Biomarkers of food intake for Allium vegetables

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Allium vegetables are widely consumed around the world and are known for their potential bioactive components improving human health. These effects have been extensively investigated; however, the results were inconsistent in human studies. Biomarkers of food intake (BFIs) could provide objective measurements of food intake in observational studies and assess compliance in intervention studies. Therefore, the discovery and application of BFIs for Allium vegetables would facilitate the exploring and understanding of the health benefit of Allium vegetables. In this manuscript, we reviewed the currently used and potential candidate BFIs for Allium vegetables and evaluated their levels of validation. S-Allylmercapturic acid (ALMA), allyl methyl sulfide (AMS), allyl methyl sulfoxide (AMSO), allyl methyl sulfone (AMSO2), and S-allylcysteine (SAC), which are derived from organosulfur compounds, were shown to be promising candidate BFIs for garlic consumption. Further validation is needed to assess their robustness and concordance with other measures. Their applicability for the whole food group should be evaluated as well. N-Acetyl-S-(2-carboxypropyl)cysteine (CPMA) was detected in high levels in urine after both garlic and onion intake, suggesting that it may be used for the assessment of intake of Allium food group. The available information regarding its kinetics, robustness, and analytical performance is limited and needs to be assessed in further studies. No candidate BFIs specific to intake of onion, leek, chives, shallots, or ramsons were found. Untargeted metabolomics studies and further validation studies should be performed to discover more reliable BFIs for individual Allium vegetables and the whole food group. This paper serves as an example of Biomarker of Food Intake Reviews (BFIRev) and biomarker of food intake validation procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
JournalGenes & Nutrition
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Allium vegetables, Garlic, Onion, Shallot, Leek, Chives, Ramson, Biomarkers, Intake

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