Nutrients from food and beverages - such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water - play a fundamental role in people’s health, and can help to manage disease and reduce disease risk. NIDDK supports research on the way the body absorbs and responds to nutrients, how nutrient levels are regulated in the body through gut-brain signals, how nutrients affect the body from infancy through the aging process, and how over- or under-nutrition affect physical function and metabolism.
NIDDK also supports research that looks at how factors such as disease, stress, drugs, toxins, the gut microbiome, and bariatric surgery affect the absorption and metabolism of nutrients, and vice versa. The Institute also funds studies of how nutrition affects risk for many chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and fatty liver disease. Similarly, NIDDK supports research that looks for genes that influence nutritional disorders, the rate of metabolism, energy balance, food consumption and preference, and obesity. NIDDK research is enhancing knowledge of how inherited nutritional disorders develop and how they can best be treated.
In addition, NIDDK supports research on ways to help people achieve healthy lifestyles with an improved diet or dietary supplements, changes in eating patterns, and physical activity.
NIDDK's Office of Nutrition Research is assisting the NIH Nutrition Research Task Force with the development of the first NIH-wide strategic plan for nutrition research. NIDDK also participates in and provides leadership for the NIH Nutrition Research Coordinating Committee, which promotes collaboration and coordination of nutrition activities across the NIH to accelerate progress in nutrition research.
In addition, NIDDK responds to questions and provides health information about diet and nutrition to health professionals and the public.
Research Updates and News
- NIH study finds heavily processed foods cause overeating and weight gain
- Diabetes drug alters vitamin D levels, possibly explaining increased bone fracture risk
- Molecules Produced by Gut Bacteria Extend “Healthspan”
- Seasonal Variability in the Gut Microbiome of a Hunter-gatherer Population
- NIH-funded team uses smartphone data in global study of physical activity
What We Do
To achieve its mission, NIDDK supports, conducts, coordinates, and plans research. NIDDK also provides data and samples from NIDDK-funded studies and explains research findings to health professionals and the public.
- Clinical & Epidemiological Nutrition Research
- Clinical, Behavioral, & Epidemiological Obesity Research
- Endocrinology & Hormone Signaling
- Gastrointestinal, Nutrition, & Liver Research in HIV/AIDS
- Metabolic Pathways
- Metabolism, Energy Balance & Obesity
- Nutrition & Obesity Genetics & Genomics
- Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch
- Digestive Disease Branch
- Genetics of Development and Disease Branch
- Laboratory of Biological Modeling
- Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology
- Laboratory of Endocrinology and Receptor Biology
- Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Coordinate & Plan Research
NIDDK takes multiple approaches to research planning and priority setting.
Meetings & WorkshopsView all Meetings & Workshops
Strategic Plans & Reports
- NIDDK Recent Advances & Emerging Opportunities 2019
- Draft Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research
- NIH Nutrition Research Report 2015 & 2016
- Opportunities & Challenges in Digestive Diseases Research: Recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases
- The Burden of Digestive Diseases in the United States
Provide Access to Research Resources
NIDDK makes publicly supported resources, data sets, and studies available to researchers.View all Research Resources