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The objective was to investigate the effects of substitution (SUB) dietary guidelines (DG) targeted at the prevention of IHD on dietary intake and IHD risk factors in Danish adults with minimum one self-assessed IHD risk factor. A 6-month single-blinded parallel randomised controlled trial with a follow-up at month 12 included 219 subjects (median age 51 years, 59 % female, 73 % overweight or obese) randomised into an SUB DG, an official (OFF) DG or a control group following their habitual diet (HAB). Participants in the DG intervention groups received bi-weekly reminders of their DG and recipes for dishes and the HAB group received a greeting. Dietary intake and fasting blood, anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were obtained at baseline, month 6 and month 12. Linear regression analyses were applied. At month 6, when compared with the HAB, the SUB had a greater impact on the extent of dietary changes with increased intake of whole grains, dietary fibre and low fibre vegetables compared with the OFF DG, and both DG groups had similar decreased percentage of energy (E%) intake from SFA. The extent of dietary changes was similar at month 12. No overall significant changes from baseline were found in blood pressure, anthropometrics and IHD risk markers. In conclusion, both SUB and OFF DG resulted in cardioprotective dietary changes. However, neither the SUB nor the OFF DG resulted in any overall effects on the selected intermediate risk factors for IHD.
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.
Food phytochemicals are increasingly considered to play a key role in the cardiometabolic health effects of plant foods. However, the heterogeneity in responsiveness to their intake frequently observed in clinical trials can hinder the beneficial effects of these compounds in specific subpopulations. A range of factors, including genetic background, gut microbiota, age, sex and health status, could be involved in these interindividual variations; however, the current knowledge is limited and fragmented. The European network, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)-POSITIVe, has analysed, in a systematic way, existing knowledge with the aim to better understand the factors responsible for the interindividual variation in response to the consumption of the major families of plant food bioactives, regarding their bioavailability and bioefficacy. If differences in bioavailability, likely reflecting differences in human subjects’ genetics or in gut microbiota composition and functionality, are believed to underpin much of the interindividual variability, the key molecular determinants or microbial species remain to be identified. The systematic analysis of published studies conducted to assess the interindividual variation in biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk suggested some factors (such as adiposity and health status) as involved in between-subject variation. However, the contribution of these factors is not demonstrated consistently across the different compounds and biological outcomes and would deserve further investigations. The findings of the network clearly highlight that the human subjects’ intervention studies published so far are not adequate to investigate the relevant determinants of the absorption/metabolism and biological responsiveness. They also emphasise the need for a new generation of intervention studies designed to capture this interindividual variation.
Wheat and rye, the most consumed whole grains (WG) in the Nordic countries, contain alkylresorcinols (AR) in their bran. AR concentrations in human adipose tissue might reflect long-term WG rye and wheat intake. We aimed to evaluate AR concentrations in adipose tissue biopsies as a long-term biomarker of WG wheat and rye intake in free-living Swedish men and women.
Cross-sectional study. AR concentrations in adipose tissue biopsies were analysed and compared with long-term WG intake assessed by three FFQ (repeated over a period of 14 years in men, 17 years in women) and with plasma AR concentrations.
The Cohort of Swedish Men between 1997 and 2010 and the Swedish Mammography Cohort between 1987 and 2003, Sweden.
Men (n 149) and women (n 109).
Long-term WG rye intake estimated with repeated FFQ correlated (r=0·31–0·41, P<0·01) with adipose-tissue AR concentrations, while WG wheat intake correlated only weakly (r=0·17–0·33, P<0·05). Total AR concentration in adipose tissue was 61 % lower in women than in men at similar energy-adjusted WG wheat and rye intakes, but plasma concentrations were similar. AR concentrations in adipose tissue correlated well with plasma concentrations (r=0·49–0·81, P<0·001).
AR in adipose tissue reflected long-term WG rye but not WG wheat intake, probably due to poor precision in estimating WG wheat intake by FFQ. AR in adipose tissue appears promising as a biomarker of long-term WG rye intake but should be adjusted for sex.
FFQ, food diaries and 24 h recall methods represent the most commonly used dietary assessment tools in human studies on nutrition and health, but food intake biomarkers are assumed to provide a more objective reflection of intake. Unfortunately, very few of these biomarkers are sufficiently validated. This review provides an overview of food intake biomarker research and highlights present research efforts of the Joint Programming Initiative ‘A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life’ (JPI-HDHL) Food Biomarkers Alliance (FoodBAll). In order to identify novel food intake biomarkers, the focus is on new food metabolomics techniques that allow the quantification of up to thousands of metabolites simultaneously, which may be applied in intervention and observational studies. As biomarkers are often influenced by various other factors than the food under investigation, FoodBAll developed a food intake biomarker quality and validity score aiming to assist the systematic evaluation of novel biomarkers. Moreover, to evaluate the applicability of nutritional biomarkers, studies are presently also focusing on associations between food intake biomarkers and diet-related disease risk. In order to be successful in these metabolomics studies, knowledge about available electronic metabolomics resources is necessary and further developments of these resources are essential. Ultimately, present efforts in this research area aim to advance quality control of traditional dietary assessment methods, advance compliance evaluation in nutritional intervention studies, and increase the significance of observational studies by investigating associations between nutrition and health.
Sourdough fermentation is considered to have beneficial effects on postprandial satiety and metabolic responses, but studies demonstrating effects at physiological conditions are lacking. The aim of this acute breakfast intervention study was to determine the effect of consumption of sourdough-fermented and unfermented rye crispbread on self-rated appetite, postprandial glucose and insulin response in healthy subjects. In all, twenty-four Swedish adults were included in a single-blinded, randomised cross-over trial. Three crispbreads (sourdough-fermented and unfermented whole grain rye and yeast-fermented refined wheat as control) were consumed as part of a standardised breakfast. Subjective appetite score, assessed using visual analogue scale, and plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were measured at baseline and postprandially until 360 and 240 min, respectively. Structural changes and viscosity during mastication and gastric digestion were investigated using in vitro methods. Hunger and desire to eat were lower (P<0·05) based on AUC measurements after intake of sourdough-fermented rye crispbread compared with after intake of yeast-fermented refined wheat crispbread. On the basis of AUC (0–230 min), insulin response was lowest after intake of unfermented rye crispbread compared with sourdough-fermented rye and yeast-fermented refined wheat crispbread. Degradation of viscous fibres and faster bolus disintegration for the sourdough-fermented bread may partly explain the less favourable metabolic responses compared with unfermented bread. Our results showed that food processing affects the composition and structural characteristics of rye bread, which has implications for appetite and metabolic responses.
Whole-grain rye foods reduce appetite, insulin and sometimes glucose responses. Increased gut fermentation and plant protein may mediate the effect. The aims of the present study were to investigate whether the appetite-suppressing effects of whole-grain rye porridge could be enhanced by replacing part of the rye with fermented dietary fibre and plant protein, and to explore the role of gut fermentation on appetite and metabolic responses over 8 h. We conducted a randomised, cross-over study using two rye porridges (40 and 55 g), three 40-g rye porridges with addition of inulin:gluten (9:3; 6:6; 3:9 g) and a refined wheat bread control (55 g), served as part of complete breakfasts. A standardised lunch and an ad libitum dinner were served 4 and 8 h later, respectively. Appetite, breath hydrogen and methane, glucose, insulin and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) responses were measured over 8 h. Twenty-one healthy men and women, aged 23–60 years, with BMI of 21–33 kg/m2 participated in this study. Before lunch, the 55-g rye porridges lowered hunger by 20 % and desire to eat by 22 % and increased fullness by 29 % compared with wheat bread (P<0·05). Breath hydrogen increased proportionally to dietary fibre content (P<0·05). Plasma glucose after lunch was 6 % lower after the 55-g rye porridges compared with wheat bread (P<0·05) and correlated to breath hydrogen (P<0·001). No differences were observed in ad libitum food intake, insulin or GLP-1. We conclude that no further increase in satiety was observed when replacing part of the rye with inulin and gluten compared with plain rye porridges.
