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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Evaluation of alkylresorcinols in adipose tissue biopsies as a long-term biomarker of whole-grain wheat and rye intake in free-living Swedish men and women

Wu, Huaxing; Omar, Nor Adila Mhd; Hakansson, Niclas; Wolk, Alicia; Michaelsson, Karl; Landberg, Rikard


Objective: Wheat and rye, the most consumed whole grains (WG) in the Nordic countries, contain alkylresorcinols (AR) in their bran. AR concentrations in human adipose tissue might reflect long-term WG rye and wheat intake. We aimed to evaluate AR concentrations in adipose tissue biopsies as a long-term biomarker of WG wheat and rye intake in free-living Swedish men and women.Design: Cross-sectional study. AR concentrations in adipose tissue biopsies were analysed and compared with long-term WG intake assessed by three FFQ (repeated over a period of 14 years in men, 17 years in women) and with plasma AR concentrations.Setting: The Cohort of Swedish Men between 1997 and 2010 and the Swedish Mammography Cohort between 1987 and 2003, Sweden.Subjects: Men (n 149) and women (n 109).Results: Long-term WG rye intake estimated with repeated FFQ correlated (r = 0.31-0.41, P<0.01) with adipose-tissue AR concentrations, while WG wheat intake correlated only weakly (r = 0.17-0.33, P < 0.05). Total AR concentration in adipose tissue was 61 % lower in women than in men at similar energy-adjusted WG wheat and rye intakes, but plasma concentrations were similar. AR concentrations in adipose tissue correlated well with plasma concentrations (r = 0.49-0.81, P < 0.001).Conclusions: AR in adipose tissue reflected long-term WG rye but not WG wheat intake, probably due to poor precision in estimating WG wheat intake by FFQ. AR in adipose tissue appears promising as a biomarker of long-term WG rye intake but should be adjusted for sex.


Dietary biomarker; Alkylresordnol; Whole grain; Adipose tissue; Plasma

Published in

Public Health Nutrition
2018, Volume: 21, number: 10, pages: 1933-1942

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    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG3 Good health and well-being

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Nutrition and Dietetics

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