The association between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and health risks remains controversial. To clarify proposed links, reliable and accurate dietary assessment methods of food intakes are essential. The aim of this present work was to use a metabolomics approach to identify a panel of urinary biomarkers indicative of SSB consumption from a national food consumption survey and subsequently validate this panel in an acute intervention study. Heat map analysis was performed to identify correlations between ¹H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectral regions and SSB intakes in participants of the National Adult Nutrition Survey (n = 565). Metabolites were identified and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to assess sensitivity and specificity of biomarkers. The panel of biomarkers was validated in an acute study (n = 10). A fasting first-void urine sample and postprandial samples (2, 4, 6 h) were collected after SSB consumption. After NMR spectroscopic profiling of the urine samples, multivariate data analysis was applied. A panel of 4 biomarkers-formate, citrulline, taurine, and isocitrate-were identified as markers of SSB intake. This panel of biomarkers had an area under the curve of 0.8 for ROC analysis and a sensitivity and specificity of 0.7 and 0.8, respectively. All 4 biomarkers were identified in the SSB sample. After acute consumption of an SSB drink, all 4 metabolites increased in the urine. The present metabolomics-based strategy proved to be successful in the identification of SSB biomarkers. Future work will ascertain how to translate this panel of markers for use in nutrition epidemiology.
University College Cork ->