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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dietary determinants of plasma enterolactone.

Enterolactone is a lignan produced by fermentation of dietary precursors in the human gut. Because lignan precursors are uniquely found in plant foods, plasma enterolactone concentration may serve as a biological marker of plant food consumption. This cross-sectional study examined associations of dietary intake with plasma enterolactone concentration. Weight-stable, 20-40-year-old volunteers (115 women and 78 men in Seattle, Washington) reporting intake of < or =2.5 or > or =4.5 fruit and vegetable servings/day and no antibiotic use for > or =3 months completed a food frequency questionnaire and 3-day food record. Time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay was used to measure plasma enterolactone. Based on diet records, plasma enterolactone was positively correlated with daily vegetable servings (r = 0.17; P < 0.05), fiber (r = 0.36; P < 0.0001), alcohol (r = 0.24; P < 0.001), caffeine (r = 0.21; P < 0.001), and daily botanical group servings [Chenopodiaceae (r = 0.15; P < 0.05), Juglandaceae (r = 0.15; P < 0.05), Leguminosae (r = 0.20; P < 0.001), Pedaliaceae (r = 0.20; P < 0.001), and Vitaceae (r = 0.20; P < 0.001)]. Fat-related variables were not correlated with plasma enterolactone. Based on linear regression models, plasma enterolactone increased by 37.0% (SE = 2.3%) for each 10-g increase in fiber and by 6.6% (SE = 0.2%) for each 50-mg serving of caffeine. Participants consuming 0.5-1 alcoholic drink/day had plasma enterolactone concentrations that were 131.4% (SE = 37.6%) higher than those of nondrinkers. Although plasma enterolactone may be useful as a biological measure of exposure to lignan-containing foods, it may be of limited use as a specific biomarker of fruit and vegetable or plant food intake because coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages also significantly increase its plasma concentration.[1]


  1. Dietary determinants of plasma enterolactone. Horner, N.K., Kristal, A.R., Prunty, J., Skor, H.E., Potter, J.D., Lampe, J.W. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. (2002) [Pubmed]
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