Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Research Fellow



+44 (0)7428 732 523katerina.petropoulou12 CV




Commonwealth BuildingCommonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus





Publication Type

9 results found

Pugh J, Anjum A, Petropoulou K, Thom G, Mccombie L, Tashkova M, Alaraj-Alshehhi S, Babalis D, Prechtl C, Lean MJ, Prevost AT, Vasconcelos JC, Preston T, Morrison D, Frost Get al., 2022, Increase in colonic PRopionate as a method of prEVENTing weight gain in adults aged 20-40 years (iPREVENT): A multi-centre, double-blind, randomised, parallel-group study to investigate the efficacy of inulin-propionate ester versus inulin (control) in the prevention of weight gain over 12 months, F1000Research, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2046-1402

Introduction: Overweight and obesity affects over 70% of the UK population and is a major risk factor for the development of co-morbidities, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There now exists a considerable evidence base for the management of obesity. However, this is not the case for the prevention of obesity. Preventing weight gain in periods of life where there is an elevated risk of fat mass expansion could be beneficial to preventing associated diseases in later life. This protocol investigates the impact of novel food ingredient inulin propionate ester (IPE) in the prevention of weight gain. This trial aims to investigate the primary hypothesis that IPE has a superior effect on preventing body weight gain, compared with inulin, in young (<40 years old) adults over 12 months, whilst also investigating several complementary mechanisms that may explain the prevention of weight gain and improved long-term energy balance from consuming IPE. Methods: In this multi-centre, double-blind, randomised, parallel-group study, eligible participants will be randomly assigned to consume 10g IPE or 10g inulin (control) daily for 12 months. Study visits will be conducted at baseline, two-month, six-month and 12-month time points. The primary outcome is weight gain from baseline to 12 months. Secondary outcomes will examine changes in metabolic and cardiovascular health biomarkers, body composition and appetite. A mechanistic sub-group will explore causal mechanisms around energy balance, body composition, appetite regulation and the gut microbiota. Based on the power calculation, the sample size required is 270 participants or 135 per study group.Ethics and dissemination: The trial protocol and participant-facing documents have been reviewed and approved, by the London Hampstead Ethics Committee (REC Reference 19/LO/0095, 29th January 2019). Upon completion, the trial results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific confer

Journal article

Frost G, Domoney C, Wilde P, Rayner T, Petropoulou A, Edwards Cet al., 2021, Foodstuffs having improved digestion properties, WO2022053494A1

The invention relates to methods for determining if a pea variety or a product derived from that pea variety has improved digestion properties. The invention also relates to methods of improving the digestion property of a pea, as well as method of making such plants.


Petropoulou K, Salt LJ, Edwards CH, Warren FJ, Garcia-Perez I, Chambers ES, Alshaalan R, Khatib M, Perez-Moral N, Cross KL, Kellingray L, Stanley R, Koev T, Khimyak YZ, Narbad A, Penney N, Serrano-Contreras JI, Charalambides MN, Miguens Blanco J, Castro Seoane R, McDonald JAK, Marchesi JR, Holmes E, Godsland IF, Morrison DJ, Preston T, Domoney C, Wilde PJ, Frost GSet al., 2020, A natural mutation in Pisum sativum L. (pea) alters starch assembly and improves glucose homeostasis in humans, Nature Food

Journal article

Greenwood DC, Hardie LJ, Frost GS, Alwan NA, Bradbury KE, Carter M, Elliott P, Evans CEL, Ford HE, Hancock N, Key TJ, Liu B, Morris MA, Mulla UZ, Petropoulou K, Potter GDM, Riboli E, Young H, Wark PA, Cade JEet al., 2019, Validation of the Oxford WebQ Online 24-hour dietary questionnaire using biomarkers, American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 188, Pages: 1858-1867, ISSN: 1476-6256

Oxford WebQ is an online dietary questionnaire covering 24 hours, appropriate for repeated administration in large-scale prospective studies including UK Biobank and the Million Women Study. We compared performance of the Oxford WebQ and a traditional interviewer-administered multi-pass 24-hour recall against biomarkers for protein, potassium and total sugar intake, and total energy expenditure estimated by accelerometry. 160 participants were recruited between 2014 and 2016 in London, UK, and measured at 3 non-consecutive time-points. The measurement error model simultaneously compared all 3 methods. Attenuation factors for protein, potassium, sugars and total energy intake estimated by the mean of 2 Oxford WebQs were 0.37, 0.42, 0.45, and 0.31 respectively, with performance improving incrementally for the mean of more measures. Correlation between the mean of 2 Oxford WebQs and estimated true intakes, reflecting attenuation when intake is categorised or ranked, was 0.47, 0.39, 0.40, and 0.38 respectively, also improving with repeated administration. These were similar to the more administratively burdensome interviewer-based recall. Using objective biomarkers as the standard, Oxford WebQ performs well across key nutrients in comparison with more administratively burdensome interviewer-based 24-hour recalls. Attenuation improves when the average is taken over repeated administration, reducing measurement error bias in assessment of diet-disease associations.

