Biomarker validation of dietary intervention in two multiethnic populations

A. Heather Eliassen, Graham A. Colditz, Karen E. Peterson, Jeremy D. Furtado, E. Fay Martha, Glorian Sorensen, Karen M. Emmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: Intervention studies have been designed to change dietary and lifestyle factors associated with chronic diseases, but self-reported behavior change may incorporate intervention-related bias. This study examines plasma nutrient concentration and correlations with self-reports in the Healthy Directions intervention study. The Healthy Directions intervention studies were designed to increase multivitamin use, fruit and vegetable consumption, and physical activity in working-class, multiethnic populations. Methods Participants in both studies completed intervieweradministered questionnaires that collected information on sociodemographic and health behavior characteristics. Postintervention blood samples were collected from 209 participants and pooled in pairs within study and within intervention group. Results We found significantly higher plasma concentrations of retinol (P = .01) and α-carotene (P = .03) in the intervention than in the usual care group. Self-reported multivitamin users had significantly higher concentrations of retinol (P < .001), β-carotene (P = .02), and α-tocopherol (P < .001). Those who reported four or more fruit and vegetable servings per day had higher lutein and zeaxanthin (P = .05) and β-cryptoxanthin (P = .05) concentrations than those consuming fewer. Plasma nutrient concentrations were associated with reported multivitamin use and fruit and vegetable intake, but the correlations were generally higher in the usual care group. Conclusion: We found significant postintervention differences in plasma carotenoid and tocopherol concentrations by treatment group, multivitamin use, and fruit and vegetable intake. However, because we only obtained postintervention blood samples, we were unable to assess preintervention-to-postintervention changes in plasma nutrients. Selfreported intakes were significantly correlated with plasma nutrient concentrations, but the strength of the correlations differed by group, suggesting some interventionrelated bias in the questionnaire responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPreventing chronic disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


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