Metabolomics of Dietary Acid Load and Incident Chronic Kidney Disease

Anam Tariq, Jingsha Chen, Bing Yu, Eric Boerwinkle, Josef Coresh, Morgan E. Grams, Casey M. Rebholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Blood biomarkers of dietary intake are more objective than self-reported dietary intake. Metabolites associated with dietary acid load were previously identified in 2 chronic kidney disease (CKD) populations. We aimed to extend these findings to a general population, replicating their association with dietary acid load, and investigating whether the individual biomarkers were prospectively associated with incident CKD. Methods: Among 15,792 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort followed up from 1987 to 1989 (baseline) to 2019, we evaluated 3,844 black and white men and women with dietary and metabolomic data in cross-sectional and prospective analyses. We hypothesized that a higher dietary acid load (using equations for potential renal acid load and net endogenous acid production) was associated with lower serum levels of 12 previously identified metabolites: indolepropionylglycine, indolepropionate, N-methylproline, N-δ-acetylornithine, threonate, oxalate, chiro-inositol, methyl glucopyranoside, stachydrine, catechol sulfate, hippurate, and tartronate. In addition, we hypothesized that lower serum levels of these 12 metabolites were associated with higher risk of incident CKD. Results: Eleven out of 12 metabolites were significantly inversely associated with dietary acid load, after adjusting for demographics, socioeconomic status, health behaviors, health status, and estimated glomerular filtration rate: indolepropionylglycine, indolepropionate, N-methylproline, threonate, oxalate, chiro-inositol, catechol sulfate, hippurate, methyl glucopyranoside (α + β), stachydrine, and tartronate. N-methylproline was inversely associated with incident CKD (hazard ratio: 0.95, 95% confidence interval: 0.91, 0.99, P =.01). The metabolomic biomarkers of dietary acid load significantly improved prediction of elevated dietary acid load estimated using dietary data, beyond covariates (difference in C statistics: 0.021-0.077, P ≤ 1.08 × 10−3). Conclusion: Inverse associations between candidate biomarkers of dietary acid load were replicated in a general population. N-methylproline, representative of citrus fruit consumption, is a promising marker of dietary acid load and could represent an important pathway between dietary acid load and CKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Renal Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolomics of Dietary Acid Load and Incident Chronic Kidney Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this