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Nutritional Biomarkers

CDC's Environmental Health Laboratory conducts research, develops methods, and analyzes essential nutrients (e.g., vitamins), nonessential nutrients (e.g., certain fatty acids), and bioactive dietary compounds (e.g., phytoestrogens and aflatoxin) that are responsible for changes in health status. For many of these essential nutrients and dietary compounds, the laboratory produces population-based exposure levels segmented by age, sex, and race or ethnicity. This information is available in CDC's National Report on Selected Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population, the first national report to publish, in a single document, information about concentrations of 27 dietary and nutritional indicators found in the blood or urine of the U.S. population. the Fourth Report establishes population reference ranges that can be used by physicians, clinicians, scientists, and health officials to determine whether a person or group of people has an unusually high or low level of a dietary or nutritional indicator. The report will also help determine whether the nutritional status of special population groups, such as minorities and potentially vulnerable groups (e.g., children, women of childbearing age, the elderly), needs improvement. In addition, this nutrition report will assess the effectiveness of public health efforts to improve the diet and nutritional status of Americans.

CDC scientists also collaborate with academic, federal, and international partners on epidemiologic studies, intervention trials, and emergency response investigations. These efforts assess people's nutritional status or exposure to dietary compounds and their relation to health and disease.

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