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UCD TWIN STUDY (2014-2016) is a National Project assessing Metabolism, Food choice and Food intake of Identical and Non-Identical Twins

Led by the UCD Institute of Food and Health (Dublin, Ireland) 

Approved: Human Research Ethics Committee University College Dublin


The prevalence of diet-related disease such as obesity and diabetes are on the rise, therefore understanding the factors behind this rise is vital for their prevention and management. While we know that our metabolism is influenced by a combination of factors including our genes, our diet and our lifestyle, carrying out studies that involve identical and non-identical twins provides us with a unique opportunity to separate out the aspects of metabolism that are influenced by our genes and not our environment, and vice versa.  This study aims to measure food choice, food behaviour, body composition and metabolism of Twins aged 18-65 years using state-of-the-art techniques. 


Participants are asked to complete questionnaires assessing dietary intake and behaviour, and asked to provide a sample of blood. They must also provide samples of urine, the reason being is that hundreds of nutritional markers can be measured from a single sample using a technique called metabolomics and this gives us a huge insight into the person’s diet and health. All participants are given a detailed account of their body composition.

By taking part in this important piece of research participants are greatly helping Irish researchers to identify components of metabolism that are stable and strongly influenced by genes as well as components that are highly variable and are influenced by diet.

If you are interested in taking part or simply just want to get a little more information please contact

Research Team:
Dr. Aifric O’Sullivan
Dr. Lorraine Brennan
Dr. Eileen Gibney
Dr. Miriam Ryan
Ms. Rebecca Barron
Ms. Kate Bermingham
Prof. Mike Gibney

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