Inter-individual responses to a blueberry intervention across multiple endpoints

Wang, Yueyue, Haskell-Ramsay, Crystal, Gallegos, Jose Lara and Lodge, John K. (2024) Inter-individual responses to a blueberry intervention across multiple endpoints. Nutrients, 16 (6) (895). pp. 1-19. ISSN 2072-6643


Inter-individual variation exists in response to diet and in the endpoints related to vascular diseases and cognitive impairment. Therefore, the evaluation and characterisation of responses to a dietary intervention targeting these endpoints is important. A dietary intervention with 37 participants has been performed comparing two forms of blueberry, either whole fresh blueberry (160 g), freeze-dried blueberry powder (20 g) or a placebo control (microcrystalline cellulose), in a 1-week single-blinded cross-over randomised controlled trial (RCT) in a healthy population. The response to the intervention was calculated for each endpoint using the percentage change (±%) compared to the baseline. Extensive inter-individual variation was found in vascular health parameters (−141 to +525%) and cognitive domains (−114 to +96%) post-intervention, but there was no consistent response following the two interventions between and within participants for each endpoint measured. No significant putative discriminating urinary metabolites between interventions were found using supervised multivariate analysis. Although several discriminatory metabolites were found between the responder and non-responder groups, it was not possible to identify predictors of the response using receiver operating curve analysis. To conclude, this is the first blueberry intervention applying quartile divisions to characterise individual responses in vascular and cognitive endpoints following a specific dietary intervention; however, we did not find any consistency in the individual responses to the interventions, and we could not identify a predictive urinary metabolite as a potential biomarker for differentiation between responders and non-responders. However, the overall approach of defining a metabolic signature of response could be used in the future for tailored personalised nutritional advice.

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