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  • Imbalanced nutrition, such as a high-fat/high-carbohydrate diet, is associated with negative effects on human health. The composition and metabolic activity of the human gut microbiota are closely related to the type of diet and have been shown to change significantly in response to changes in food content and food supplement administration. Alkylresorcinols (ARs) are lipophilic molecules that have been found to improve lipid metabolism and glycemic control and decrease systemic inflammation. Furthermore, alkylresorcinol intake is associated with changes in intestinal microbiota metabolic activity. However, the exact mechanism through which alkylresorcinols modulate microbiota activity and host metabolism has not been determined. In this study, alterations in the small intestinal microbiota (SIM) and the large intestinal microbiota (LIM) were investigated in mice fed a high-fat diet with or without pentadecylresorcinol (C15) supplementation. High-throughput sequencing was applied for jejunal and colonic microbiota analysis. The results revealed that C15 supplementation in combination with a high-fat diet could decrease blood glucose levels. High-throughput sequencing analysis indicated that C15 intake significantly increased ( < 0.0001) the abundance of the probiotic bacteria and in both the small and large intestines and increased the alpha diversity of LIM ( < 0.05), but not SIM. The preliminary results suggested that one of the mechanisms of the protective effects of alkylresorcinol on a high-fat diet is the modulation of the content of SIM and LIM and metabolic activity to increase the probiotic bacteria that alleviate unhealthy metabolic changes in the host.

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  • Grains are one of the primary nutrients and are associated with many health benefits. To reflect the intake of grain-based products, two promising potential biomarkers are alkylresorcinol (AR) metabolites 3,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (3,5-DHBA) and 3-(3,5-dihydroxyphenyl)-propanoic acid (3,5-DHPPA). The aim of this study was to validate the occurrence of AR in food samples and investigate the suitability of their metabolites as potential biomarkers in human intervention studies. In the first step, the AR content in different grain products from the German retail sector was analyzed by GC-MS. ARs were found in higher concentrations in whole grain products and in moderate contents in refined grains and quinoa. Based on these results, human intervention studies were performed in the next step, and the AR metabolites 3,5-DHBA and 3,5-DHPPA were analyzed by LC-MS/MS in urine samples. The intake of only whole grain products leads to an increasing level of both potential biomarkers, while a refined grain diet shows decreasing levels of the AR metabolites. The excretion of 3,5-DHBA after a whole grain-rich diet differs significantly ( = 0.043) from no grain intake.

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  • Alkylresorcinols are important biomarkers for evaluating whole wheat foods. However, their structures encompass a broad spectrum of homologs, making isolating and analyzing individual alkylresorcinol notably challenging. Herein, we synthesized highly selective molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) utilizing a facile and cost-effective precipitation polymerization method and 5-heneicosylresorcinol (AR) as the template molecule. Various crucial preparation parameters were systematically optimized, such as different porogens, functional monomers, imprinting ratios, and polymerization time. The polymers were characterized through scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and their adsorption performances were thoroughly evaluated. MIPs exhibited a notably enhanced adsorption capacity compared with that of non-imprinted polymers, reaching an optimal adsorption amount of 71.75 mg·mL and imprinting factor of 2.02. Altogether, the synthesized MIPs showed superior affinity and selectivity for AR, as confirmed by their selective extraction, suggesting their potential applications in the analysis, separation, and monitoring of AR in whole wheat foods.

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  • Alkylresorcinols (AR) are cereal-specific biomarkers and have recently been found in archaeological pots. However, their low concentrations and high susceptibility to degradation make them difficult to detect using conventional gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Here we describe the development of a more sensitive liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS) method to detect these compounds.

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  • Authenticating whole wheat foods poses a significant challenge for both the grain industry and consumers. Alkylresorcinols (ARs), serving as biomarkers of whole wheat, play a crucial role in assessing the authenticity of whole wheat foods. Herein, we introduce a novel molecularly imprinted electrochemical sensor with modifications involving a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) and MXene nanosheets, enabling highly sensitive and selective detection of ARs. Notably, we specifically chose 5-heneicosylresorcinol (AR21), the predominant homologue in whole wheat, as the template molecule. α-Cyclodextrin and acrylamide served as dual functional monomers, establishing a robust multiple interaction between the MIP and AR21. As a result, the sensor exhibited a wide linear range of 0.005 to 100 μg·mL and a low detection limit of 2.52 ng·mL, demonstrating exceptional selectivity and stability. When applied to commercial whole wheat foods, the assay achieved satisfactory recoveries and accuracy, strongly validating the practicality and effectiveness of this analytical technique.

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  • This systematic review provides an overview of the available evidence on the inter-individual variability (IIV) in the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of phenolic metabolites and its determinants. Human studies were included investigating the metabolism and bioavailability of (poly)phenols and reporting IIV. One hundred fifty-three studies met the inclusion criteria. Inter-individual differences were mainly related to gut microbiota composition and activity but also to genetic polymorphisms, age, sex, ethnicity, BMI, (patho)physiological status, and physical activity, depending on the (poly)phenol sub-class considered. Most of the IIV has been poorly characterised. Two major types of IIV were observed. One resulted in metabolite gradients that can be further classified into high and low excretors, as seen for all flavonoids, phenolic acids, prenylflavonoids, alkylresorcinols, and hydroxytyrosol. The other type of IIV is based on clusters of individuals defined by qualitative differences (producers vs. non-producers), as for ellagitannins (urolithins), isoflavones (equol and O-DMA), resveratrol (lunularin), and preliminarily for avenanthramides (dihydro-avenanthramides), or by quali-quantitative metabotypes characterized by different proportions of specific metabolites, as for flavan-3-ols, flavanones, and even isoflavones. Future works are needed to shed light on current open issues limiting our understanding of this phenomenon that likely conditions the health effects of dietary (poly)phenols.

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  • Members of the bacterial phylum Planctomycetota have recently emerged as promising and for the most part untapped sources of novel bioactive compounds. The characterization of more than 100 novel species in the last decade stimulated recent bioprospection studies that start to unveil the chemical repertoire of the phylum. In this study, we performed systematic bioinformatic analyses based on the genomes of all 131 described members of the current phylum focusing on the identification of type III polyketide synthase (PKS) genes. Type III PKSs are versatile enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of a wide array of structurally diverse natural products with potent biological activities. We identified 96 putative type III PKS genes of which 58 are encoded in an operon with genes encoding a putative oxidoreductase and a methyltransferase. Sequence similarities on protein level and the genetic organization of the operon point towards a functional link to the structurally related hierridins recently discovered in picocyanobacteria. The heterologous expression of planctomycetal type III PKS genes from strains belonging to different families in an engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum strain led to the biosynthesis of pentadecyl- and heptadecylresorcinols. Phenotypic assays performed with the heterologous producer strains and a constructed type III PKS gene deletion mutant suggest that the natural function of the identified compounds differs from that confirmed in other bacterial alkylresorcinol producers. KEY POINTS: • Planctomycetal type III polyketide synthases synthesize long-chain alkylresorcinols. • Phylogenetic analyses suggest an ecological link to picocyanobacterial hierridins. • Engineered C. glutamicum is suitable for an expression of planctomycete-derived genes.

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  • Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a phytotoxic agent supporting the spread of fungal diseases in cereals worldwide, i.e., fusarium head blight. It is known that DON accumulation may elicit changes in plant secondary metabolites in response to pathogen attack. This study maps the changes in selected secondary metabolite classes upon DON contamination occurring in fifteen spp. genotypes, among them emmer, spelt, and soft wheat, and 2 tritordeum varieties, cultivated in two different sites and over two harvest years. The main phenolic classes (i.e., alkylresorcinols, soluble, and cell-wall bound phenolic acids) were targeted analyzed, while changes in the lipidome signature were collected through untargeted HRMS experiments. The results, obtained across multiple species and in open fields, confirmed the modulation of first-line biological pathways already described in previous studies involving single cereal species or a limited germplasm, thus reinforcing the involvement of nonspecific chemical defenses in the plant response to pathogen attack.

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  • Epidemiological studies have shown associations between whole-grain intake and lowered disease risk. A sufficient level of whole-grain intake to reach the health benefits has not been established, and there is limited knowledge about the impact of whole-grain intake on metabolite levels. In this clinical intervention study, we aimed to identify plasma and urine metabolites associated with two different intake levels of whole-grain wheat and rye and to correlate them with clinical plasma biomarkers. Healthy volunteers (N = 68) were divided into two groups receiving either whole-grain wheat or whole-grain rye in two four-week interventions with 48 and 96 g/d of whole grains consumed. The metabolomics of the plasma samples was performed with UPLC-QTOF-MS. Plasma alkylresorcinols were quantified with GC-MS and plasma and urinary mammalian lignans with HPLC-ECD. The high-dose intervention impacted the metabolite profile, including microbial metabolites, more in the rye-enriched diet compared with wheat. Among the increased metabolites were alkylresorcinol glucuronides, sinapyl alcohol, and pipecolic acid betaine, while the decreased metabolites included acylcarnitines and ether lipids. Plasma alkylresorcinols, urinary enterolactone, and total mammalian lignans reflected the study diets in a dose-dependent manner. Several key metabolites linked with whole-grain consumption and gut microbial metabolism increased in a linear manner between the two interventions. The results reveal that an increase in whole-grain intake, particularly rye, is strongly reflected in the metabolite profile, is correlated with clinical variables, and suggests that a diet rich in whole grains promotes the growth and/or metabolism of microbes producing potentially beneficial microbial metabolites.

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  • Rapid and simultaneous detection of Alkylresorcinols (ARs) and ferulic acid (FA) could evaluate qualities of commercial wheat products comprehensively and improving product quality. In this work, we have developed a colorimetric strategy for rapid and simultaneous detection of ARs and FA by using in-situ coupling reaction between analytes and diazotized small molecule probe in aqueous media. This strategy featured a rapid response, obvious color change, simple preprocessing, high sensitivity and selectivity. The limit of detection (LOD) can be as low as 0.244 μM and 0.5 μM for ARs and FA, respectively. The sensing mechanism was investigated by spectroscopy technique. Excellent practical application of this method was further confirmed to simultaneously monitor ARs and FA in real samples. The accuracy of the method could be reached to 95.0 % and 99.6 % for ARs and FA respectively. To our knowledge, this work firstly reported a sensor for ARs and FA simultaneous determination.

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