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Dietary Preferences May Influence Metabolic State

Study examined how chocolate preference might influence metabolic phenotype, long-term health

FRIDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- People's food preferences can affect their basal metabolic state and the activity of their gut bacteria, thus influencing their long-term health, according to researchers who present a case for using "nutrimetabonomics" to explain people's response to foods in a report published online Oct. 16 in the Journal of Proteome Research.

Serge Rezzi, Ph.D., of the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues divided 22 male subjects into strongly "chocolate desiring" or "chocolate indifferent" groups, based on a questionnaire. Subjects were fed a standardized diet over the five-day study period. On day two, half the men received 50 grams of chocolate and the others received bread as a placebo, and on day four the subjects ate the opposite food. Subjects provided blood and urine samples.

The urinary and plasma metabolic phenotypes were measured by spectroscopy and characterized by differential metabolic biomarkers, including the postprandial lipoprotein profile and gut microbial co-metabolism. The resulting analysis showed the phenotypes were correlated with behavioral/psychological dietary preference.

"These data suggest that specific dietary preferences can influence basal metabolic state and gut microbiome activity that in turn may have long-term health consequences to the host," the authors write. "Nutrimetabonomics appears as a promising approach for the classification of dietary responses in populations and personalized nutritional management."

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