Previous metabolomic studies have identified putative blood biomarkers of dietary intake. These biomarkers need to be replicated in other populations and tested for reproducibility over time for the potential use in future epidemiological studies. We conducted a metabolomics analysis among 671 racially/ethnically diverse men and women included in a diet validation study to examine the correlation between >100 food groups/items (101 by a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), 105 by 24-h diet recalls (24HRs)) with 1141 metabolites measured in fasting plasma sample replicates, six months apart. Diet–metabolite associations were examined by Pearson’s partial correlation analysis. Biomarker reproducibility was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). A total of 677 diet–metabolite associations were identified after Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons and restricting absolute correlation coefficients to greater than 0.2 (601 associations using the FFQ and 395 using 24HRs). The median ICCs of the 238 putative biomarkers was 0.56 (interquartile range 0.46–0.68). In this study, with repeated FFQs, 24HRs and plasma metabolic profiles, we identified several potentially novel food biomarkers and replicated others found in our previous study. Our findings contribute to the growing literature on food-based biomarkers and provide important information on biomarker reproducibility which could facilitate their utilization in future nutritional epidemiological studies.
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