Plasma Alkylresorcinols Reflect Important Whole-Grain Components of a Healthy Nordic Diet

Ola Kally Magnusdottir, Rikard Landberg, Ingibjorg Gunnarsdottir, Lieselotte Cloetens, Björn Åkesson, Gunilla Önning, Svandis Erna Jonsdottir, Fredrik Rosqvist, Ursula Schwab, Karl-Heinz Herzig, Markku J. Savolainen, Lea Brader, Kjeld Hermansen, Marjukka Kolehmainen, Kaisa Poutanen, Matti Uusitupa, Inga Thorsdottir, Ulf Riserus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biomarkers of dietary intake can be important tools in nutrition research. Our aim was to assess whether plasma alkylresorcinol (AR) and beta-carotene concentrations could be used as dietary biomarkers for whole-grain, fruits and vegetables in a healthy Nordic diet (ND). Participants (n = 166), 30-65 y with a body mass index of 27-40 kg/m(2) and two more features of metabolic syndrome (International Diabetes Federation definition, slightly modified), were recruited through six centers in the Nordic countries and randomly assigned to an ND or control diet for 18 or 24 wk, depending on study center. Plasma AR and beta-carotene were analyzed and nutrient intake calculated from 4-d food records. Median fiber intake increased in the ND group from 2.5 g/MJ at baseline to 4.1 g/MJ (P < 0.001) at end point (week 18 or 24), and median (IQR) fasting plasma total AR concentration increased from 73 (88) to 106 (108) nmol/L, or 45%, from baseline to end point (P < 0.001). The AR concentration was significantly higher in the ND group (P < 0.001) than in the control group at end point. beta-Carotene intake tended to increase in the ND group (P = 0.07), but the plasma beta-carotene concentration did not change significantly throughout the study and did not differ between the groups at follow-up. In conclusion, an ND resulted in higher dietary fiber intake and increased plasma total AR concentration compared with the control diet, showing that the total AR concentration might be a valid biomarker for an ND in which whole-grain wheat and rye are important components. No significant difference in plasma beta-carotene concentrations was observed between the ND and control groups, suggesting that beta-carotene may not be a sensitive enough biomarker of the ND.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1390
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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