Donate Deakin

Would you like to help research into gut bacteria and weight loss?

To check your eligibility to participate

The Aim

We are conducting a study to assess the possible effects of very-low calorie diets (≤ 900kcal/day) on the number and type of bacteria that live within your gut.

The Reason

Emerging evidence shows interactions between diet and the gut microbiota may be associated with body weight and metabolic conditions. We also know that gut microbiota composition changes with weight loss. But the direction of this relationship is unclear (e.g. does the gut microbiota contribute to weight loss or does weight loss contribute to a change in the gut microbiota?!).

Who is Eligible?

You may be eligible to participate if you fit the following criteria:

  • Women aged between 30-65 years
  • BMI of between 30 – 45 (BMI Calculator:
  • Not currently consuming weight loss products
  • Can commit to a study for three weeks
  • Are not pregnant or planning to become pregnant within the next few months

Key points for participants

  • To participate in this study you will be asked to consume a very low calorie diet for three weeks.
  • This food will be provided free of charge.
  • You will be asked to provide two blood samples and body weight measurements will be taken.
  • You will need to provide a stool sample on two occasions from the comfort of your own home.
  • This will require two trips to Geelong at the start and end of the study, but the remainder of the study will be conducted online.
  • Questions regarding your health, lifestyle and mental wellbeing will be asked.

Interested in knowing more?

To check your eligibility to participate, please contact the study coordinator:


Call: 0429 691 077

The researchers

This study is a joint venture undertaken by researchers at Deakin University and Barwon Health.

Ethics approval

The Barwon Health Human Research Ethics Committee has approved this study (project number: 19/122).