VALID

Valerolactones and healthy Ageing: LInking Dietary factors, nutrient biomarkers, metabolic status and inflammation with cognition in older adults

Project description

Background and aim

The VALID project aims to validate plasma valerolactones as stable biomarkers of catechin- and procyanidin- rich foods and to demonstrate their association with markers of metabolic health, inflammation and cognitive function in an older European population, building upon the existing TUDA study of 5,186 older adults. The VALID project has 5 objectives, to evaluate:

  1. Plasma PVLs as nutritional biomarkers representing catechin and proanthocyanidin-rich diets
  2. Association of PVLs with cognitive health in ageing
  3. Role of polyphenol-rich foods in preventing cognitive decline over a 5-year period
  4. Relationship of PVLs with biomarkers of inflammation
  5. Relationships of nutrition and health with the physical and social environments in order to assess the extent to which socioeconomic factors are associated with dietary behaviour, nutrition and cognitive performance.
Expected impact
  • The project results will contribute to ageing research internationally and ultimately the evidence needed to underpin future policies based on effective nutritional strategies to promote better health in ageing in the European Union.
  • The use of Geographical Information System technologies developed in this project can significantly add value to ageing research through enabling the integration of individual level nutritional information with environmental and socioeconomic data, thereby allowing potential health inequalities to be explored.

Consortium

Partner Organization Partner Country
Ulster University United Kingdom
Trinity College Dublin Ireland
University of Parma Italy

Highlights

Most important results from the VALID project:
  • The findings are novel and suggest that plasma phenyl-γ-valerolactones are reliable biomarkers of polyphenol rich food consumption and may be beneficial to cognitive health in older adults.
  • Access to healthy versus unhealthy food types and sources may influence dietary behaviours, food purchasing/consumption habits and, as a result, the health of older people.
  • The project results will contribute to ageing research internationally and ultimately the evidence needed to underpin future policies based on effective nutritional strategies to promote better health in ageing in the European Union in a number of ways.
  • The use of GIS technologies developed and applied in this project can significantly add value to ageing research through the spatial integration of individual level nutritional information with environmental and socioeconomic data, thereby allowing potential health inequalities in ageing to be explored.
Publication and Event highlights from the VALID project:
  • Published article, 2020: Angelino D, Caffrey A, Moore KM et al. Phenyl-γ-valerolactones and healthy ageing: linking dietary factors, nutrient biomarkers, metabolic status and inflammation with cognition in older adults (The VALID Project). Nutrition Bulletin 2020: 1-8. doi: 10.1111/nbu.12444
  • Published article, 2019: In conjunction with its sister project - ‘DERiVE’ (both funded under the same JPI ERA-HDHL 2017 co-funded call "Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health"), - an IMPACT article co-written by the two Project Coordinators, Prof Helene McNulty and Prof Mary Ward, was published to profile the VALID and DERiVE projects. Impact 2018 (10): 1-4. doi: 10.21820/23987073.2018.10.83. This publication, highlighting both JPI HDHL projects, has been disseminated widely to a wide range of stakeholders internationally and through project websites: www.jpi-valid.com and www.derive-riboflavn.com.
    • International Event, Dublin Ireland, 2019: The consortia for the VALID and DERiVE projects co-hosted a scientific symposium both JPI HDHL projects at the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) 13th European Nutrition Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 15-18 October 2019, entitled 'Validating novel biomarkers of dietary exposure to Riboflavin and Polyphenols and associated health impacts: Transnational DERiVE and VALID projects'. At this joint symposium, Prof Daniele Del Rio (VALID project PI from the University of Parma Italy) gave a presentation on 'Dietary polyphenols, circulating valerolactones and cognitive health in older Europeans - The VALID Project' and Prof Adrian Moore (VALID project co-investigator from Ulster University, NI, UK) presented on 'Understanding and promoting cognitive health in ageing through integration of dietary information with physical and social environments in the VALID project'. The symposium was very well received and generated a high degree of active participation from the scientific audience comprised of FENS conference delegates.

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Products

Title: Valerolactones and healthy Ageing: Linking Dietary factors, nutrient biomarkers, metabolic status and inflammation with cognition in older adults - The VALID Project.
Author: Angelino D*, Paramenter B*, Moore K*, Gill C*, Mena P*, Rosi A*, ... McNulty H*
Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2019.05.017
Title: Phenyl-γ-valerolactones and healthy ageing: linking dietary factors, nutrient biomarkers, metabolic status and inflammation with cognition in older adults (The VALID Project)
Author: Angelino D*, Caffrey A*, Moore K*, Laird E*, Moore AJ*, Gill CIR*, Mena P*, Westley K*, Pucci B*, Boyd K*, Mullen B*, McCarroll K*, Ward M*, Strain JJ*, Cunningham C*, Molloy AM*, McNulty H*, Del Rio D*
Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/nbu.12444
Title: Validity of plasma phenyl-γ-valerolactones as novel biomarkers of dietary (poly)phenols: Preliminary analysis from the VALID project
Author: B. Parmenter*, K. Moore*, D. Angelino*, D. Del Rio*, H. McNulty*, A.M. Molloy*, C. Cunningham*, M. Ward*, B. Pucci*, H. Jarrett, E. Laird*, J.J. Strain*, A. Moore* and C.I.R. Gill*
Link: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665118001040
Title: Phenyl-γ-valerolactones and phenylvaleric acids, the main colonic metabolites of flavan-3-ols: synthesis, analysis, bioavailability, and bioactivity
Author: Mena P*, Bresciani L, Brindani N, Ludwig IA, Pereira-Caro G, Angelino D*, ... Del Rio D*
Link: https://doi.org/10.1039/c8np00062j
Title: DERIVE - Development of Riboflavin biomarkers to relate dietary sources with status, gene-nutrient Interactions and Validated health Effects in adult cohorts - & VALID - Valerolactones and healthy Ageing: LInking Dietary factors, nutrient biomarkers, meta
Author: Ward M*, McNulty H*
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.21820/23987073.2018.10.83
Title: A holistic approach to healthy ageing: how can people live longer, healthier lives?
Author: Calder PC, Carding SR, Christopher G, Kuh D, Langley- Evans SC, McNulty H*
Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12566
Title: Fruit and vegetable consumption and health outcomes: an umbrella review of observational studies
Author: Angelino D*, Godos J, Ghelfi F,...., Del Rio D*, Grosso G
Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/09637486.2019.1571021

Reports


Endreport

The data analysis is still ongoing, but the novel findings so far suggest that plasma PVLs are reliable biomarkers of polyphenol rich foods and may be beneficial to cognitive health, underpinned by important socioeconomic factors. Ongoing data analysis will include investigation of PVLs as modulators of inflammation, providing a potential mechanism linking dietary polyphenols with cognitive function in older adults. In relation to the analysis of PVLs and related dietary polyphenols, the results showed that of the 9 PVLs quantified in TUDA samples, 3 plasma fractions were identified as being predominant: 5-(4´-Hydroxyphenyl)-γ-VL-3´-sulfate isomers followed by 5-(4´-Hydroxyphenyl)-γ-VL-3´-glucuronide and its isomer 5-(5´-Hydroxyphenyl)-γ-VL-3´-glucuronide. These PVLs were significantly correlated with dietary polyphenol intakes and may be reliable biomarkers of flavan-3-ol-rich foods. In relation to cognitive health, the results showed that PVLs concentrations were significantly lower in older adults with cognitive dysfunction compared to age- sex-matched participants with normal cognitive function. Using Geographic Information Science (GIS) technologies to integrate nutrition with environmental and socioeconomic data, the results showed that the area in which a person lives (particularly area-based deprivation), and the nature/distribution of food outlets (‘Foodscapes’) determining access to healthy versus unhealthy foods, may have important influences on food consumption, nutrition and health.

Main conclusions

Although the data analysis is still ongoing and thus no final conclusions can be made at this point, the main conclusions from the VALID project so far are that:


Recomendations
  • Plasma phenyl-γ-valerolactones appear to be reliable biomarkers of polyphenol rich food consumption;
  • Higher dietary polyphenol (flavan-3-ol) intake may be beneficial to cognitive health in older adults;
  • Access to healthy versus unhealthy food types and sources may influence dietary behaviours, food purchasing/consumption habits and, as a result, the health of older people.

Building upon the current findings, the main recommendations from the VALID project are that:

  • Follow-up research in relation to dietary polyphenols should involve randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to enable cause-and-effect relationships between higher polyphenol intake and health outcomes in ageing, including cognitive health. Such research would provide the high quality human evidence needed to underpin nutrition and health policy and thus generate the most valuable impacts to improve quality of life for older people.
  • The use of GIS technologies should be applied in future studies to add value to nutrition and health research by enabling the integration of individual level nutritional information with environmental and socioeconomic data, thereby allowing potential health inequalities in ageing to be explored.
  • The nature and distribution of food outlets within a given individual’s environs, should be further explored in future research, as potentially important factors in controlling access to healthy versus unhealthy food sources in older people. This aspect is rarely explored in nutrition and health studies.
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Contribution to the JPI HDHL objectives

First and foremost, the VALID project fulfilled the main requirement of the JPI ERA-HDHL co-funded call “Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health” (BioNH 2016), which focussed on The identification and validation of biomarkers that are modulated by diet and that indicate a change in health status and/or the risk of developing diet-related diseases. We validated plasma phenyl-γ-valerolactones (PVLs) as novel biomarkers that are modulated by dietary polyphenol (flavan-3-ol) intake. Furthermore, we found evidence that higher PVLs concentrations were associated with generally better cognitive function in older adults, thus increased intake of flavan-3-ol-rich foods may be linked with a reduced risk of cognitive dysfunction (a predictor of dementia) in ageing, but this requires confirmation through further research as recommended above (under Recommendations).

Our project fulfilled all of the following conditions of the call:

  • We focused on novel biomarkers that are modifiable by diet and reflect a healthy state.
  • We built upon previous research by Prof Daniele Del Rio (VALID Project PI from the University of Parma, Italy) who developed the methodology for measurement of phenyl-γ-valerolactones (PVLs) and we conducted the necessary research to validate PVLs as novel biomarkers that are modulated by dietary polyphenol (flavan-3-ol) intake.
  • We made excellent use the existing Trinity-Ulster and Department of Agriculture (TUDA) cohort along with the related biobank, co-owned by VALID Project PI Prof Anne Molloy from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and VALID Project Coordinator Prof Helene McNulty from Ulster University, NI, UK). The project built substantially upon the TUDA study of 5,186 older adults, a unique resource designed to assess nutritional and related factors in relation to health and the prevention of age-related disease. By performing new analysis of biobanked samples from the TUDA cohort and drawing on existing data, the project succeeded in bringing together comprehensive data on a range of variables, including the relevant nutrient biomarkers, inflammatory markers, clinical variables and cognitive measures, along with socioeconomic factors. In addition, the project investigated these factors in relation to cognitive decline by analysing samples and accessing data from the ‘TUDA 5+’ cohort, a follow-up sample of 1,000 participants from the original TUDA cohort who were resampled 5 years after their initial investigation.
  • We have planned to further disseminate the project findings (through publications in scientific and health professional journals and via presentations at international conferences) and data gathered through this project will be made available to the wider research community in adherence with the FAIR principles of data management. 
Target group Authors Means of communication Hyperlink Pdf
Scientists, general public, policy makers, professional practitioners Prof Daniele Del Rio*, 'Dietary polyphenols, circulating valerolactones and cognitive health in older Europeans - The VALID Project', DERiVE-VALID Symposium, FENS 13th European Nutrition Conference, Dublin, Ireland 2019 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers, professional practitioners Prof Adrian Moore*, 'Understanding and promoting cognitive health in ageing through integration of dietary information with physical and social environments in the VALID project', , DERiVE-VALID Symposium, FENS 13th European Nutrition Conference, Dublin, Ireland 2019 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers, professional practitioners Prof Helene McNulty*, Co-chair of the Executive Committee, FENS 13th European Nutrition Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 2019 Committee member/ Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers, professional practitioners Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Achieving Optimal Folate Status for Health (in European Populations): natural food folates versus folic acid', 12th International Conference on One Carbon Metabolism, B Vitamins and Homocysteine, Spain, 2019 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers, professional practitioners Prof Pedro Mena*, ''A comprehensive approach to the bioavailability and cardiometabolic effects of the bioactive compounds present in espresso coffee and confectionery-derived coffee', FENS 13th European Nutrition Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 2019 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Mary Ward*, Prof Sean JJ Strain*, Members of the Organising Committee at the FENS 13th European Nutrition Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 2019 Commiittee members    
Scientists, general public, policy makers, professional practitioners Prof Anne Molloy*, “Interactions between folate excess and vitamin B12 deficiency”, Expert panel for the workshop on Metabolic Interaction between excess Folates/Folic acid and Vitamin B12 deficiency, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK, ODS and USDA, National Institutes of Health, USA), 31st July-1st August 2019 Oral presentation    
TUDA participants Dr Katie Moore*, Prof Helene McNulty*, Prof Mary Ward*, Dr Chris Gill*, Prof Adrian Moore*, Dr Aoife Caffrey*, 'TUDA Information Event', Ulster University, Coleraine 5 November 2018 Information event; oral presentation and discussion    
TUDA participants Dr Katie Moore*, Prof Helene McNulty*, Prof Mary Ward*, Dr Chris Gill*, Prof Adrian Moore*, Dr Aoife Caffrey*, 'TUDA Information Event', Ulster University, Coleraine 30 October 2018 Information event; oral presentation and discussion    
TUDA participants Prof Helene McNulty,* Prof Mary Ward*, Dr Chris Gill*, Prof Adrian Moore*, Dr Katie Moore*, Dr Aoife Caffrey*, 'TUDA Information Event', Ulster University, Coleraine 30 May 2019 Personal and patient involvement; round table discussion    
TUDA participants Prof Helene McNulty*, Prof Mary Ward*, Dr Chris Gill*, Prof Adrian Moore*, Dr Katie Moore*, Dr Aoife Caffrey*, 'TUDA Information Event', Ulster University, Coleraine 10 June 2019 Personal and patient involvement; round table discussion    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, Member of the Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit (NCTU) Advisory Group, Northern Ireland 2018, 2019 Guidance committee    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Role of riboflavin in reducing blood pressure in genetically at-risk adults', EuroPrevent Congress, European Association of Preventative Cardiology, Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 2019 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Nutrition and the ageing brain: can specific foods and nutrients preserve better cognition in older adults?'. Dementia 2018 Conference, Northern Ireland, May 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Folate and related B-vitamins through the lifecycle - public health priorities and challenges', Nutrition Society Irish Section Conference, June 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Folate and related B-vitamins in health & disease from early life to older age'. IACC Syposium Cellular Coenzymes in Health & Disease, London, UK, July 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Riboflavin status, MTHFR and blood pressure'. FASEB Science Research Conference, Nova Scotia, Canada, August 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Relationship between riboflavin, MTHFR and hypertension'. 5th International Vitamin Conference, Sydney, Australia, August 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Effect of B-vitamin supplementation on cognitive performance in older age'. 5th International Vitamin Conference, Sydney, Australia, August 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'The health effects of folic acid fortification'. Bioavailability 2018: Understanding the bioavailability of micronutrients and bioactive compounds for improved public health, Norwich, UK, September 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Achieving optimal folate status for health: natural food folates versus folic acid', 12th International conference on One Carbon Metabolism, B Vitamins and Homocysteine, Spain, 9th - 13th June 2019 Oral presentation    
Scientific, policy makers Prof Adrian Moore *,'Creating a European Deprivation Index for the Island of Ireland', INSERM and Université Caen Normandie, Caen, France, December 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Prof Daniele Del Rio*, Monthly Assignment Challenge - Contribution to Science & Wine online blog, February 2018 Website articles    
Schools, Scientists, general public, policy makers, students Prof Daniele Del Rio*, 'Phenyl-γ-valerolactones and Phenylvaleric Acids, the Main Colonic Metabolites of Flavan-3-ols: Their Relevance in Berry Health Benefits', 8th Biennial Berry Health Benefits Symposium, Portland, Oregan, USA, May 2019 Oral presentation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers, professional practitioners Prof Daniele Del Rio*, Conference of the International Society of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics, Cambridge, UK, July 2019 Oral presentation    
Schools, Scientists, general public, policy makers, students Prof Daniele Del Rio*, 'Il Microbiota come Bersaglio Terapeutico'. University of Perugia, Italy, April 2019 Oral presentation    
Schools, Scientists, general public, policy makers, students Prof Daniele Del Rio*, 'Polifenoli e salute: notizie dal fronte della ricerca'. INNOFOODMED. Bari, Italy, March 2019 Oral presentation    
Scientific Dr Aoife Caffrey*, 'Science VLOG: VALID project', 5th International Conference of JPI HDHL, Brussels, February 2019 Video log (vlog)    
Scientists, general public, policy makers, students Prof Mary Ward*, UU is the Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust - Wolfson Norhern Ireland Clinical Research Facility (NICRF), 2018, 2019 Facilitating research    
Schools, Scientists, general public, policy makers, students Dr Donato Angelino*, 'Valerolactones and healthy Ageing: Linking diet, biomarkers and metabolic health with cognition in older aduls - the VALID project', 39th Conference of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, Italy, 2018 Oral presentation    
Schools, Scientists, general public, policy makers, students Dr Donato Angelino*, 'Valerolactones and healthy Ageing: Linking diet, biomarkers and metabolic health with cognition in older aduls - the VALID project', 2nd Food Bioactives and Health Conference, Lisbon, September 2018 Oral presentation    
Scientists Dr Donato Angelino*, 'Workshop on Nutrition for the Ageing Brain: Moving Towards Clinical Applications', ILSI Europe Task Force on Nutrition and Mental Performance, Madrid, Spain, August 2018 Workshop    
Scientists, general public, policy makers Dr Chris Gill*, Monthly Assignment Challenge - Contribution to Science & Wine online blog, March 2018 Website articles    
Scientists and industry Dr Chris Gill*, 'Valerolactones and healthy Ageing: Linking diet, biomarkers and metabolic health with cognition in older adults: the VALID project', International Geneva/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer Therapy (AAT) and AD/PDTM Meeting, Torino, Italy, March 2018 Oral presenation    
Scientists, general public, policy makers, professional practitioners Prof Mary Ward*, Prof Helene McNulty*, 'Impact article on nutritional biomarkers for health - DERiVE and VALID Projects' Impact article    

Subjects

Features

Project number:
VALID
Duration: 100%
Duration: 100 %
2017
2019
Related subsidy round:
Project lead and secretary:
Prof Helene McNulty