OMNIPLaNT banner

Project Overview

The OMnivorous and Non-meat eater Integrative PhysioLogy and NutriTion (OMNIPLaNT) Study is a research project started in July 2020 and currently underway at the A-STEM research centre, Swansea University. The research team is comprised of national and international researchers and is led by Dr Shane M Heffernan. The aim of this research is to build on, and add to, the currently available scientific evidence, to determine the impacts of plant-based dietary patterns on arterial health (measured as vascular structure and function), skeletal muscle architecture and function (health) and bone mineral density. Over the next number of years the OMNIPLaNT study will recruit a large number of participants from a variety of backgrounds and dietary patterns to help answer a number of key questions surrounding the impact of habitual dietary pattern on musculoskeletal health, cardiovascular health and physical performance.

We will use detailed dietary analysis, ultrasound and dual X-ray imaging to investigate the impact of dietary pattern on muscle size, volume, architectural structure and composition of the quadriceps muscles, to gain insight into the physiology and strength capacity. We will also take musculoskeletal ultrasound measures to estimate the fat accumulation inside a muscle, in order to assess the potential impact of muscle quality on maximal strength, measured via maximal knee extension contractions. Given the cardiovascular health benefits linked to plant-based and vegetarian diets, and by extension physical and athletic performance, we will also use ultrasound technology to assess the brachial artery (upper arm) and carotid artery (neck). This will allow us to investigate vascular and arterial function, which may provide evidence to suggest better cardiovascular health with particular dietary patterns.

Our study is live and is comprised of two questionnaires aimed to elucidate the first insight into participants dietary constituents and eating behaviours within different dietary patterns.

QR code

The first OMNIPLaNT Questionnaire can be accessed at: or
by scanning the QR code.

If you are interested in taking part in our research, please click the link and read the participant information sheet linked at the beginning of the questionnaire (or you can contact us at

We are now also recruiting for our main study. Briefly, if you take part in this study, you will be required to complete a three-day food diary and will also receive ultrasound assessments of skeletal muscle and vascular properties and a whole body and femoral neck dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan. If you would like more information about this study, get in touch at our study email address stated above or click on the following link and leave your contact details with us:

To keep up to date with our findings, follow us on Twitter @omniplantres

Fruit bowl and scales
Body scans

Dr Shane Hefferman gives an overview of the OMNIPLaNT research project and talks about how the study aims to compare skeletal muscle size/strength and vascular and bone health in a range of omnivorous and vegetarian diet patterns.

Dr Shane Hefferman explains how to use the Food Diary.