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Application of 1H-NMR Metabolomics for the Discovery of Blood Plasma Biomarkers of a Mediterranean Diet

1
Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT9 5DL, UK
2
Beaumont Health, 3811 W. 13 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA
3
Oakland University-William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, MI 48309, USA
4
Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT12 6BA, UK
5
School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metabolites 2019, 9(10), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9100201
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 22 September 2019 / Accepted: 23 September 2019 / Published: 27 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Nutrition and Metabolism)
The Mediterranean diet (MD) is a dietary pattern well-known for its benefits in disease prevention. Monitoring adherence to the MD could be improved by discovery of novel dietary biomarkers. The MEDiterranean Diet in Northern Ireland (MEDDINI) intervention study monitored the adherence of participants to the MD for up to 12 months. This investigation aimed to profile plasma metabolites, correlating each against the MD score of participants (n = 58). Based on an established 14-point scale MD score, subjects were classified into two groups (“low” and “high”). 1H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H-NMR) metabolomic analysis found that citric acid was the most significant metabolite (p = 5.99 × 10−4*; q = 0.03), differing between ‘low’ and ‘high’. Furthermore, five additional metabolites significantly differed (p < 0.05; q < 0.35) between the two groups. Discriminatory metabolites included: citric acid, pyruvic acid, betaine, mannose, acetic acid and myo-inositol. Additionally, the top five most influential metabolites in multivariate models were also citric acid, pyruvic acid, betaine, mannose and myo-inositol. Metabolites significantly correlated with the consumption of certain food types. For example, citric acid positively correlated fruit, fruit juice and vegetable constituents of the diet, and negatively correlated with sweet foods alone or when combined with carbonated drinks. Citric acid was the best performing biomarker and this was enhanced by paired ratio with pyruvic acid. The present study demonstrates the utility of metabolomic profiling for effectively assessing adherence to MD and the discovery of novel dietary biomarkers. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomarkers; dietary patterns; Mediterranean diet; metabolomics; 1H-NMR biomarkers; dietary patterns; Mediterranean diet; metabolomics; 1H-NMR
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Macias, S.; Kirma, J.; Yilmaz, A.; Moore, S.E.; McKinley, M.C.; McKeown, P.P.; Woodside, J.V.; Graham, S.F.; Green, B.D. Application of 1H-NMR Metabolomics for the Discovery of Blood Plasma Biomarkers of a Mediterranean Diet. Metabolites 2019, 9, 201.

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