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- PublicationA Metabolomics Approach to the Identification of Urinary Biomarkers of Pea IntakeA significant body of evidence demonstrates that isoflavone metabolites are good markers of soy intake, while research is lacking on specific markers of other leguminous sources such as peas. In this context, the objective of our current study was to identify biomarkers of pea intake using an untargeted metabolomics approach. A randomized cross-over acute intervention study was conducted on eleven participants who consumed peas and couscous (control food) in random order. The urine samples were collected in fasting state and postprandially at regular intervals and were further analysed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF-MS). Multivariate statistical analysis resulted in robust Partial least squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) models obtained for comparison of fasting against the postprandial time points (0 h vs. 4 h, (R2X = 0.41, Q2 = 0.4); 0 h vs. 6 h, ((R2X = 0.517, Q2 = 0.495)). Variables with variable importance of projection (VIP) scores ≥1.5 obtained from the PLS-DA plot were considered discriminant between the two time points. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to identify features with a significant time effect. Assessment of the time course profile revealed that ten features displayed a differential time course following peas consumption compared to the control food. The interesting features were tentatively identified using accurate mass data and confirmed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS using commercial spectral databases and authentic standards. 2-Isopropylmalic acid, asparaginyl valine and N-carbamoyl-2-amino-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl) acetic acid were identified as markers reflecting pea intake. The three markers also increased in a dose-dependent manner in a randomized intervention study and were further confirmed in an independent intervention study. Overall, key validation criteria were met for the successfully identified pea biomarkers. Future work will examine their use in nutritional epidemiology studies.
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