Study in a Sentence: Scientists recently developed a test to detect metabolites or digested food components in the blood as a way to monitor food consumption or adherence to specific diets. Using blood samples from a randomized control trial where patients were housed for eight weeks and fed meals from one of three dietary patterns (the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, a typical Western diet, and an intermediate diet with plant food contents in between the former two diets), they found 44 metabolites that were significantly different between the three dietary patterns.
Healthy for Humans: The new blood test can be used by doctors to monitor patients’ compliance with prescribed dietary interventions for treating chronic diseases, such as the DASH diet for high blood pressure.
Redefining Research: Being able to monitor food consumption and adherence to dietary patterns in clinical trials allows researchers to study the role of diets in promoting and reversing disease with greater control and to rule out potential biases that may limit their conclusions.
- Rebholz CM, Lichtenstein AH, Zheng Z, Appel LF, Coresh J. Serum untargeted metabolomic profile of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) dietary pattern. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy099