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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Organic Food Intake on Nitrogen Stable Isotopes

Faculté de Médecine, Université de Tours, INSERM, N2C UMR 1069, 37032 Tours, France
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 2965; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102965
Received: 30 July 2020 / Revised: 1 September 2020 / Accepted: 25 September 2020 / Published: 28 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Biomarkers in Human Nutrition)
Food choices affect the isotopic composition of the body with each food item leaving its distinct isotopic imprint. The common view is that the natural abundance of the stable isotopes of nitrogen (expressed as δ15N) is higher in animals than in plants that constitute our contemporary diets. Higher δ15N is thus increasingly viewed as a biomarker for meat and fish intake. Here we show that organic compared to conventional farming increases plant δ15N to an extent that can appreciably impact the performance of δ15N as a biomarker. The error that can arise when organic plants are consumed was modelled for the entire range of proportions of plant versus animal protein intake, and accounting for various intakes of organic and conventionally grown crops. This mass balance model allows the interpretation of differences in δ15N in light of organic food consumption. Our approach shows that the relationship between δ15N and meat and fish intake is highly contextual and susceptible to variation at the population, community or group level. We recommend that fertilization practices and organic plant consumption must not be overlooked when using δ15N as a biomarker for meat and fish intake or to assess compliance to nutritional interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen-15 isotopic abundance; organic food intake; animal and plant protein intake nitrogen-15 isotopic abundance; organic food intake; animal and plant protein intake
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MDPI and ACS Style

L. Mantha, O.; Laxmi Patel, M.; Hankard, R.; De Luca, A. Effect of Organic Food Intake on Nitrogen Stable Isotopes. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2965. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102965

AMA Style

L. Mantha O, Laxmi Patel M, Hankard R, De Luca A. Effect of Organic Food Intake on Nitrogen Stable Isotopes. Nutrients. 2020; 12(10):2965. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102965

Chicago/Turabian Style

L. Mantha, Olivier; Laxmi Patel, Maya; Hankard, Régis; De Luca, Arnaud. 2020. "Effect of Organic Food Intake on Nitrogen Stable Isotopes" Nutrients 12, no. 10: 2965. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102965

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