Dietary polyamine intake and polyamines measured in urine

Ashley J. Vargas, Erin L. Ashbeck, Cynthia A. Thomson, Eugene W. Gerner, Patricia A. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Dietary polyamines have recently been associated with increased risk of pre-malignant colorectal lesions. Because polyamines are synthesized in cells and taken up from dietary sources, development of a biomarker of exposure is challenging. Excess polyamines are primarily excreted in the urine. This pilot study seeks to identify dietary correlates of excreted urinary polyamines as putative biomarkers of exposure. Dietary polyamines/other nutrients were estimated from a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and correlated with urinary levels of acetylated polyamines in 36 men using 24-h urine samples. Polyamines, abundant in cheese and citrus, were highly positively correlated with urinary N8-acetylspermidine (correlation coefficient; r = 0.37, P = 0.03), but this correlation was attenuated after adjustment for total energy intake (r = 0.07, P = 0.68). Dietary energy intake itself was positively correlated with urinary total acetylated polyamine output (r =.40, P = 0.02). In energy-adjusted analyses, folic acid and folate from food were associated with urinary N1,N12-diacetylspermine (r = 0.34, P = 0.05 and r =-0.39, P = 0.02, respectively). Red meat negatively correlated with total urinary acetylated polyamines (r =-0.42, P = 0.01). Our findings suggest that energy, folate, folic acid, saturated fat, and red meat intake, as opposed to FFQ-estimated dietary polyamines, are correlated with urinary polyamines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1144-1153
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition and cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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