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Maternal fish consumption exposes the fetus to beneficial nutrients and potentially adverse neurotoxicants. The current study investigated associations between maternal fish consumption and child neurodevelopmental outcomes. Maternal fish consumption was assessed in the Seychelles Child Development Study Nutrition Cohort 1 (n 229) using 4-day food diaries. Neurodevelopment was evaluated at 9 and 30 months, and 5 and 9 years with test batteries assessing twenty-six endpoints and covering multiple neurodevelopmental domains. Analyses used multiple linear regression with adjustment for covariates known to influence child neurodevelopment. This cohort consumed an average of 8 fish meals/week and the total fish intake during pregnancy was 106·8 (sd 61·9) g/d. Among the twenty-six endpoints evaluated in the primary analysis there was one beneficial association. Children whose mothers consumed larger quantities of fish performed marginally better on the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (a test of nonverbal intelligence) at age 5 years (β 0·003, 95 % CI (0, 0·005)). A secondary analysis dividing fish consumption into tertiles found no significant associations when comparing the highest and lowest consumption groups. In this cohort, where fish consumption is substantially higher than current global recommendations, maternal fish consumption during pregnancy was not beneficially or adversely associated with children’s neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Maternal thyroid hormones facilitate optimal foetal neurodevelopment; however, the exact role of the thyroid hormones on specific cognitive outcomes is unknown. The present study aimed to investigate associations between maternal thyroid function and neurodevelopmental outcomes in the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) Nutrition 2 cohort (n 1328). Maternal free thyroid hormones (fT3, fT4 and fTSH) were assessed at 28 weeks’ gestation with a range of child cognitive outcomes analysed at 20 months. Dietary iodine intake was analysed for a subset of women through a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Linear regression analysis was used to test associations between serum concentrations of maternal thyroid hormones and child neurodevelopment outcomes. Thyroid hormones were analysed as continuous data and categorised as quintiles. 95% of mothers had optimal thyroid function based on fTSH concentrations. Overall, the present study shows that maternal thyroid function is not associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in this high fish-eating population. However, a positive association, using quintiles for fT3, was reported for the Mental Developmental Index, between Q3 v. Q4 (β 0⋅073; P 0⋅043) and for Q3 v. Q5 (β value 0⋅086; P 0⋅018). To conclude, mothers in our cohort, who largely have optimal thyroid function and iodine intakes, appear able to regulate thyroid function throughout pregnancy to meet neurodevelopmental needs. However, it is possible that minor imbalances of fT3, as indicated from our secondary analysis, may impact offspring neurodevelopment. Further investigation of the relationship between maternal thyroid function and infant neurodevelopment is warranted, particularly in populations with different dietary patterns and thereby iodine intakes.
Optimal maternal long-chain PUFA (LCPUFA) status is essential for the developing fetus. The fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes are involved in the endogenous synthesis of LCPUFA. The minor allele of various FADS SNP have been associated with increased maternal concentrations of the precursors linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA), and lower concentrations of arachidonic acid (AA) and DHA. There is limited research on the influence of FADS genotype on cord PUFA status. The current study investigated the influence of maternal and child genetic variation in FADS genotype on cord blood PUFA status in a high fish-eating cohort. Cord blood samples (n 1088) collected from the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) Nutrition Cohort 2 (NC2) were analysed for total serum PUFA. Of those with cord PUFA data available, maternal (n 1062) and child (n 916), FADS1 (rs174537 and rs174561), FADS2 (rs174575), and FADS1-FADS2 (rs3834458) were determined. Regression analysis determined that maternal minor allele homozygosity was associated with lower cord blood concentrations of DHA and the sum of EPA + DHA. Lower cord blood AA concentrations were observed in children who were minor allele homozygous for rs3834458 (β = 0·075; P = 0·037). Children who were minor allele carriers for rs174537, rs174561, rs174575 and rs3834458 had a lower cord blood AA:LA ratio (P < 0·05 for all). Both maternal and child FADS genotype were associated with cord LCPUFA concentrations, and therefore, the influence of FADS genotype was observed despite the high intake of preformed dietary LCPUFA from fish in this population.