No study has yet investigated the intake of different types of whole grain (WG) in relation to all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a healthy population. The aim of the present study was to investigate the intake of WG products and WG types in relation to all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a large Scandinavian HELGA cohort that, in 1992–8, included 120 010 cohort members aged 30–64 years from the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study, the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study, and the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Study. Participants filled in a FFQ from which data on the intake of WG products were extracted. The estimation of daily intake of WG cereal types was based on country-specific products and recipes. Mortality rate ratios (MRR) and 95 % CI were estimated using the Cox proportional hazards model. A total of 3658 women and 4181 men died during the follow-up (end of follow-up was 15 April 2008 in the Danish sub-cohort, 15 December 2009 in the Norwegian sub-cohort and 15 February 2009 in the Swedish sub-cohort). In the analyses of continuous WG variables, we found lower all-cause mortality with higher intake of total WG products (women: MRR 0·89 (95 % CI 0·86, 0·91); men: MRR 0·89 (95 % CI 0·86, 0·91) for a doubling of intake). In particular, intake of breakfast cereals and non-white bread was associated with lower mortality. We also found lower all-cause mortality with total intake of different WG types (women: MRR 0·88 (95 % CI 0·86, 0·92); men: MRR 0·88 (95 % CI 0·86, 0·91) for a doubling of intake). In particular, WG oat, rye and wheat were associated with lower mortality. The associations were found in both women and men and for different causes of deaths. In the analyses of quartiles of WG intake in relation to all-cause mortality, we found lower mortality in the highest quartile compared with the lowest for breakfast cereals, non-white bread, total WG products, oat, rye (only men), wheat and total WG types. The MRR for highest v. lowest quartile of intake of total WG products was 0·68 (95 % CI 0·62, 0·75, Ptrend over quartiles< 0·0001) for women and 0·75 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·81, Ptrend over quartiles< 0·0001) for men. The MRR for highest v. lowest quartile of intake of total WG types was 0·74 (95 % CI 0·67, 0·81, Ptrend over quartiles< 0·0001) for women and 0·75 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·82, Ptrend over quartiles< 0·0001) for men. Despite lower statistical power, the analyses of cause-specific mortality according to quartiles of WG intake supported these results. In conclusion, higher intake of WG products and WG types was associated with lower mortality among participants in the HELGA cohort. The study indicates that intake of WG is an important aspect of diet in preventing early death in Scandinavia.
The objective of the present study was to examine the relationship between plasma alkyresorcinol (AR) concentrations, which are biomarkers of whole-grain intake, and atherosclerotic progression over 3 years in postmenopausal women with coronary artery disease.
Plasma AR concentrations were measured by a validated GC–MS method in fasting plasma samples. Atherosclerosis progression was assessed using change in mean minimal coronary artery diameter (MCAD) and percentage diameter stenosis (%ST), based on mean proximal vessel diameter across up to ten coronary segments. Dietary intake was estimated using a 126-item interviewer-administered FFQ.
A prospective study of postmenopausal women participating in the Estrogen Replacement and Atherosclerosis trial.
For the analysis of plasma AR concentrations and atherosclerotic progression, plasma samples and follow-up data on angiography were available for 182 women.
Mean whole-grain intake was 9·6 (se 0·6) servings per week. After multivariate adjustment, no significant associations were observed between plasma AR concentrations and change in mean MCAD or progression of %ST. Plasma AR concentrations were significantly correlated with dietary whole grains (r=0·35, P<0·001), cereal fibre (r=0·33, P<0·001), bran (r=0·15, P=0·05), total fibre (r=0·22, P=0·003) and legume fibre (r=0·15, P=0·04), but not refined grains, fruit fibre or vegetable fibre.
Plasma AR concentrations were not significantly associated with coronary artery progression over a 3-year period in postmenopausal women with coronary artery disease. A moderate association was observed between plasma AR concentrations and dietary whole grains and cereal fibre, suggesting it may be a useful biomarker in observational studies.
Whole-grain intake has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of several lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, CVD and some types of cancers. As measurement errors in self-reported whole-grain intake assessments can be substantial, dietary biomarkers are relevant to be used as complementary tools for dietary intake assessment. Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found almost exclusively in whole-grain wheat and rye products among the commonly consumed foods and are considered as valid biomarkers of the intake of these products. In the present study, we analysed the plasma concentrations of five AR homologues in 2845 participants from ten European countries from a nested case–control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. High concentrations of plasma total AR were found in participants from Scandinavia and Central Europe and lower concentrations in those from the Mediterranean countries. The geometric mean plasma total AR concentrations were between 35 and 41 nmol/l in samples drawn from fasting participants in the Central European and Scandinavian countries and below 23 nmol/l in those of participants from the Mediterranean countries. The whole-grain source (wheat or rye) could be determined using the ratio of two of the homologues. The main source was wheat in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, whereas rye was also consumed in considerable amounts in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The present study demonstrates a considerable variation in the plasma concentrations of total AR and concentrations of AR homologues across ten European countries, reflecting both quantitative and qualitative differences in the intake of whole-grain wheat and rye.
