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The Analyst

A novel method for the analysis of clinical biomarkers to investigate the effect of diet on health in a rat model.


PMID 25747619

Abstract

Experiments into the relationship between diet and health have been an area of high interest for a long time. In this study, we investigate the application of multivariate data analysis to differentiate between rat populations fed on two different diets: normal rat diet (control) and Western affluent diet (WAD). Two sets of data were acquired and analysed: one from a biochemical clinical analyser, taking measurements of blood-based biochemical markers; the other from the analysis of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from faecal samples from the same animals using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS). Five classes were considered: weanlings, 12 month controls, 12 month WADs, 18 month controls, and 18 month WADs. Data from the biochemical analyser, weanlings and 18 month WAD fed rats showed significant differences from the other measurement classes. This was shown in both the exploratory analysis and through multivariate classification. Classification of control diet versus WAD diets suggested there are differences between classes with 92% accuracy for the 12 month classes and 91% for the 18 month classes. Cholesterol markers, especially as low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL), were the main factor in influencing WAD samples. The data from the SIFT-MS analysis also produced very good classification accuracies. Classification of control diet versus WAD diets using the H3O(+) precursor ion data suggested there are differences between classes with 71% accuracy for the 12 month classes and 100% for the 18 month classes. These findings confirm that total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol are elevated in the 18 month WAD-fed rats. We therefore suggest that the analysis of VOCs from faecal samples in conjunction with multivariate data analysis may be a useful alternative to blood analysis for the detection of parameters of health.