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Impact of dairy food components on biomarkers of cardiometabolic health

   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

About the Project


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF 2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. Find out more.

Project detail:

Dietary guidelines traditionally recommended limiting consumption of dietary saturated fatty acids, on the basis that a high saturated fat intake would increase LDL-cholesterol concentrations, a major cardiovascular disease risk factor. However, this approach may be oversimplistic as it fails to consider the complexity of certain whole food sources of saturated fats, such as dairy products. Indeed, the overall health effects of a specific food are a result of a food’s physical structure and its unique mix of nutrient and bioactive components, and how these interact with each other (i.e., the food matrix effect). This so-called food matrix effect may help to explain why observational studies have not shown that full-fat dairy product consumption, including cheese, is not adversely linked to CVD risk. More research is needed to investigate the mechanisms by which the dairy matrix, and its components, may affect metabolic and vascular health.

The focus of the PhD project would be on dairy food matrix components and cardiometabolic health outcomes, including blood-based lipid markers and vascular function assessment. It will include a randomised controlled dietary intervention trial. This project would be suitable to someone with a keen interest in human nutrition and cardiometabolic health. It will be based within the East Midland’s National Centre of Sport and Exercise Medicine on the Loughborough University campus.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist facilities or laboratory costs required for the research. This will be discussed with you as part of the application process, and you will be notified of any additional fee as part of your offer of admission.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should hold a minimum of a BSc honours degree at 2:1 level (or equivalent) in a health-related science degree, such as nutrition, human biology, biochemistry, or physiology. A relevant MSc degree, as well as experience running human nutrition trials/laboratory experience, will be advantageous.

English language requirements:

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website (

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Please quote the advertised reference number: SSEHS/JAK/2 in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.

Funding Notes

Band RB (UK: £4,500; international: £24,100)

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