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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Sep;17(9):2244-8. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0215.

Plasma alkylresorcinols and urinary alkylresorcinol metabolites as biomarkers of cereal fiber intake in Finnish women.

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  • 1Folkhälsan Research Center, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Alkylresorcinols (AR) could be good biomarkers of consumption of fiber-rich cereal products. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between plasma ARs or urinary AR metabolites and cereal fiber intake in women consuming their habitual diet. Twenty-five postmenopausal and 31 premenopausal women were recruited. The subjects included also vegetarians (n = 20) to obtain a broad range of cereal intake. Dietary intake, plasma ARs, and urinary AR metabolites [3,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid and 3-(3,5-dihydroxyphenyl)-1-propanoic acid] were measured. Pearson's and Partial correlation tests were done between dietary fiber intake and plasma ARs or urinary AR metabolites. Cereal fiber intake correlated significantly with plasma AR C17:0 (r = 0.387), AR C19:0 (r = 0.350), AR C21:0 (r = 0.428), AR C23:0 (r = 0.409), AR C25:0 (r = 0.283), and total AR (r = 0.406) and with urinary AR metabolites DHBA (r = 0.359) and DHPPA (r = 0.402) even after adjustment for body mass index and age, which could be confounding variables. This is the first study to show a significant correlation between plasma ARs or urinary AR metabolites and cereal fiber intake during consumption of a habitual diet. These results indicate that assay of plasma ARs or urinary AR metabolites may be used as biomarkers in epidemiologic studies in free-living populations to evaluate the role of cereal fiber intake in various diseases.

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