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Metabolomics as a tool in the identification of dietary biomarkers

  • Helena Gibbons (a1) (a2) and Lorraine Brennan (a1) (a2)
Abstract

Current dietary assessment methods including FFQ, 24-h recalls and weighed food diaries are associated with many measurement errors. In an attempt to overcome some of these errors, dietary biomarkers have emerged as a complementary approach to these traditional methods. Metabolomics has developed as a key technology for the identification of new dietary biomarkers and to date, metabolomic-based approaches have led to the identification of a number of putative biomarkers. The three approaches generally employed when using metabolomics in dietary biomarker discovery are: (i) acute interventions where participants consume specific amounts of a test food, (ii) cohort studies where metabolic profiles are compared between consumers and non-consumers of a specific food and (iii) the analysis of dietary patterns and metabolic profiles to identify nutritypes and biomarkers. The present review critiques the current literature in terms of the approaches used for dietary biomarker discovery and gives a detailed overview of the currently proposed biomarkers, highlighting steps needed for their full validation. Furthermore, the present review also evaluates areas such as current databases and software tools, which are needed to advance the interpretation of results and therefore enhance the utility of dietary biomarkers in nutrition research.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Professor L. Brennan, email lorraine.brennan@ucd.ie
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