Background: Evidence-based clinical research poses special barriers in the field of nutrition. The present review summarises the main barriers to research in the field of nutrition that are not common to all randomised clinical trials or trials on rare diseases and highlights opportunities for improvements.
Methods: Systematic academic literature searches and internal European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) communications during face-to-face meetings and telephone conferences from 2013 to 2017 within the context of the ECRIN Integrating Activity (ECRIN-IA) project.
Results: Many nutrients occur in multiple forms that differ in biological activity, and several factors can alter their bioavailability which raises barriers to their assessment. These include specific difficulties with blinding procedures, with assessments of dietary intake, and with selecting appropriate outcomes as patient-centred outcomes may occur decennia into the future. The methodologies and regulations for drug trials are, however, applicable to nutrition trials.
Conclusions: Research on clinical nutrition should start by collecting clinical data systematically in databases and registries. Measurable patient-centred outcomes and appropriate study designs are needed. International cooperation and multistakeholder engagement are key for success.
- Randomised clinical trials
- Evidence-based clinical practice
- Evidence-based medicine
- Specific barriers
- European Clinical Infrastructure Network
- MEDITERRANEAN DIET
- PROSPECTIVE COHORT