The association of MeHg exposure through fish consumption on human autoimmunity remains unclear. Fish also contain n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) that are known to regulate inflammation and mitigate autoimmune disease symptoms. We studied the association of low-level exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) through fish consumption in the SCDS. We examined this association at age 19 years in the SCDS Main Cohort (n = 497). We measured MeHg exposure at 3 time points [prenatal, weighted average (6 months to 19 years) and concurrent (19 years) and LCPUFA status and a panel of 13 autoimmune markers at age 19 years. The autoimmune markers included antinuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-dsDNA and anti-RNP, and total (non-specific) immunoglobulins (Ig) IgG, IgA, and IgM. A combined ANA variable was also calculated based on being within or above reference range for any of the ANA markers; 56% of the subjects met this criterion. Multivariable regression models adjusted for prenatal MeHg, sex and waist circumference, with and without adjustment for LCPUFA, were fit for the three MeHg exposure metrics and each immune marker. Mean (SD) prenatal, weighted average and concurrent MeHg was 6.84 (4.55), 7.46 (2.82), and 10.23 (6.02) ppm, respectively. Combined ANA was positively associated with concurrent MeHg following adjustment for the n6:n3 LCPUFA ratio (β = 0.036, 95%; CI: 0.001, 0.073). Prenatal and average MeHg exposures were not significantly associated with any individual ANA. IgM was negatively associated with concurrent (β = -0.016, 95%CI: -0.016, -0.002), and average (β = -0.042, 95%CI: -0.042, -0.009) MeHg exposure in the models adjusted for n-3, n-6 LCPUFA and when separately adjusted for the n6:n3 LCPUFA ratio. Total (19-year) n-3 PUFA status was negatively associated with anti-RNP (β = -20.355, 95%CI: -36.89, -4.34) and IgG (β = -1.384, 95%CI: -2.682, -0.087). Total n-3 LCPUFA was associated with lower markers of autoimmunity. MeHg exposure at 19 years was associated with higher ANA and lower IgM but only following adjustment for LCPUFA. The clinical significance of these findings is unclear and further research is warranted to determine if these associations precede autoimmune disease development.
Red meat is an important dietary source of protein and many other essential nutrients including omega(n)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which provide numerous benefits to human health. It is well known that grass-fed meat contains a more favourable fatty acid profile, compared to other feeding regimes, but the feasibility of grass finishing is in decline for many farmers/producers. Therefore, alternative methods to enhance the fatty acid profile of red meats, such as beef, are needed to meet increasing consumer demands for ‘healthier’ products. This study compared plasma PUFA concentrations across cattle finished on three different feeding regimes. Three farms supplied livestock to the current study, where cattle were fed three different feeding regimes for a minimum of 15-weeks prior to slaughter. Feeding regimes were ad lib concentrate (negative control), n3-enriched ad lib concentrate (treatment) or grass-fed only (positive control). Blood was collected at slaughter into EDTA tubes and plasma aliquots were stored at -80°C until analysis. A validated gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method was used to quantify individual PUFA concentrations in mg/ml [linoleic acid (LA); arachidonic acid (AA); alpha-linolenic acid (ALA); eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); docosapentaenoic acid (DPA); docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)]. Samples from 23, 49 and 40 animals (in control, treatment & grass groups, respectively) were available for the current analysis. One-way ANOVA tests revealed significant differences between groups in all PUFA concentrations quantified (all P < 0.026). Post-hoc (LSD) tests showed mean ± SD n3 PUFA concentrations were significantly different within all three groups (all P < 0.04), increasing from negative control (0.049 ± 0.013 mg/ml), to treatment (0.095 ± 0.034 mg/ml) and grass-fed groups (0.461 ± 0.132 mg/ml). The opposite was observed for mean ± SD n6 PUFA concentrations (1.060 ± 0.297 vs. 0.918 ± 0.267 vs. 0.355 ± 0.085 mg/ml, respectively; all P < 0.02). Cattle finished on either treatment or grass regimes had a more favourable n6:n3 PUFA ratio, compared to negative control (11.98 and 0.79 vs. 22.65, respectively). This study demonstrates that the finishing diet can impact plasma PUFA concentrations of beef cattle. Animals finished on the n3-enriched concentrate had, on average, double the total n3 PUFA concentrations, as well as an improved n6:n3 ratio, compared to control cattle. These results provide preliminary data on an alternative n3-enriched feeding regime for beef cattle to improve PUFA concentrations. Further research, however, is required to confirm if such beneficial changes are also observed in bovine muscle, which would have direct benefits for consumers.
