Nutrimetabolomics reveals food-specific compounds in urine of adults consuming a DASH-style diet


Although health benefits of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet are established, it is not understood which food compounds result in these benefits. We used metabolomics to identify unique compounds from individual foods of a DASH-style diet and determined if these Food-Specific Compounds (FSC) are detectable in urine from participants in a DASH-style dietary study. We also examined relationships between urinary compounds and blood pressure (BP). Nineteen subjects were randomized into 6-week controlled DASH-style diet interventions. Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics was performed on 24-hour urine samples collected before and after each intervention and on 12 representative DASH-style foods. Between 66–969 compounds were catalogued as FSC; for example, 4-hydroxydiphenylamine was found to be unique to apple. Overall, 13–190 of these FSC were detected in urine, demonstrating that these unmetabolized food compounds can be discovered in urine using metabolomics. Although linear mixed effects models showed no FSC from the 12 profiled foods were significantly associated with BP, other endogenous and food-related compounds were associated with BP (N = 16) and changes in BP over time (N = 6). Overall, this proof of principle study demonstrates that metabolomics can be used to catalog FSC, which can be detected in participant urine following a dietary intervention.

Scientific Reports10(1)
Audrey E. Hendricks
Audrey E. Hendricks
Associate Professor of Statistics

My research interests include developing and applying statistical methods for genomics to better understand and inform health and disease.