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J Nutr. 2012 Oct;142(10):1859-64. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Plasma alkylresorcinols, biomarkers of whole-grain intake, are related to lower BMI in older adults.

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  • 1Nutrition Epidemiology Program, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA.


Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found in the bran fraction of whole-grain wheat, rye, and barley. In intervention studies, plasma AR concentration increased in response to greater intakes of whole grain, wheat, and rye. This study examined the cross-sectional associations between plasma AR and habitual whole-grain intake, BMI, and metabolic risk factors in 407 free-living older adults (166 men and 241 women; aged 60-81y; median BMI: 27 kg/m(2)). Plasma AR were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem MS, and whole-grain intakes were estimated by using an FFQ. After adjustment for fasting TG concentrations, median plasma AR concentrations across quartile categories of AR were 5, 14, 27, and 62 nmol/L, respectively. Spearman correlation coefficients between plasma AR and whole-grain wheat-rich foods and total bran intake were 0.31 and 0.27, respectively (both P < 0.0001). After adjustment for multiple covariates, the geometric means of BMI in the lowest and highest quartile category of plasma AR were 27.6 and 26.7 kg/m(2), respectively (P-trend = 0.04). No associations were observed between plasma AR and glucose and insulin. Our study shows a dose-dependent relationship between whole-grain intake and plasma AR and confirms the previously observed inverse relationship between whole-grain intake and BMI using an independent biomarker of whole-grain wheat intake.


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