Estimation of Chicken Intake by Adults Using Metabolomics-Derived Markers

Xiaofei Yin, Helena Gibbons, Milena Rundle, Gary Frost, Breige A McNulty, Anne P Nugent, Janette Walton, Albert Flynn, Michael J Gibney, Lorraine Brennan

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Background:Improved assessment of meat intake with the use of metabolomics-derived markers can provide objective data and could be helpful in clarifying proposed associations between meat intake and health.Objective:The objective of this study was to identify novel markers of chicken intake using a metabolomics approach and use markers to determine intake in an independent cohort.

Methods:Ten participants [age: 62 y; body mass index (in kg/m2): 28.25] in the NutriTech food intake study consumed increasing amounts of chicken, from 88 to 290 g/d, in a 3-wk span. Urine and blood samples were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry, respectively. A multivariate data analysis was performed to identify markers associated with chicken intake. A calibration curve was built based on dose-response association using NutriTech data. A Bland-Altman analysis evaluated the agreement between reported and calculated chicken intake in a National Adult Nutrition Survey cohort.

Results:Multivariate data analysis of postprandial and fasting urine samples collected in participants in the NutriTech study revealed good discrimination between high (290 g/d) and low (88 g/d) chicken intakes. Urinary metabolite profiles showed differences in metabolite levels between low and high chicken intakes. Examining metabolite profiles revealed that guanidoacetate increased from 1.47 to 3.66 mmol/L following increasing chicken intakes from 88 to 290 g/d (P< 0.01). Using a calibration curve developed from the NutriTech study, chicken intake was calculated through the use of data from the National Adult Nutrition Survey, in which consumers of chicken had a higher guanidoacetate excretion (0.70 mmol/L) than did nonconsumers (0.47 mmol/L;P< 0.01). A Bland-Altman analysis revealed good agreement between reported and calculated intakes, with a bias of -30.2 g/d. Plasma metabolite analysis demonstrated that 3-methylhistidine was a more suitable indicator of chicken intake than 1-methylhistidine.


Guanidoacetate was successfully identified and confirmed as a marker of chicken intake, and its measurement in fasting urine samples could be used to determine chicken intake in a free-living population. This trial was registered at as NCT01684917.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Early online date09 Aug 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Aug 2017


  • Journal Article


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