As the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension is the leading cause of preventable, premature mortality globally. Hypertension, or elevated blood pressure (BP), has a number of well-established risk factors, including genetics. A common C677T polymorphism in the gene encoding the folate metabolising enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) affects 10–12% of UK and Irish populations and has been linked with 24–87% increased risk of hypertension globally. Evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) conducted at this Centre has shown BP to be highly responsive (by 5–13 mmHg) to supplementation with riboflavin (MTHFR co-factor), an effect confined to homozygous individuals (TT genotype). To date, our trials have focused on peripheral BP; however, additional measures of vascular health such as central pressure are reported to be more closely correlated with CVD risk. Investigation of central BP, augmentation index (AIx) and pulse pressure amplification (PPA) may thus offer further insight into the role of this gene-nutrient interaction in blood pressure. The present study aims to investigate BP, and measures of vascular health in healthy adults stratified by MTHFR 677 genotype. Apparently healthy adults aged 18–60 years were recruited from workplaces across Northern Ireland and screened for MTHFR genotype via buccal swab. Clinic BP, anthropometry and blood sample were measured in TT individuals (n 209) and age and sex-matched CC (n 98) and CT (n 102) controls. AIx and central BP were assessed using SphygmoCor® (AtCor Medical, Australia). Preliminary results demonstrate higher BP in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype compared to non-TT controls (systolic BP 134.7 ± 13.8 mmHg vs 129.7 ± 12.4 mmHg, P < 0.001; diastolic BP 81.6 ± 9.5 mmHg vs 79.7 mmHg ± 8.9 mmHg, P = 0.023, respectively). The MTHFR 677TT genotype group had significantly higher central systolic BP (119.4 ± 11.8 vs 116.7 ± 10.9 mmHg, P = 0.018), central pulse pressure (P = 0.006) and central mean pressure (P = 0.011) compared to the non-TT group. No significant differences for central diastolic BP, pulse pressure amplification, pulse pressure ratio and augmentation index were observed. This study confirms the phenotype of elevated BP in individuals with the C677T polymorphism in the gene encoding MTHFR. For the first time, this study reports that individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype have higher central systolic BP, central mean pressure and pulse pressure. Further investigations through RCTs investigating the effect of the MTHFR cofactor, riboflavin, on central blood pressure in these genetically at-risk adults are warranted.
Evidence from observational studies indicates that seaweed consumption may reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and obesity. Accumulating evidence from in vitro and animal studies suggest seaweed have antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may in part be attributed to the high content of soluble dietary fibre in seaweeds. The viscosity of seaweed fibres is suggested to mediate antihyperlipdiemic effects via the alteration of lipid/bile acid absorption kinetics to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). Thus, there is a need to evaluate the efficacy of seaweed derived dietary fibre in the management of dyslipidemia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of a fibre rich extract from Palmaria palmata on the lipid profile as well as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in healthy adults. A total of 60 healthy participants (30 male and 30 female) aged 20 to 58 years, were assigned to consume the Palmaria palmata fibre extract (5g/day), Synergy-1 and the placebo (maltodextrin) for a duration of 4 weeks with a minimum 4 week washout between each treatment in a double blind, randomised crossover study conducted over 5 months. Fasting concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) were analysed and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and LDL: HDL ratio was calculated. C-reactive protein (CRP) and Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP) were analysed as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, respectively. Supplementation for 4 weeks with Palmaria palmata resulted in favourable changes to lipid profiles with a reduced LDL:HDL ratio; however intention-to-treat univariate ANCOVA identified no significant difference between the treatment groups over time on any of the lipid profile markers. A non-significant increase in CRP and triglyceride concentration along with lower FRAP was also observed with Palmaria palmata supplementation. Evidence from this study suggests that Palmaria palmata may have effects on lipid metabolism and appears to mobilise triglycerides. More research is needed in individuals with dyslipidaemia to fully elucidate these effects.
The C677T polymorphism in the folate metabolising enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is associated with hypertension. Riboflavin acts as a cofactor for MTHFR in one-carbon metabolism which generates methyl groups for utilisation in important biological reactions such as DNA methylation. Supplementation with riboflavin has previously been shown to lower blood pressure in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype. The mechanism regulating this gene-nutrient interaction is currently unknown but may involve aberrant DNA methylation which has been implicated hypertension.
The aims of this study were to examine DNA methylation of hypertension-related genes in adults stratified by MTHFR C677T genotype and the effect of riboflavin supplementation on DNA methylation of these genes in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype.
Materials and Methods:
We measured DNA methylation using pyrosequencing in a set of candidate genes associated with hypertension including angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AGTR1), G nucleotide binding protein subunit alpha 12 (GNA12), insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3). Stored peripheral blood leukocyte samples from participants previously screened for the MTHFR C677T genotype who participated in targeted randomised controlled trials (1.6mg/d riboflavin or placebo for 16 weeks) at Ulster University were accessed for this analysis (n = 120).
There were significant differences in baseline average methylation between MTHFR CC and TT genotypes at NOS3 (p = 0.026) and AGTR1 (p = 0.045) loci. Riboflavin supplementation in the TT genotype group resulted in altered average methylation at IGF2 (p = 0.025) and CpG site-specific alterations at the AGTR1 and GNA12 loci.
DNA methylation at genes related to hypertension were significantly different in individuals stratified by MTHFR genotype group. Furthermore, in MTHFR 677TT genotype individuals, there were concurrent alterations in DNA methylation at genes linked to hypertension in response to riboflavin supplementation. This is the largest study to date to demonstrate an interaction between DNA methylation of hypertension-related genes and riboflavin supplementation in adults with the MTHFR 677TT genotype. Further work using a genome-wide approach is required to better understand the role of riboflavin in altering DNA methylation in these genetically at-risk individuals.
Optimal maternal polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) status is essential for foetal development. The desaturase enzymes, encoded by the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes, are involved in the endogenous synthesis of long chain (LC)PUFA and influence maternal LCPUFA concentrations. The minor allele of various FADS SNPs has been associated with increased maternal concentrations of the precursors linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA), and lower concentrations of the LCPUFA arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); however, there is limited research to date on the influence of FADS genotype on cord PUFA status. The aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of maternal and child genetic variation on cord blood PUFA status in a high fish-eating cohort.
Cord blood samples collected from mother-child pairs (n = 1088) taking part in the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) Nutrition Cohort 2 (NC2) were analysed for total serum PUFA. Maternal (n = 1088) and child genotype (n = 592) were determined for the FADS SNPs rs174537, rs174561, rs174575, and rs3834458. Regression analysis determined associations between maternal and child FADS genotype and cord PUFA status. In all regression models, the major allele homozygote genotype for each SNP was used as the reference group.
Directions of significant associations were as predicted. In mothers, the minor allele homozygote genotype for SNPs rs174537, rs174561 and rs3834458 was associated with lower cord DHA and lower total n-3 PUFA when compared to the major allele homozygous genotype (p < 0.05 for all). The heterozygous genotype was associated with increased concentrations of LA compared to the reference genotype for rs174561 (p = 0.021) and rs383448 (p = 0.023). In children, the heterozygous genotype was associated with lower AA concentrations and lower cord n-6:n-3 ratio for all SNPs (p < 0.05 for all) compared to those with the major allele homozygous genotype. A lower cord AA:LA ratio was also observed for children heterozygous for rs174547, rs174561 and rs174575 (p < 0.05 for all). Contrary to expected, there were no associations between cord PUFA concentrations and child minor allele homozygous genotype.
