Metabolites 12 (10) - [2022-09-27; online 2022-09-27]
Assessment of dietary intake is challenging. Traditional methods suffer from both random and systematic errors; thus objective measures are important complements in monitoring dietary exposure. The study presented here aims to identify serum metabolites associated with reported food intake and to explore whether combinations of metabolites may improve predictive models. Fasting blood samples and a 4-day weighed food diary were collected from healthy Swedish subjects (n = 119) self-defined as having habitual vegan, vegetarian, vegetarian + fish, or omnivore diets. Serum was analyzed for metabolites by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Associations between single and combined metabolites and 39 foods and food groups were explored. Area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for prediction models. In total, 24 foods or food groups associated with serum metabolites using the criteria of rho > 0.2, p < 0.01 and AUC ≥ 0.7 were identified. For the consumption of soybeans, citrus fruits and marmalade, nuts and almonds, green tea, red meat, poultry, total fish and shellfish, dairy, fermented dairy, cheese, eggs, and beer the final models included two or more metabolites. Our results indicate that a combination of metabolites improve the possibilities to use metabolites to identify several foods included in the current diet. Combined metabolite models should be confirmed in dose-response intervention studies.