Plasma alkylresorcinol concentrations, biomarkers of whole-grain wheat and rye intake, in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort

Cecilie Kyro, Anja Olsen, H. B. Bueno-De-Mesquita, Guri Skeie, Steffen Loft, Per Åman, Max Leenders, Vincent K. Dik, Peter D. Siersema, Tobias Pischon, Jane Christensen, Kim Overvad, Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault, Guy Fagherazzi, Vanessa Cottet, Tilman Kühn, Jenny Chang-Claude, Heiner Boeing, Antonia Trichopoulou, Androniki NaskaDespoina Oikonomidou, Giovanna Masala, Valeria Pala, Rosario Tumino, Paolo Vineis, Amalia Mattiello, Petra H. Peeters, Toril Bakken, Elisabete Weiderpass, Lene Angell Åsli, Soledad Sánchez, Paula Jakszyn, María José Sánchez, Pilar Amiano, José María Huerta, Aurelio Barricarte, Ingrid Ljuslinder, Richard Palmqvist, Kay Tee Khaw, Nick Wareham, Timothy J. Key, Ruth C. Travis, Nadia Slimani, Heinz Freisling, Pietro Ferrari, Marc J. Gunter, Neil Murphy, Elio Riboli, Anne Tjonneland, Rikard Landberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whole-grain intake has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of several lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, CVD and some types of cancers. As measurement errors in self-reported whole-grain intake assessments can be substantial, dietary biomarkers are relevant to be used as complementary tools for dietary intake assessment. Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found almost exclusively in whole-grain wheat and rye products among the commonly consumed foods and are considered as valid biomarkers of the intake of these products. In the present study, we analysed the plasma concentrations of five AR homologues in 2845 participants from ten European countries from a nested case-control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. High concentrations of plasma total AR were found in participants from Scandinavia and Central Europe and lower concentrations in those from the Mediterranean countries. The geometric mean plasma total AR concentrations were between 35 and 41Â nmol/l in samples drawn from fasting participants in the Central European and Scandinavian countries and below 23Â nmol/l in those of participants from the Mediterranean countries. The whole-grain source (wheat or rye) could be determined using the ratio of two of the homologues. The main source was wheat in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, whereas rye was also consumed in considerable amounts in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The present study demonstrates a considerable variation in the plasma concentrations of total AR and concentrations of AR homologues across ten European countries, reflecting both quantitative and qualitative differences in the intake of whole-grain wheat and rye.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1881-1890
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2014


  • Alkylresorcinols
  • Biomarkers
  • Whole grains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine(all)

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