Metabolomics study of human urinary metabolome modifications after intake of almond (Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb) skin polyphenols

J Proteome Res. 2010 Nov 5;9(11):5859-67. doi: 10.1021/pr100639v. Epub 2010 Oct 11.


Almond, as a part of the nut family, is an important source of biological compounds, and specifically, almond skins have been considered an important source of polyphenols, including flavan-3-ols and flavonols. Polyphenol metabolism may produce several classes of metabolites that could often be more biologically active than their dietary precursor and could also become a robust new biomarker of almond polyphenol intake. In order to study urinary metabolome modifications during the 24 h after a single dose of almond skin extract, 24 volunteers (n = 24), who followed a polyphenol-free diet for 48 h before and during the study, ingested a dietary supplement of almond skin phenolic compounds (n = 12) or a placebo (n = 12). Urine samples were collected before ((-2)-0 h) and after (0-2 h, 2-6 h, 6-10 h, and 10-24 h) the intake and were analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-q-TOF) and multivariate statistical analysis (principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projection to latent structures (OPLS)). Putative identification of relevant biomarkers revealed a total of 34 metabolites associated with the single dose of almond extract, including host and, in particular, microbiota metabolites. As far as we know, this is the first time that conjugates of hydroxyphenylvaleric, hydroxyphenylpropionic, and hydroxyphenylacetic acids have been identified in human samples after the consumption of flavan-3-ols through a metabolomic approach. The results showed that this non-targeted approach could provide new intake biomarkers, contributing to the development of the food metabolome as an important part of the human urinary metabolome.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage*
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Phenols / administration & dosage*
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Polyphenols
  • Prunus / metabolism*
  • Urine / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols