An objective way of measuring flavanol
intake has been developed, which could help nutritional experts assess the link between these compounds and their health
benefits at scale.
Researchers from the University of Reading, the University of California Davis and Mars, Incorporated have, In the first study of its kind published in Nature Scientific Reports
, identified and validated the first biomarkers
intake at scale.
This new research, recently presented at the International Conference on Polyphenols and Health 2019, validates the use of specific biomarkers
to objectively and accurately estimate the intake of flavanols
. These studies have been published amid a growing consensus that many nutritional epidemiological studies have considerable limitations due to their dependence on subjective self-reporting, uncertainty around food content data and the impact of food preparation on nutrient content.
In order to address these limitations, there is an urgent need for new methods that objectively measure the intake of specific nutrients in large populations. Using these newly developed biomarkers
, researchers can now investigate the links between dietary intake of flavanols
and associated health
benefits at scale, without constraints inherent to past research approaches.
Lead Investigator at the University of Reading, Professor Gunter Kuhnle, told Thailand Medical
News, "If we can't objectively measure what people eat, we can't give evidence-based recommendations. We now know that previous approaches to measure dietary flavanols
intake are simply not accurate. This new methodology has the potential to improve the study of how diet impacts human health
by providing researchers with an accurate method for assessing the intake of bioactives and creating a way forward for more robust nutritional epidemiology standards."
are bioactive compounds naturally present in various foods including apples, blueberries, grapes, pears and cocoa. These compounds are being widely investigated for their health
benefits. Researchers have now established the first method to assess actual bioactive intake, without relying on a surrogate. This will enable more accurate studies into links between dietary intake of flavanols
benefits. Beyond investigating these compounds, this research has wide-reaching consequences for the field of nutritional epidemiologic studies more broadly.
new method researchers can, for the first time, accurately assess dietary flavanol
intake in humans
-Researchers can now measure how much epicatechin
the flavanol monomer responsible for improvements in vascular function, a person has consumed, enabling further investigation into associations between intake and disease risk
-This research has also demonstrated that new biomarkers
can be developed to improve the reliability and rigor of nutritional epidemiological research
-With reliable biomarkers
, researchers can now investigate the links between flavanol
intake and health
benefits in large-scale studies, free from limitations inherent to past research approaches
Javier I. Ottaviani et al. Evaluation at scale of microbiome-derived metabolites as biomarker of flavan-3-ol intake in epidemiological studies, Scientific Reports
(2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-28333-w