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Adv Nutr. 2019 Aug 6. pii: nmz075. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmz075. [Epub ahead of print]

Perspective: Dietaryiomarkers of Intake and Exposure-Exploration with Omics Approaches.

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National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA.
School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
Departments of Biological Sciences and Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
West Coast Metabolomics Center, UC Davis Genome Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA.
Division of Nutrition, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Washington, DC, USA.
Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Center for Microbiome Innovation, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Department of Nutrition, Exercise, and Sports, Section of Preventive and Clinical Nutrition, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, United Kingdom.
National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, Bethesda, MD, USA.
National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Departments of Nutrition; Epidemiology and Statistics, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
Channing Division for Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Nutrition, Food Safety/Quality, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD, USA.
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD, USA.
National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA.
Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory, Jean Mayer-USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology, University of Utah and Division of Cancer Population Sciences, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO, USA.
Nutrigenomics Research Group, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, UCD Institute of Food and Health, Diabetes Complications Research Centre, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
Laboratory for Functional Foods and Human Health, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Nutrition Research Building, Kannapolis, NC, USA.
International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nutrition and Metabolism Section, Biomarkers Group, Lyon, France.
Nutrition Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kannapolis, NC, USA.


While conventional nutrition research has yielded biomarkers such as doubly labeled water for energy metabolism and 24-h urinary nitrogen for protein intake, a critical need exists for additional, equally robust biomarkers that allow for objective assessment of specific food intake and dietary exposure. Recent advances in high-throughput MS combined with improved metabolomics techniques and bioinformatic tools provide new opportunities for dietary biomarker development. In September 2018, the NIH organized a 2-d workshop to engage nutrition and omics researchers and explore the potential of multiomics approaches in nutritional biomarker research. The current Perspective summarizes key gaps and challenges identified, as well as the recommendations from the workshop that could serve as a guide for scientists interested in dietary biomarkers research. Topics addressed included study designs for biomarker development, analytical and bioinformatic considerations, and integration of dietary biomarkers with other omics techniques. Several clear needs were identified, including larger controlled feeding studies, testing a variety of foods and dietary patterns across diverse populations, improved reporting standards to support study replication, more chemical standards covering a broader range of food constituents and human metabolites, standardized approaches for biomarker validation, comprehensive and accessible food composition databases, a common ontology for dietary biomarker literature, and methodologic work on statistical procedures for intake biomarker discovery. Multidisciplinary research teams with appropriate expertise are critical to moving forward the field of dietary biomarkers and producing robust, reproducible biomarkers that can be used in public health and clinical research.


diet; dietary biomarkers; dietary intervention studies; metabolomics; nutrition


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