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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2012, Article ID 462967, 12 pages
Review Article

Present Status and Perspectives on the Use of Alkylresorcinols as Biomarkers of Wholegrain Wheat and Rye Intake

Department of Bioanalytical Sciences, Nestlé Research Center, Vers Chez Les Blanc, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland

Received 8 July 2011; Accepted 27 September 2011

Academic Editor: Bernard Venn

Copyright © 2012 Alastair B. Ross. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alkylresorcinols (ARs) were first proposed as potential biomarkers of wholegrain wheat and rye intake a decade ago. Since then there has been a considerable body of research which suggests that ARs do meet most criteria of a biomarker of these foods. Results from human studies on plasma AR and their plasma and urinary metabolites strongly indicate that these compounds are responsive to whole grain wheat and rye intake and are correlated with various measures of AR consumption. This review briefly summarises work on the bioactivities of AR and focuses on aspects related to their use as biomarkers of whole grain wheat and rye intake. Evidence suggests that they thus far broadly fulfil the criteria to act as biomarkers of these cereals. However, there are still gaps in the knowledge on factors relating to the wide interindividual variation, and application to different epidemiological cohorts. Overall, ARs are highly promising biomarkers of whole grain wheat and rye intake and add to our increasing understanding of whole grains and health.