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Plasma concentration of 36 (poly)phenols and prospective body weight change in participants from the EPIC cohort.

BACKGROUND: Dietary intake of (poly)phenols has been linked to reduced adiposity and body weight (BW) in several epidemiological studies. However, epidemiological evidence on (poly)phenol biomarkers, particularly plasma concentrations, is scarce.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate the associations between plasma (poly)phenols and prospective BW change in participants from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

METHODS: This study included 761 participants with data on BW at baseline and after 5 years of follow-up. Plasma concentrations of 36 (poly)phenols were measured at baseline using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Associations were assessed through general linear mixed models and multinomial logistic regression models, using change in BW as a continuous or as a categorical variable (BW loss, maintenance, gain), respectively. Plasma (poly)phenols were assessed as log2-transformed continuous variables. The false discovery rate (FDR) was used to control for multiple comparisons.

RESULTS: Doubling plasma (poly)phenol concentrations showed a borderline trend toward a positive association with BW loss. Plasma vanillic acid showed the strongest association (-0.52 kg/5y; 95% CI: -0.97, -0.05). Similar results were observed for plasma naringenin comparing BW loss vs BW maintenance (OR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.23). These results did not remain significant after FDR correction.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher concentrations of plasma (poly)phenols suggested a tendency toward 5-year BW maintenance or loss. While certain associations seemed promising, they did not withstand FDR correction, indicating the need for caution in interpreting these results. Further studies using (poly)phenol biomarkers are needed to confirm these suggestive protective trends.

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