Circulating concentrations of biomarkers and metabolites related to Vitamin status, one-carbon and the kynurenine pathways in US, Nordic, Asian, and Australian populations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Circulating concentrations of biomarkers that are related to Vitamin status vary by factors such as diet, fortification, and supplement use. Published biomarker concentrations have also been influenced by the variation across laboratories, which complicates a comparison of results from different studies. Objective: We robustly and comprehensively assessed differences in biomarkers that are related to Vitamin status across geographic regions. Design: The trial was a cross-sectional study in which we investigated 38 biomarkers that are related to Vitamin status and one-carbon and tryptophan metabolism in serum and plasma from 5314 healthy control subjects representing 20 cohorts recruited from the United States, Nordic countries, Asia, and Australia, participating in the Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium. All samples were analyzed in a centralized laboratory. Results: Circulating concentrations of riboflavin, pyridoxal 5≤-phosphate, folate, Vitamin B-12, all-trans retinol, 25-hydroxyVitamin D, and a-tocopherol as well as combined Vitamin scores that were based on these nutrients showed that the general B-Vitamin concentration was highest in the United States and that the B Vitamins and lipid soluble Vitamins were low in Asians. Conversely, circulating concentrations of metabolites that are inversely related to B Vitamins involved in the one-carbon and kynurenine pathways were high in Asians. The high B-Vitamin concentration in the United States appears to be driven mainly by multiVitamin-supplement users. Conclusions: The observed differences likely reflect the variation in intake of Vitamins and, in particular, the widespread multiVitamin-supplement use in the United States. The results provide valuable information about the differences in biomarkerconcentrations in populations across continents. Am J Clin Nutr 2017;105:1314-26.


  • Øivind Midttun
  • Despoina Theofylaktopoulou
  • Adrian McCann
  • Anouar Fanidi
  • David C Muller
  • Klaus Meyer
  • Arve Ulvik
  • Wei Zheng
  • Xiao Ou Shu
  • Yong-Bing Xiang
  • Ross Prentice
  • Cynthia A. Thomson
  • Mary Pettinger
  • Graham G. Giles
  • Allison M. Hodge
  • Qiuyin Cai
  • William J. Blot
  • Jie Wu
  • Mikael Johansson
  • Johan Hultdin
  • Kjell Grankvist
  • Victoria L. Stevens
  • Marjorie L. McCullough
  • Stephanie J. Weinstein
  • Demetrius Albanes
  • Arnulf Langhammer
  • Kristian Hveem
  • Marit Næss
  • Howard D Sesso
  • J Michael Gaziano
  • Julie E. Buring
  • I. Min Lee
  • Gianluca Severi
  • Xuehong Zhang
  • Jiali Han
  • Meir J. Stampfer
  • Stephanie A. Smith-Warner
  • Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte
  • Loic Le Marchand
  • Jian-Min Yuan
  • Lesley M Butler
  • Woon-Puay Koh
  • Renwei Wang
  • Yu-Tang Gao
  • Regina G. Ziegler
  • Neal D. Freedman
  • Kala Visvanathan
  • Miranda R. Jones
  • Caroline L Relton
  • Paul Brennan
  • Mattias Johansson
  • Per M. Ueland
External organisations
  • University of Bergen
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization
  • Imperial College London
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Melbourne
  • Umeå University
  • American Cancer Society
  • National Cancer Institute, USA
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • Harvard University
  • Human Genetics Foundation (HuGeF)
  • University of Paris-Sud
  • New York University
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Duke–NUS Medical School
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • University of Bristol
  • Haukeland University Hospital
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Shanghai Cancer Institute
  • Bevital AS
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Biomarker, Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium, One-carbon metabolism, Tryptophan metabolism, Vitamin status
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1314-1326
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch