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Doctoral thesis, 2009

Alkylresorcinols as biomarkers of whole grain wheat and rye intake

Landberg, Rikard


Dietary biomarkers are objective measures of food or nutrient intake and can be related to endpoints in epidemiological studies, used in the validation of dietary assessment instruments and used to check of compliance during intervention studies. Alkylresorcinols (AR), phenolic lipids present exclusively in the outer parts of wheat and rye grains, have been suggested as biomarkers of whole grain wheat and rye intake. The overall aim with this thesis was to evaluate AR as specific biomarkers of whole grain wheat and rye intake. This was conducted by developing a rapid GC-MS method for the analysis of AR in plasma and by studying AR pharmacokinetics, dose-response, reproducibility and relative validity in human intervention studies under controlled intake conditions. Factors affecting plasma AR concentrations were investigated in free-living Danish women. The method developed proved suitable for the analysis of relatively small sample volumes (50- 200μL). The results showed that AR in fasting plasma samples can be used as short-term concentration biomarkers, reflecting the intake range normally found in the Nordic countries in a dose-dependent manner. One or two repeated measurements of AR were found to adequately describe a subject’s average plasma AR concentration at regular and constant intake. In free-living Danish women, rye bread was identified as the major factor affecting plasma AR concentration and there was no evidence of non-dietary factors or other foods having an effect. In conclusion, our results support that AR can be used as biomarkers in intervention studies on whole grain wheat and rye and probably also in epidemiological endpoint- and validation studies.


phenolic compounds; wheats; rye; food intake; digestive absorption; analytical methods

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2009, number: 2009:11
ISBN: 978-91-86195-58-8
Publisher: Dept. of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Landberg, Rikard
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Food Science

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

URI (permanent link to this page)