BACKGROUND: Small-scale, short-term intervention studies have suggested that plasma alkylresorcinol (AR) concentrations may be biomarkers of whole grain (WG) wheat and rye intakes. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine whether plasma AR concentrations reflect self-reported WG food intake in a 16-wk WG intervention study and to establish which phenotypic characteristics influence plasma AR concentrations. DESIGN: In a randomized parallel-group dietary intervention study, 316 overweight and obese participants with a WG intake of <30 g/d were recruited and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: control (no dietary change), intervention 1 (60 g WG/d for 16 wk), or intervention 2 (60 g WG/d for 8 wk followed by 120 g WG/d for 8 wk). Fasting blood samples were collected at baseline, 8 wk, and 16 wk for the measurement of plasma lipids and ARs. RESULTS: Plasma samples from 266 study completers were analyzed. Total plasma AR concentrations increased with the WG intervention and could be used to distinguish between control subjects and those who consumed 60 or 120 g WG, but not between those who consumed 60 and 120 g WG. Plasma AR concentrations were higher in men, were positively associated with plasma triglyceride concentrations, and were negatively associated with nonesterified fatty acids. CONCLUSIONS: Plasma AR concentrations were correlated with WG intake and could be used to distinguish between low- and high-WG consumers. Sex and plasma lipid concentrations independently influenced plasma AR concentrations, although plasma triglycerides may explain higher concentrations in men. This trial is registered as ISRCT no. 83078872.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Clin Nutr

Publication Date





204 - 211


Biomarkers, Diet, Edible Grain, Energy Intake, Fatty Acids, Nonesterified, Humans, Obesity, Phenotype, Resorcinols, Secale, Self Report, Sex Factors, Triglycerides, Triticum