Serum Metabolomic Markers of Dairy Consumption: Results from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study and the Bogalusa Heart Study

Lauren Bernard, Jingsha Chen, Hyunju Kim, Zhijie Huang, Lydia Bazzano, Lu Qi, Jiang He, Varun S. Rao, Kaitlin S. Potts, Tanika N. Kelly, Kari E. Wong, Lyn M. Steffen, Bing Yu, Eugene P. Rhee, Casey M. Rebholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Dairy consumption is related to chronic disease risk; however, the measurement of dairy consumption has largely relied upon self-report. Untargeted metabolomics allows for the identification of objective markers of dietary intake. Objectives: We aimed to identify associations between dietary dairy intake (total dairy, low-fat dairy, and high-fat dairy) and serum metabolites in 2 independent study populations of United States adults. Methods: Dietary intake was assessed with food frequency questionnaires. Multivariable linear regression models were used to estimate cross-sectional associations between dietary intake of dairy and 360 serum metabolites analyzed in 2 subgroups of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (ARIC; n = 3776). Results from the 2 subgroups were meta-analyzed using fixed effects meta-analysis. Significant meta-analyzed associations in the ARIC study were then tested in the Bogalusa Heart Study (BHS; n = 785). Results: In the ARIC study and BHS, the mean age was 54 and 48 years, 61% and 29% were Black, and the mean dairy intake was 1.7 and 1.3 servings/day, respectively. Twenty-nine significant associations between dietary intake of dairy and serum metabolites were identified in the ARIC study (total dairy, n = 14; low-fat dairy, n = 10; high-fat dairy, n = 5). Three associations were also significant in BHS: myristate (14:0) was associated with high-fat dairy, and pantothenate was associated with total dairy and low-fat dairy, but 23 of the 27 associations significant in the ARIC study and tested in BHS were not associated with dairy in BHS. Conclusions: We identified metabolomic associations with dietary intake of dairy, including 3 associations found in 2 independent cohort studies. These results suggest that myristate (14:0) and pantothenate (vitamin B5) are candidate biomarkers of dairy consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2994-3002
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Society for Nutrition


  • dairy protein
  • dietary protein
  • high-fat dairy
  • low-fat dairy
  • metabolomics
  • nutrition

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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