Developing community-based urine sampling methods to deploy biomarker technology for assessment of dietary exposure

Lloyd, Amanda and Wilson, Thomas and Willis, Naomi D and Lyons, Laura and Phillips, Helen and Janssen, Hayley G and Stiegler, Martina and Xie, Long and Talliart, Kathleen and Beckmann, Manfred and Stevenson, Leo and Mathers, John C and Draper, John (2020) Developing community-based urine sampling methods to deploy biomarker technology for assessment of dietary exposure. Public Health Nutrition. ISSN 1368-9800

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Obtaining objective, dietary exposure information from individuals is challenging because of the complexity of food consumption patterns and the limitations of self-reporting tools (e.g., FFQ and diet diaries). This hinders research efforts to associate intakes of specific foods or eating patterns with population health outcomes.

Dietary exposure can be assessed by the measurement of food-derived chemicals in urine samples. We aimed to develop methodologies for urine collection that minimised impact on the day-to-day activities of participants but also yielded samples that were data-rich in terms of targeted biomarker measurements.

Urine collection methodologies were developed within home settings.

Different cohorts of free-living volunteers.

Home collection of urine samples using vacuum transfer technology was deemed highly acceptable by volunteers. Statistical analysis of both metabolome and selected dietary exposure biomarkers in spot urine collected and stored using this method showed that they were compositionally similar to urine collected using a standard method with immediate sample freezing. Even without chemical preservatives, samples can be stored under different temperature regimes without any significant impact on the overall urine composition or concentration of forty-six exemplar dietary exposure biomarkers. Importantly, the samples could be posted directly to analytical facilities, without the need for refrigerated transport and involvement of clinical professionals.

This urine sampling methodology appears to be suitable for routine use and may provide a scalable, cost-effective means to collect urine samples and to assess diet in epidemiological studies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society. This is the author's version of an article that was accepted for publication in Public Health Nutrition. The final published version is available from: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Matthew Adams
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2020 10:49
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 10:49

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