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High intakes of whole-grains and cereal fiber have been consistently associated with lower risk of cardiometabolic diseases in observational studies. Yet, improved understanding about the underlying mechanisms is needed. We hypothesized that cereal fiber and whole-grain are associated with beneficial metabolic marker profiles.
To investigate if cereal fiber intake, estimated by food frequency questionnaires and plasma total alkylresorcinols concentrations as well as the C17:0/C21:0-ratio in plasma as biomarkers of whole-grain wheat and rye intake or the relative whole-grain rye to wheat intake, respectively, were associated with metabolic biomarkers.
A cross-sectional study conducted to investigate the associations between alkylresorcinols as biomarker of whole-grain wheat and rye intake, cereal fiber and selected metabolic biomarkers among 954 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Cereal fiber intake was assessed by FFQ and whole grain wheat and rye were reflected by biomarkers analyzed in plasma samples, i.e. total alkylresorcinol (AR). Moreover, the ratio of two of the five measured alkylresorcinols (AR C17:0/C21:0 ratio) was used as an indicator of whole-grain source (wheat or rye). Metabolic biomarkers (HbA1c, C-peptide, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, apolipoprotein A-I (apoA), apolipoprotein B (ApoB) and CRP) were measured in blood samples. All biomarkers were already measured for nested case-control studies of colorectal cancer matched based on sex, study center, age at blood collection, date and time of blood collection, fasting status. Women were further matched by menopausal status, phase of menstrual cycle, and use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy at time of blood collection. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between exposure variables metabolic biomarkers adjusted for case-control status and common confounders.
No associations were found between cereal fiber intake and the metabolic markers. However, whole-grain wheat and rye intake, reflected by total AR, was associated with a lower concentration of the inflammation marker CRP. The alkylresorcinol C17:0/C21:0 ratio was not associated with any of the measured metabolic markers in this cohort.
Overall, we found no support for an association between cereal fibre intake, whole grain wheat and rye intake reflected by biomarkers and metabolic markers in the present cohort. One exception was the finding of an inverse association between whole grain biomarkers and CRP. Prospective studies or RCTs are warranted to confirm our findings.
In 2017, 11 million deaths related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were attributable to dietary risk factors (GBD, 2019). Helping consumers make healthier food choices hence appears as one key strategy to prevent NCDs-related mortality. To this end, political authorities are considering implementing a simple label to reflect the nutritional quality of food products. The five-colour Nutri-Score label, derived from the Nutrient Profiling System of the British Food Standards Agency (FSAm-NPS), has been chosen by several countries in Europe (France, Belgium, Spain). Yet, its implementation is still voluntary per EU labelling regulation. Scientific evidence is therefore needed regarding the relevance of the FSAm-NPS at the European level. Following on our results showing an increased risk of cancer related to the consumption of foods with a high FSAm-NPS score in the EPIC cohort, our objective is now to focus on NCDs-related mortality. Our prospective analyses included 501,594 adults from the EPIC cohort (1992–2015, median follow-up: 17.2 years). Mortality events occurring < 2 years after recruitment were excluded, leaving 50,743 death events (main causes: cancer, n = 21,971; cerebro/cardiovascular diseases, n = 12,407; respiratory diseases, n = 2,796). Usual food intakes were assessed with standardized country-specific diet assessment methods. The FSAm-NPS was calculated for each food/beverage using their 100-g content in energy, sugar, saturated fatty acid, sodium, fibres, proteins, and fruits/vegetables/legumes/nuts. The individual FSAm-NPS Dietary Index (DI) is obtained as an energy-weighted mean of the FSAm-NPS scores of all food items usually consumed by a participant. Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for confounding factors, including personal history of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes were computed. Fine and Gray models were also tested to take into account competing events for cause-specific mortality analyses. A higher FSAm-NPS DI score, reflecting a lower nutritional quality of the diet, was associated with a higher mortality risk overall (HRQ5vs.Q1 = 1.06 [95%CI: 1.02–1.09], P-trend < 0.001) and by cancer (HRQ5vs.Q1 = 1.06 [1.01–1.11], P-trend = 0.003) and respiratory diseases (HRQ5vs.Q1 = 1.33 [1.16–1.52], P-trend < 0.001), with similar results in competing events analyses. Associations with cerebro-/cardiovascular diseases mortality were weaker (HRQ5vs.Q1 = 1.05 [0.98,1.11], P-trend = 0.04) and no longer statistically significant in competing events analyses. In this large multinational European cohort, the consumption of food products with a higher FSAm-NPS score (lower nutritional quality of the foods consumed) was associated with a higher mortality risk, supporting the relevance of the FSAm-NPS to grade the nutritional quality of food products for public health applications (e.g, Nutri-Score) aiming to guide the consumers towards healthier food choices.
Experimental studies have reported on the anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols. However, results from epidemiological investigations have been inconsistent and especially studies using biomarkers for assessment of polyphenol intake have been scant. We aimed to characterise the association between plasma concentrations of thirty-five polyphenol compounds and low-grade systemic inflammation state as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). A cross-sectional data analysis was performed based on 315 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort with available measurements of plasma polyphenols and hsCRP. In logistic regression analysis, the OR and 95 % CI of elevated serum hsCRP (>3 mg/l) were calculated within quartiles and per standard deviation higher level of plasma polyphenol concentrations. In a multivariable-adjusted model, the sum of plasma concentrations of all polyphenols measured (per standard deviation) was associated with 29 (95 % CI 50, 1) % lower odds of elevated hsCRP. In the class of flavonoids, daidzein was inversely associated with elevated hsCRP (OR 0·66, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·96). Among phenolic acids, statistically significant associations were observed for 3,5-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR 0·58, 95 % CI 0·39, 0·86), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR 0·63, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·87), ferulic acid (OR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·44, 0·96) and caffeic acid (OR 0·69, 95 % CI 0·51, 0·93). The odds of elevated hsCRP were significantly reduced for hydroxytyrosol (OR 0·67, 95 % CI 0·48, 0·93). The present study showed that polyphenol biomarkers are associated with lower odds of elevated hsCRP. Whether diet rich in bioactive polyphenol compounds could be an effective strategy to prevent or modulate deleterious health effects of inflammation should be addressed by further well-powered longitudinal studies.
This study aimed to estimate the number of new cancer cases attributable to diet among adults aged 30–84 years in France in 2015, where convincing or probable evidence of a causal association exists, and, in a secondary analysis, where at least limited but suggestive evidence of a causal association exists. Cancer cases attributable to diet were estimated assuming a 10-year latency period. Dietary intake data were obtained from the 2006 French National Nutrition and Health Survey. Counterfactual scenarios of dietary intake were based on dietary guidelines. Corresponding risk relation estimates were obtained from meta-analyses, cohort studies and one case–control study. Cancer incidence data were obtained from the French Network of Cancer Registries. Nationally, unfavourable dietary habits led to 16 930 new cancer cases, representing 5·4 % of all new cancer cases. Low intake of fruit and dietary fibre was the largest contributor to this burden, being responsible for 4787 and 4389 new cancer cases, respectively. If this is expanded to dietary component and cancer pairs with at least limited but suggestive evidence of a causal association, 36 049 new cancer cases, representing 11·6 % of all new cancer cases, were estimated to be attributable to diet. These findings suggest that unfavourable dietary habits lead to a substantial number of new cancer cases in France; however, there is a large degree of uncertainty as to the number of cancers attributable to diet, including through indirect mechanisms such as obesity, and therefore additional research is needed to determine how diet affects cancer risk.
Improvements in colorectal cancer (CRC) detection and treatment have led to greater numbers of CRC survivors, for whom there is limited evidence on which to provide dietary guidelines to improve survival outcomes. Higher intake of red and processed meat and lower intake of fibre are associated with greater risk of developing CRC, but there is limited evidence regarding associations with survival after CRC diagnosis. Among 3789 CRC cases in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, pre-diagnostic consumption of red meat, processed meat, poultry and dietary fibre was examined in relation to CRC-specific mortality (n 1008) and all-cause mortality (n 1262) using multivariable Cox regression models, adjusted for CRC risk factors. Pre-diagnostic red meat, processed meat or fibre intakes (defined as quartiles and continuous grams per day) were not associated with CRC-specific or all-cause mortality among CRC survivors; however, a marginal trend across quartiles of processed meat in relation to CRC mortality was detected (P 0·053). Pre-diagnostic poultry intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality among women (hazard ratio (HR)/20 g/d 0·92; 95 % CI 0·84, 1·00), but not among men (HR 1·00; 95 % CI 0·91, 1·09) (Pfor heterogeneity=0·10). Pre-diagnostic intake of red meat or fibre is not associated with CRC survival in the EPIC cohort. There is suggestive evidence of an association between poultry intake and all-cause mortality among female CRC survivors and between processed meat intake and CRC-specific mortality; however, further research using post-diagnostic dietary data is required to confirm this relationship.
The present report summarises a workshop convened by the UK Food Standards Agency (Agency) on 25 March 2010 to discuss the current Agency's funded research on the use of metabolomics technologies in human nutrition research. The objectives of this workshop were to review progress to date, to identify technical challenges and ways of overcoming them, and to discuss future research priorities and the application of metabolomics in public health nutrition research and surveys. Results from studies nearing completion showed that by using carefully designed dietary and sampling regimens, it is possible to identify novel biomarkers of food intake that could not have been predicted from current knowledge of food composition. These findings provide proof-of-principle that the metabolomics approach can be used to develop new putative biomarkers of dietary intake. The next steps will be to validate these putative biomarkers, to develop rapid and inexpensive assays for biomarkers of food intake of high public health relevance, and to test their utility in population cohort studies and dietary surveys.
Tree nuts, peanuts and seeds are nutrient dense foods whose intake has been shown to be associated with reduced risk of some chronic diseases. They are regularly consumed in European diets either as whole, in spreads or from hidden sources (e.g. commercial products). However, little is known about their intake profiles or differences in consumption between European countries or geographic regions. The objective of this study was to analyse the population mean intake and average portion sizes in subjects reporting intake of nuts and seeds consumed as whole, derived from hidden sources or from spreads. Data was obtained from standardised 24-hour dietary recalls collected from 36 994 subjects in 10 different countries that are part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Overall, for nuts and seeds consumed as whole, the percentage of subjects reporting intake on the day of the recall was: tree nuts = 4·4%, peanuts = 2·3% and seeds = 1·3%. The data show a clear northern (Sweden: mean intake = 0·15 g/d, average portion size = 15·1 g/d) to southern (Spain: mean intake = 2·99 g/d, average portion size = 34·7 g/d) European gradient of whole tree nut intake. The three most popular tree nuts were walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, respectively. In general, tree nuts were more widely consumed than peanuts or seeds. In subjects reporting intake, men consumed a significantly higher average portion size of tree nuts (28·5 v. 23·1 g/d, P<0·01) and peanuts (46·1 v. 35·1 g/d, P<0·01) per day than women. These data may be useful in devising research initiatives and health policy strategies based on the intake of this food group.
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