BACKGROUND: Processed meat intake is associated with a higher risk of colorectal and stomach cancers, coronary artery disease, and type 2 diabetes and with higher mortality, but the estimation of intake of different processed meat products in this heterogeneous food group in epidemiological studies remains challenging.
OBJECTIVE: This work aimed at identifying novel biomarkers for processed meat intake using metabolomics.
METHODS: An untargeted, multi-tiered metabolomics approach based on LC-MS was applied to 33 meat products digested in vitro and secondly to urine and plasma samples from a randomized crossover dietary intervention in which 12 volunteers consumed successively 3 processed meat products (bacon, salami, and hot dog) and 2 other foods used as controls, over 3 consecutive days. The putative biomarkers were then measured in urine from 474 subjects from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cross-sectional study for which detailed 24-h dietary recalls and FFQs were available.
RESULTS: Syringol and 4 derivatives of syringol were found to be characteristic of in vitro digests of smoked meat products. The same compounds present as sulfate esters in urine increased at 2 and 12 h after consumption of smoked meat products (hot dog, bacon) in the intervention study. The same syringol sulfates were also positively associated with recent or habitual consumption of smoked meat products in urine samples from participants of the EPIC cross-sectional study. These compounds showed good discriminative ability for smoked meat intake with receiver operator characteristic areas under the curve ranging from 0.78 to 0.86 and 0.74 to 0.79 for short-term and habitual intake, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Four novel syringol sulfates were identified as potential biomarkers of smoked meat intake and may be used to improve assessment of smoked meat intake in epidemiological studies. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03354130.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © American Society for Nutrition 2019.
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Diet/adverse effects
- Meat Products/adverse effects
- Middle Aged
- Prospective Studies
- Pyrogallol/analogs & derivatives