The current study indicates that variation in maternal and child FADS genotype influences cord PUFA concentrations, despite the high intake of preformed dietary LCPUFA from fish in this population. The sample size for minor allele homozygous children was likely too small to observe any statistically significant associations in the current analysis. Further research is needed to determine whether increased dietary intake can compensate for lower PUFA status as a result of FADS genotype.
In 2013, the national surveillance case definition for West Nile virus (WNV) disease was revised to remove fever as a criterion for neuroinvasive disease and require at most subjective fever for non-neuroinvasive disease. The aims of this project were to determine how often afebrile WNV disease occurs and assess differences among patients with and without fever. We included cases with laboratory evidence of WNV disease reported from four states in 2014. We compared demographics, clinical symptoms and laboratory evidence for patients with and without fever and stratified the analysis by neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive presentations. Among 956 included patients, 39 (4%) had no fever; this proportion was similar among patients with and without neuroinvasive disease symptoms. For neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive patients, there were no differences in age, sex, or laboratory evidence between febrile and afebrile patients, but hospitalisations were more common among patients with fever (P < 0.01). The only significant difference in symptoms was for ataxia, which was more common in neuroinvasive patients without fever (P = 0.04). Only 5% of non-neuroinvasive patients did not meet the WNV case definition due to lack of fever. The evidence presented here supports the changes made to the national case definition in 2013.
Previous reports investigating adiposity and cognitive function in the population allude to a negative association, although the relationship in older adults is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of adiposity (BMI and waist:hip ratio (WHR)) with cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults (≥60 years). Participants included 5186 adults from the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture ageing cohort study. Neuropsychological assessment measures included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) and Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Multi-variable linear regression models were used to assess the association between adiposity and cognitive function adjusting for insulin resistance, inflammation and cerebrovascular disease. The mean ages were 80·3 (sd 6·7), 71·0 (sd 7·3) and 70·2 (sd 6·3) years on the cognitive, bone and hypertensive cohorts, respectively. In the cognitive cohort, BMI was positively associated with immediate and delay memory, visuospatial/constructional ability, language and MMSE, and negatively with FAB (log-transformed), whereas WHR was negatively associated with attention. In the bone cohort, BMI was not associated with any cognitive domain, whereas WHR was negatively associated with visuospatial/constructional ability, attention and MMSE. In the hypertensive cohort, BMI was not associated with any cognitive domain, whereas WHR was negatively associated with immediate and delayed memory, visuospatial/constructional ability, language and MMSE and positively with FAB (log-transformed). In the cognitive and bone cohorts, the association of WHR and attention disappeared by further controlling for C-reactive protein and HbA1C. In this study of older adults, central adiposity was a stronger predictor of poor cognitive performance than BMI. Older adults could benefit from targeted public health strategies aimed at reducing obesity and obeseogenic risk factors to avoid/prevent/slow cognitive dysfunction.
Palliative care has had a long-standing commitment to teaching medical students and other medical professionals about pain management, communication, supporting patients in their decisions, and providing compassionate end-of-life care. Palliative care programs also have a critical role in helping patients understand medical conditions, and in supporting them in dealing with pain, fear of dying, and the experiences of the terminal phase of their lives. We applaud their efforts to provide that critical training and fully support their continued important work in meeting the needs of patients and families. Although we appreciate the contributions of palliative care services, we have noted a problem involving some palliative care professionals’ attitudes, methods of decisionmaking, and use of language. In this article we explain these problems by discussing two cases that we encountered.
Vitamin D is obtained by cattle from the diet and from skin production via UVB exposure from sunlight. The vitamin D status of the cow impacts the vitamin D content of the milk produced, much like human breast milk, with seasonal variation in the vitamin D content of milk well documented. Factors such as changes in husbandry practices therefore have the potential to impact the vitamin D content of milk. For example, a shift to year-round housing from traditional practices of cattle being out to graze during the summer months and housed during the winter only, minimises exposure to the sun and has been shown to negatively influence the vitamin D content of the milk produced. Other practices such as changing dietary sources of vitamin D may also influence the vitamin D content of milk, and evidence exists to suggest genetic factors such as breed can cause variation in the concentrations of vitamin D in the milk produced. The present review aims to provide an overview of the current understanding of how genetic and environmental factors influence the vitamin D content of the milk produced by dairy cattle. A number of environmental and genetic factors have previously been identified as having influence on the nutritional content of the milk produced. The present review highlights a need for further research to fully elucidate how farmers could manipulate the factors identified to their advantage with respect to increasing the vitamin D content of milk and standardising it across the year.
