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Urinary metabolic biomarkers of diet quality in European children are associated with metabolic health

Stratakis, Nikos; Siskos, Alexandros P.; Papadopoulou, Eleni; Nguyen, Anh N.; Zhao, Yinqi; Margetaki, Katerina; Lau, Chung-Ho E.; Coen, Muireann; Maitre, Lea; Fernández-Barrés, Silvia; Agier, Lydiane; Andrusaityte, Sandra; Basagaña, Xavier; Brantsaeter, Anne Lise; Casas, Maribel; Fossati, Serena; Grazuleviciene, Regina; Heude, Barbara; McEachan, Rosemary Rc; Meltzer, Helle Margrete; Millett, Christopher; Rauber, Fernanda; Robinson, Oliver; Roumeliotaki, Theano; Borras, Eva; Sabidó, Eduard; Urquiza, Jose; Vafeiadi, Marina; Vineis, Paolo; Voortman, Trudy; Wright, John; Conti, David V.; Vrijheid, Martine; Keun, Hector C.; Chatzi, Leda

Date Published:





Extra Links:

January 25, 2022


PMID: 35076016 PMCID: PMC8789316


Urinary metabolic profiling is a promising powerful tool to reflect dietary intake and can help understand metabolic alterations in response to diet quality. Here, we used 1H NMR spectroscopy in a multicountry study in European children (1147 children from 6 different cohorts) and identified a common panel of 4 urinary metabolites (hippurate, N-methylnicotinic acid, urea, and sucrose) that was predictive of Mediterranean diet adherence (KIDMED) and ultra-processed food consumption and also had higher capacity in discriminating children's diet quality than that of established sociodemographic determinants. Further, we showed that the identified metabolite panel also reflected the associations of these diet quality indicators with C-peptide, a stable and accurate marker of insulin resistance and future risk of metabolic disease. This methodology enables objective assessment of dietary patterns in European child populations, complementary to traditional questionary methods, and can be used in future studies to evaluate diet quality. Moreover, this knowledge can provide mechanistic evidence of common biological pathways that characterize healthy and unhealthy dietary patterns, and diet-related molecular alterations that could associate to metabolic disease.

Automatic Tags

epidemiology; human; metabolomics; global health; NMR spectroscopy; european children; mediterranean diet adherence; ultra-processed food intake

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