Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Nov 1;172(9):1045-52. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq247. Epub 2010 Sep 3.

Evaluation of a novel isotope biomarker for dietary consumption of sweets.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Carbon isotopic signatures ("δ¹³C") might reflect consumption of corn- and cane-based sweeteners. The authors hypothesized that the δ¹³C value of human serum is higher for individuals with high versus low intakes of corn- and cane-based sweeteners (measured as sweetened beverage intake). They conducted a cross-sectional study within the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Magnetic Resonance Imaging study (Maryland, 2005-2006). Diet was assessed by food frequency questionnaire, and blinded serum samples were assayed by natural abundance stable isotope mass spectroscopy. Studied were 186 participants (53% male; mean age, 71 years; mean body mass index, 30 kg/m²). Serum δ¹³C values for individuals with high sweetened beverage intakes were significantly higher than for those with low intakes (-19.15‰ vs. -19.47‰, P < 0.001). Serum δ¹³C value increased 0.20‰ for every serving/day of sweetened beverages (P < 0.01). The association between sweetened beverages and serum δ¹³C value remained significant after adjustment for confounding by corn-based product intake (P < 0.001). Serum δ¹³C values were also associated with waist circumference, body mass index, and waist-to-hip ratio. This study provides the first known evidence that the δ¹³C value of human serum differs between persons consuming low and high amounts of sweets. Within the proper framework, serum δ¹³C value could be developed into an objective biomarker promoting more reliable assessment of dietary sweets intake.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk