Biomarkers of meat intake and the application of nutrigenomics

Meat Sci. 2010 Feb;84(2):301-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2009.08.028. Epub 2009 Aug 15.


Objective dietary intake markers for meat would be useful to assess meat intake in observational studies and as compliance markers in dietary intervention studies. A number of compounds are specific to meat compared with most other dietary items but there is some overlap between protein rich foods. A number of single compounds have been analysed in urine, plasma, serum or hair samples in studies of their relationship to meat or total protein intake. Among potential markers of dietary meat intake are urea, creatine, creatinine, carnitine, carnosine, anserine, ophidine, 1- and 3-methylhistidine, and sulphate or sulphite. Anserine and 1-methylhistidine come close to being meat-specific markers but true quantitative biomarker may not exist. Modern profiling techniques are increasingly used to look for useful biomarkers or for constructing them from latent information in complex profiles. Metabolomics by NMR spectroscopy of urine has also been applied to search for meat intake markers. Studies on single compounds or metabolomics markers are shortly reviewed here.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Diet
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Meat*
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Nutrigenomics / methods*
  • Nutrition Assessment


  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Proteins