Urinary sugars biomarker relates better to extrinsic than to intrinsic sugars intake in a metabolic study with volunteers consuming their normal diet

N. Tasevska, S. A. Runswick, A. A. Welch, A. McTaggart, S. A. Bingham

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Background/Objectives: Sugars in diet are very difficult to measure because of the unreliability of self-reported dietary intake. Sucrose and fructose excreted in urine have been recently suggested as a biomarker for total sugars intake. To further characterize the use of this biomarker, we investigated whether urinary sugars correlated better to extrinsic compared to intrinsic sugars in the diet.  

Subjects/Methods: Seven male and six female healthy participants were living for 30 days in a metabolic suite under strictly controlled conditions consuming their usual diet as assessed beforehand from four consecutive 7-day food diaries kept at home. During the 30-day study, all 24 h urine specimens were collected, validated for their completeness and analysed for sucrose and fructose.  

Results: The mean total sugars intake in the group was 202±69 g day−1. Daily intake of extrinsic, intrinsic and milk sugars contributed 60.1, 34.4 and 5.5%, to the total sugars intake, respectively. The individuals' 30-day mean sugars excretion levels were significantly correlated with the 30-day means of extrinsic sugars (r=0.84; P<0.001) but not with the intrinsic sugars intake (r=0.43; P=0.144). In the regression, only extrinsic sugars intake explained a significant proportion of the variability in sugars excretion (adjusted R2=0.64; P=0.001); daily excretion of 100 mg sucrose and fructose in urine predicted 124 g of extrinsic total sugars in the diet. Using fewer urinary and dietary measurements in the analysis did not change the overall trend of the findings.  

Conclusions: In this group of volunteers, sucrose and fructose in urine better correlated to extrinsic than to intrinsic sugars intake.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-659
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Early online date27 Feb 2008
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

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