Adequate I intake is important before conception and during pregnancy for optimal infant neurodevelopment. Recent studies have highlighted the prevalence of I deficiency in the UK and Ireland. It is possible that optimal I intake may be impeded by a poor knowledge of I nutrition. This study aimed to investigate I knowledge among women of childbearing age in the UK and Ireland and to determine whether a relationship exists between I knowledge and dietary I intake. Females (aged 18–45 years) were invited to complete an online questionnaire, which assessed knowledge of I and estimated dietary I intake using a FFQ. A total of 520 females of childbearing age completed the study. I knowledge was poor; only one-third (32 %) of the participants correctly identified pregnancy as the most important stage of the lifecycle for I, and 41 % of participants could not correctly identify any health problem related to I deficiency. The median daily I intake was estimated as 152 µg/d. Almost half (46 %) of the participants failed to meet dietary recommendations (140 µg/d) for I. A higher dietary I intake was positively associated with greater I knowledge (r 0·107; P=0·016). This study suggests that knowledge of I nutrition is low among women of childbearing age, and those with a greater knowledge of I nutrition had a higher dietary I intake. Initiatives to educate women of childbearing age on the importance of I nutrition should be considered as part of a larger public health strategy to address I deficiency.
Clinical deficiency of the B-vitamin riboflavin (vitamin B2) is largely confined to developing countries; however accumulating evidence indicates that suboptimal riboflavin status is a widespread problem across the developed world. Few international data are available on riboflavin status as measured by the functional biomarker, erythrocyte glutathione reductase activation coefficient, considered to be the gold standard index. One important role of riboflavin in the form of flavin dinucleotide is as a co-factor for the folate-metabolising enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Homozygosity for the common C677T polymorphism in MTHFR, affecting over 10 % of the UK and Irish populations and up to 32 % of other populations worldwide, has been associated with an increased risk of CVD, and more recently with hypertension. This review will explore available studies reporting riboflavin status worldwide, the interaction of riboflavin with the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and the potential role of riboflavin in personalised nutrition. Evidence is accumulating for a novel role of riboflavin as an important modulator of blood pressure (BP) specifically in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype, with results from a number of recent randomised controlled trials demonstrating that riboflavin supplementation can significantly reduce systolic BP by 5–13 mmHg in these genetically at risk adults. Studies are however required to investigate the BP-lowering effect of riboflavin in different populations and in response to doses higher than 1·6 mg/d. Furthermore, work focusing on the translation of this research to health professionals and patients is also required.
Low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) are commonly used as sugar substitutes in the diet to provide a desired sweet taste without increased energy intake. The number of LCS available on the market has increased considerably over the years and despite extensive evaluation of their safety prior to approval, debate continues around the effects of consumption on health. In Europe, Member States are obligated to monitor exposure to LCS and methods currently used tend to rely on self-reported dietary intake data alongside LCS concentrations in products. However, the acquisition of accurate data can be costly in terms of resources and time and are inherently imprecise. Although LCS are intensely sweet, they are chemically diverse and a limitation of many studies investigating the health effects of consumption is that they often fail to discern intakes of individual LCS. An approach which objectively assesses intakes of individual LCS would therefore allow robust investigations of their possible effects on health. Biomarker approaches have been utilised for the objective investigation of intakes of a range of dietary components and the feasibility of any such approach depends upon its validity as well as its applicability within the target population. This review aims to provide an overview of current understanding of LCS intake and explore the possibility of implementing a biomarker approach to enhance such understanding. Several commonly used LCS, once absorbed into the body, are excreted via the kidneys; therefore a urinary biomarker approach may be possible for the investigation of short-term exposure to these compounds.