D A Byrd et al, 2021. An investigation of cross-sectional associations of a priori-selected dietary components with circulating bile acids, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online.

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ABSTRACT

Background: 
A growing body of literature suggests chronically higher bile acid (BA) concentrations may be associated with multiple health conditions. Diet may affect BA metabolism and signaling; however, evidence from human populations is lacking.

Objectives: 
We systematically investigated cross-sectional associations of a priori-selected dietary components (fiber, alcohol, coffee, fat) with circulating BA concentrations.

Methods:
We used targeted, quantitative LC-MS/MS panels to measure 15 circulating BAs in a subset of the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC; n = 2224) and Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO; n = 986) comprising Finnish male smokers and United States men and women, respectively. We used multivariable linear regression to estimate associations of each dietary component with log-transformed BAs; exponentiated coefficients estimate proportional differences. We included the median of the dietary component quartile in linear regression models to test for trend.

Results:
In ATBC, fiber was inversely associated with multiple circulating BAs. The proportional difference was -10.09% (95% CI: -19.29 to 0.16; P-trend = 0.04) when comparing total BAs among those in the highest relative to the lowest fiber quartile. Alcohol, trans fat, and polyunsaturated fat were positively associated with BAs in ATBC. The proportional difference comparing total BAs among those in the highest relative to the lowest alcohol quartile was 8.76% (95% CI: -3.10 to 22.06; P-trend = 0.03). Coffee and monounsaturated fat were inversely associated with BAs. The proportional difference comparing total BAs among those in the highest relative to the lowest coffee quartile was -24.03% (95% CI: -31.57 to -15.66; P-trend < 0.0001). In PLCO, no dietary components were associated with BAs except fiber, which was inversely associated with tauroursodeoxycholic acid.

Conclusions: 
Alcohol, coffee, certain fat subtypes, and fiber were associated with circulating concentrations of multiple BAs among Finnish male smokers. Given the potential role of BAs in disease risk, further investigation of the effects of diet on BAs in humans is warranted.

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