Journal article

Wark PA, Hardie LJ, Frost GS, Alwan NA, Carter M, Elliott P, Ford HE, Hancock N, Morris MA, Mulla UZ, Noorwali EA, Petropoulou K, Murphy D, Potter GDM, Riboli E, Greenwood DC, Cade JEet al., 2018, Validity of an online 24-h recall tool (myfood24) for dietary assessment in population studies: comparison with biomarkers and standard interviews, BMC Medicine, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1741-7015

BackgroundOnline dietary assessment tools can reduce administrative costs and facilitate repeated dietary assessment during follow-up in large-scale studies. However, information on bias due to measurement error of such tools is limited. We developed an online 24-h recall (myfood24) and compared its performance with a traditional interviewer-administered multiple-pass 24-h recall, assessing both against biomarkers.MethodsMetabolically stable adults were recruited and completed the new online dietary recall, an interviewer-based multiple pass recall and a suite of reference measures. Longer-term dietary intake was estimated from up to 3 × 24-h recalls taken 2 weeks apart. Estimated intakes of protein, potassium and sodium were compared with urinary biomarker concentrations. Estimated total sugar intake was compared with a predictive biomarker and estimated energy intake compared with energy expenditure measured by accelerometry and calorimetry. Nutrient intakes were also compared to those derived from an interviewer-administered multiple-pass 24-h recall.ResultsBiomarker samples were received from 212 participants on at least one occasion. Both self-reported dietary assessment tools led to attenuation compared to biomarkers. The online tools resulted in attenuation factors of around 0.2–0.3 and partial correlation coefficients, reflecting ranking intakes, of approximately 0.3–0.4. This was broadly similar to the more administratively burdensome interviewer-based tool. Other nutrient estimates derived from myfood24 were around 10–20% lower than those from the interviewer-based tool, with wide limits of agreement. Intraclass correlation coefficients were approximately 0.4–0.5, indicating consistent moderate agreement.ConclusionsOur findings show that, whilst results from both measures of self-reported diet are attenuated compared to biomarker measures, the myfood24 online 24-h recall is comparable to the more time-consuming a

Journal article

Petropoulou K, Salt L, Warren F, Domoney C, Wilde P, Frost Get al., 2017, A seed trait studied by gregor mendel in pisum Sativum L. (PEA): Potential prevention of type 2 diabetes, Legumes for Global Food Security, Pages: 129-156, ISBN: 9781536122657

Pulses have been attracting much interest in recent years from academia, industry and the general public. The attraction has been driven largely by the health benefits that pulses offer compared with refined, processed cereal based foods, coupled with the clear low environmental impact of these crops [1, 2]. Although the consumption of pulses is only a small fraction of that of staple crops such as wheat, maize and rice, the popularity of pulse foods is increasing, particularly in developed countries [3]. In the UK, consumer trends are moving towards a more varied diet, bringing in alternative sources of protein, carbohydrate and micronutrients and a move away from conventional cereals. Although some of these trends are based upon little or no rigorous scientific evidence, there are some clear health benefits associated with consumption of certain pulses. In this article, we will describe one such benefit that is the focus of a collaborative research programme which aims to improve our knowledge from basic plant science and genetics, through processing and consumption of foods and the physiological basis of associated health benefits. The programme aims to study how the type of starch contained in naturally occurring variants of pea seeds can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The specific aim is to understand how, through manipulating starch biosynthesis, the amount of fermentable carbohydrates reaching the bacterial community in the human colon might be increased. Fermentation of this carbohydrate is thought to produce metabolites which improve our ability to control blood sugar levels.

Book chapter

Petropoulou K, Chambers ES, Morrison DJ, Preston T, Godsland IF, Wilde P, Narbad A, Parker R, Salt L, Morris VJ, Domoney C, Persaud SJ, Holmes E, Penson S, Watson J, Stocks M, Buurman M, Luterbacher M, Frost Get al., 2016, Identifying crop variants with high resistant starch content to maintain healthy glucose homeostasis, Nutrition Bulletin, Vol: 41, Pages: 372-377, ISSN: 1467-3010

Identifying dietary tools that prevent disordered insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells is an attractive strategy to combat the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Dietary resistant starch has been linked to improvements in the function of β-cells, possibly via increased colonic fermentation and production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Increasing the resistant starch content of commonly consumed foods could therefore maintain glucose homeostasis at the population level. As part of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC) initiative, variants of Pisum sativum L. (pea) are being investigated to identify the features of pea starch that make it resistant to digestion and available for colonic fermentation and SCFA production. Parallel in vitro and in vivo studies are being conducted using both whole pea seeds and pea flour to facilitate a better understanding of how cells in the pea cotyledons are affected by processing and, in turn, how this influences starch digestibility. Trials in human volunteers are being used to monitor a full spectrum of short- and long-term physiological responses relevant to pancreatic β-cell function and glucose homeostasis. This project is providing new insights into variants of crops that are associated with the specific types of resistant starch that provide the best protection against defects in insulin secretion and function.

Journal article

Hillier SE, Beck L, Petropoulou A, Clegg MEet al., 2014, A comparison of body composition measurement techniques, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol: 27, Pages: 626-631, ISSN: 0952-3871

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>An understanding of the reproducibility of body composition measurements is essential for effective intervention studies. Air displacement plethysmography (<jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">ADP</jats:styled-content>) and bioelectrical impedance (<jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">BIA</jats:styled-content>) are two easy‐to‐use measures of body composition. The present study aimed to assess the reproducibility of <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">ADP</jats:styled-content> and <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">BIA</jats:styled-content> and compare them with each other, as well as with skinfold measurement.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>Forty‐one participants were tested on two occasions following an overnight fast. On test day 1, participants' height, weight and % body fat (<jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">BF</jats:styled-content>) were measured using <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">ADP</jats:styled-content> and <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">BIA</jats:styled-content>. Measurements were replicated to assess the within‐day reproducibility. On test day 2, participants were again tested using <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">ADP</jats:styled-content> and <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">BIA</jats:styled-content> and had skinfold measurements taken. Three skinfold equations for <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">BF</jats:styled-content> calculation were applied. Comparisons of within‐ and between‐day reproducibility and between measurement techniques were completed using Pearson correlations and Bla

Journal article

Beck LW, Petropoulou A, Hillier S, Clegg MEet al., 2012, A comparison of body composition measurement techniques, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Vol: 71, ISSN: 0029-6651

Journal article

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