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Open AccessArticle

Contribution of Berry Polyphenols to the Human Metabolome

1
Food Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences, Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Research Campus, 600 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
2
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
3
Department of Nutrition & Preventive Medicine, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
4
Department of Food Science and Nutrition and Center for Nutrition Research, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
5
Institute for Global Food Security, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Takanori Tsuda and Wilhelmina Kalt
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4220; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234220
Received: 9 October 2019 / Revised: 13 November 2019 / Accepted: 14 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanins: Recent Progress in Health Benefits Studies)
Diets rich in berries provide health benefits, however, the contribution of berry phytochemicals to the human metabolome is largely unknown. The present study aimed to establish the impact of berry phytochemicals on the human metabolome. A “systematic review strategy” was utilized to characterize the phytochemical composition of the berries most commonly consumed in the USA; (poly)phenols, primarily anthocyanins, comprised the majority of reported plant secondary metabolites. A reference standard library and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) quantitative metabolomics methodology were developed and applied to serum/plasma samples from a blueberry and a strawberry intervention, revealing a diversity of benzoic, cinnamic, phenylacetic, 3-(phenyl)propanoic and hippuric acids, and benzyldehydes. 3-Phenylpropanoic, 2-hydroxybenzoic, and hippuric acid were highly abundant (mean > 1 µM). Few metabolites at concentrations above 100 nM changed significantly in either intervention. Significant intervention effects (p < 0.05) were observed for plasma/serum 2-hydroxybenzoic acid and hippuric acid in the blueberry intervention, and for 3-methoxyphenylacetic acid and 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid in the strawberry intervention. However, significant within-group effects for change from baseline were prevalent, suggesting that high inter-individual variability precluded significant treatment effects. Berry consumption in general appears to cause a fluctuation in the pools of small molecule metabolites already present at baseline, rather than the appearance of unique berry-derived metabolites, which likely reflects the ubiquitous nature of (poly)phenols in the background diet. View Full-Text
Keywords: mass spectrometry; metabolome; metabolomics; microbiome; (poly)phenol mass spectrometry; metabolome; metabolomics; microbiome; (poly)phenol
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Chandra, P.; Rathore, A.S.; Kay, K.L.; Everhart, J.L.; Curtis, P.; Burton-Freeman, B.; Cassidy, A.; Kay, C.D. Contribution of Berry Polyphenols to the Human Metabolome. Molecules 2019, 24, 4220.

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