Diet quality indices and dietary patterns are associated with plasma metabolites in colorectal cancer patients

Anne J.M.R. Geijsen, Dieuwertje E. Kok, Moniek van Zutphen, Pekka Keski-Rahkonen, David Achaintre, Audrey Gicquiau, Andrea Gsur, Flip M. Kruyt, Cornelia M. Ulrich, Matty P. Weijenberg, Johannes H.W. de Wilt, Evertine Wesselink, Augustin Scalbert, Ellen Kampman, Fränzel J.B. van Duijnhoven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Emerging evidence suggests that diet is linked to survival in colorectal cancer patients, although underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether dietary exposures are associated with metabolite concentrations in colorectal cancer patients. Methods: Concentrations of 134 metabolites of the Biocrates AbsoluteIDQ p180 kit were quantified in plasma samples collected at diagnosis from 195 stage I-IV colorectal cancer patients. Food frequency questionnaires were used to calculate adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) dietary recommendations and the Dutch Healthy Diet (DHD15) index as well as to construct dietary patterns using Principal Component Analysis. Multivariable linear regression models were used to determine associations between dietary exposures and metabolite concentrations. All models were adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, analytical batch, cancer stage, and multiple testing using false discovery rate. Results: Participants had a mean (SD) age of 66 (9) years, were mostly men (60%), and mostly diagnosed with stage II and III cancer. For the dietary pattern analyses, Western, Carnivore, and Prudent patterns were identified. Better adherence to the WCRF dietary recommendations was associated with lower concentrations of ten phosphatidylcholines. Higher intake of the Carnivore pattern was associated with higher concentrations of two phosphatidylcholines. The DHD15-index, Western pattern, or Prudent pattern were not associated with metabolite concentrations. Conclusion: In the current study, the WCRF dietary score and the Carnivore pattern are associated with phosphatidylcholines. Future research should elucidate the potential relevance of phosphatidylcholine metabolism in the colorectal cancer continuum. Clinical trial registry: Identifier: NCT03191110.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3171-3184
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Early online date5 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Colorectal cancer patients
  • Diet quality indices
  • Dietary patterns
  • Metabolites
  • Metabolomics


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