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PubMed | Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition and and University of Reading
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of nutrition | Year: 2014

Monitoring of fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake is fraught with difficulties. Available dietary assessment methods are associated with considerable error, and the use of biomarkers offers an attractive alternative. Few studies to date have examined the use of plasma biomarkers to monitor or predict the F&V intake of volunteers consuming a wide range of intakes from both habitual F&V and manipulated diets.This study tested the hypothesis that an integrated biomarker calculated from a combination of plasma vitamin C, cholesterol-adjusted carotenoid concentration and Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) had more power to predict F&V intake than each individual biomarker.Data from a randomized controlled dietary intervention study [FLAVURS (Flavonoids University of Reading Study); n = 154] in which the test groups observed sequential increases of 2.3, 3.2, and 4.2 portions of F&Vs every 6 wk across an 18-wk period were used in this study.An integrated plasma biomarker was devised that included plasma vitamin C, total cholesterol-adjusted carotenoids, and FRAP values, which better correlated with F&V intake (r = 0.47, P < 0.001) than the individual biomarkers (r = 0.33, P < 0.01; r = 0.37, P < 0.001; and r = 0.14, respectively; P = 0.099). Inclusion of urinary potassium concentration did not significantly improve the correlation. The integrated plasma biomarker predicted F&V intake more accurately than did plasma total cholesterol-adjusted carotenoid concentration, with the difference being significant at visit 2 (P < 0.001) and with a tendency to be significant at visit 1 (P = 0.07).Either plasma total cholesterol-adjusted carotenoid concentration or the integrated biomarker could be used to distinguish between high- and moderate-F&V consumers. This trial was registered at www.controlled-trials.com as ISRCTN47748735.

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