Phenolic acids are secondary plant metabolites that may have protective effects against oxidative stress, inflammation and cancer in experimental studies. To date, limited data exist on the quantitative intake of phenolic acids. We estimated the intake of phenolic acids and their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Phenolic acid intakes were estimated for 36 037 subjects aged 35–74 years and recruited between 1992 and 2000 in ten European countries using a standardised 24 h recall software (EPIC-Soft), and their food sources were identified. Dietary data were linked to the Phenol-Explorer database, which contains data on forty-five aglycones of phenolic acids in 452 foods. The total phenolic acid intake was highest in Aarhus, Denmark (1265·5 and 980·7 mg/d in men and women, respectively), while the intake was lowest in Greece (213·2 and 158·6 mg/d in men and women, respectively). The hydroxycinnamic acid subclass was the main contributor to the total phenolic acid intake, accounting for 84·6–95·3 % of intake depending on the region. Hydroxybenzoic acids accounted for 4·6–14·4 %, hydroxyphenylacetic acids 0·1–0·8 % and hydroxyphenylpropanoic acids ≤ 0·1 % for all regions. An increasing south–north gradient of consumption was also found. Coffee was the main food source of phenolic acids and accounted for 55·3–80·7 % of the total phenolic acid intake, followed by fruits, vegetables and nuts. A high heterogeneity in phenolic acid intake was observed across the European countries in the EPIC cohort, which will allow further exploration of the associations with the risk of diseases.
Alkylresorcinols (AR) have been established as short/medium-term biomarkers for whole grain (WG) wheat and rye intake; and AR metabolites, 3,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid and 3-(3,5-dihydroxyphenyl)-propanoic acid, have been suggested as complementary biomarkers to AR. The present study examined the medium-term reproducibility and relative validity of urinary AR metabolites as biomarkers for WG and cereal fibre intake. A total of sixty-six free-living Swedes completed 3 d weighed food records and provided single 24 h urine collections and morning urine spot samples on two occasions, 2–3 months apart. The medium-term reproducibility of urinary AR metabolites was moderate when assessed in 24 h collections and lower in creatinine (CR)-adjusted morning urine. Mean AR metabolite 24 h excretions correlated well with total WG (rs 0·31–0·52, P < 0·05) and cereal fibre (rs 0·46–0·58, P < 0·001) intake on both occasions. As expected, correlations with WG (rs 0·28–0·38, P < 0·05) and cereal fibre (rs 0·35–0·42, P < 0·01) were weaker for mean CR-adjusted AR metabolite concentrations in spot samples of morning urine, although the adjusted concentrations correlated well with 24 h urinary excretion (rs 0·69–0·73, P < 0·001). Adjustment for intra-individual variations substantially improved the correlations between intake and excretion. These findings suggest that urinary AR metabolites can successfully reflect the medium-term intake of WG and cereal fibre when adjusted for intra-individual variation in this population, where rye was the major contributor to high WG intake. The performance of urinary AR metabolites as medium-term biomarkers appears to be comparable to that of fasting plasma AR concentration in this population.
Alkylresorcinols (AR) in plasma samples have been suggested to be short- to medium-term biomarkers of whole grain wheat and rye intake. In the present study, we investigated whether AR are present in human adipose tissues, and if content correlated with long-term whole grain bread intake. Furthermore, we investigated if the relative AR homologue composition reflected what has been found previously in the habitual diet of Swedes. Biopsy samples (10–25 mg) from free-living Swedish women (n 20) were analysed by GC–MS. The mean total AR concentration in the samples was 0·54 (sd 0·35) μg/g, ranging from below limit of quantification ( < 0·08 μg/g) to 1·50 μg/g. Whole grain bread intake was significantly correlated with plasma total AR content (r 0·48, P < 0·05), and the C17 : 0/C21 : 0 ratio was 0·35 (sd 0·24), which is similar to what is found in plasma among free-living subjects consuming a mixed whole grain wheat and rye diet. These results suggest that AR in the adipose tissue should be evaluated as a long-term biomarker of whole grain wheat and rye intake.
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