle mass, which is extremely important for our overall health.

    In this project we will find out how to avoid low circulating amino acids by changing the timing of how we give the hormone glucagon. We will also find out whether giving extra protein in the diet is required. Participants will attend the Clinical Research Facility four times, and on each occasion will stay from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon (4 days, 3 nights).

    The study aims to find out whether it is possible to reduce the risk of low blood protein whilst still getting benefits of glucagon therapy (including the effect on burning calories and reduction in fat molecules in the bloodstream). This finding would have a very big impact on our understanding of how best to use this hormone to treat obesity and fatty liver disease.

  • REC name

    London - Fulham Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    4 Mar 2024

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion