Investigation of Variations in the Human Urine Metabolome amongst European Populations: An Exploratory Search for Biomarkers of People at Risk-of-Poverty

Alessia Trimigno, Bekzod Khakimov, Francesco Savorani, Leonardo Tenori, Vaiva Hendrixson, Alminas Čivilis, Marija Glibetic, Mirjana Gurinovic, Saara Pentikäinen, Janne Sallinen, Sara Garduno Diaz, Francesca Pasqui, Santosh Khokhar, Claudio Luchinat, Alessandra Bordoni, Francesco Capozzi, Søren Balling Engelsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Scope: According to Eurostat 2016, approximately 119 million European citizens live at-risk-of-poverty (ROP). This subpopulation is highly diverse by ethnicity, age, and culture in the different EU states, but they all have in common a low income that could represent an increased risk of nutrient deficiencies due to poor nutritional habits. This study aims to investigate the human urine metabolome in the search of common biomarkers representing dietary deficiencies amongst European populations at ROP. Methods and results: 2732 urine samples were collected from 1391 subjects across five different European countries, including the United Kingdom, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, and Serbia, and analyzed using 1H-NMR spectroscopy. The resulting urine metabolome data were explored according to study design factors including economic status, country, and gender. Conclusion: Partitioning of the effects derived from the study design factors using ANOVA-simultaneous component analysis (ASCA) revealed that country and gender effects were responsible for most of the systematic variation. The effect of economic status was, as expected, much weaker than country and gender, but more pronounced in Lithuania than in other countries. Citrate and hippurate were among the most powerful ROP biomarkers. The possible relationship between these markers and nutritional deficiencies amongst the ROP population is discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1800216
    JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
    Issue number1
    Early online date14 May 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible


    • metabolomics
    • NMR
    • nutrition
    • risk-of-poverty
    • urinary metabolome


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