Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul;104(1):88-96. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.133496. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Plasma alkylresorcinols, biomarkers of whole-grain wheat and rye intake, and risk of type 2 diabetes in Scandinavian men and women.

Author information

Department of Food Science, BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Pharmacognosy, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland;
Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark;
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden;
Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore; Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA;
Department of Public Health, Section for Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark;
Departments of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and.
Odontology and Cariology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; and.
Department of Food Science, BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden; Nutritional Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden



Studies that use dietary biomarkers to investigate the association between whole-grain intake and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) are lacking.


We examined the association between plasma total alkylresorcinols and the alkylresorcinol C17:0-to-C21:0 ratio, biomarkers of whole-grain wheat and rye intake and relative whole-grain rye over whole-grain wheat intake, respectively, and the risk of T2D among Scandinavian men and women.


A nested case-control study was established within the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study and the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Alkylresorcinol concentrations and the ratios of C17:0 to C21:0 were determined in plasma samples from 931 case-control pairs. ORs for T2D were calculated for plasma total alkylresorcinol concentration or C17:0-to-C21:0 ratio in quartiles with the use of conditional logistic regression that was adjusted for potential confounders. Additional analyses with whole-grain wheat and rye intake estimated from food-frequency questionnaires (FFQs) as exposures were also performed.


The plasma total alkylresorcinol concentration was not associated with T2D risk (OR: 1.34; 95% CI: 0.95, 1.88) for the highest compared with the lowest quartiles in multivariable adjusted models. However, the C17:0-to-C21:0 ratio was associated with a lower diabetes risk (OR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.37, 0.78). Analyses with whole-grain intake estimated from FFQs yielded similar results.


Total whole-grain wheat and rye intake, reflected by alkylresorcinols in plasma, was not associated with a lower risk of T2D in a population with high whole-grain intake. In contrast, the proportion of whole-grain rye to whole-grain wheat intake, indicated by the plasma C17:0-to-C21:0 ratio, was inversely associated with T2D. This suggests that whole-grain intake dominated by rye may be favorable for T2D prevention.


alkylresorcinols; biomarker; nested case-control studies; type 2 diabetes; whole grains

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center