Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as markers of dietary variation among sociocultural subgroups of Inuit in Greenland

Peter Bjerregaard, Christina V L Larsen, Inger K Dahl-Petersen, Bjørn Buchardt

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We assessed the use of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as biomarkers for traditional versus store-bought food among the Inuit. Furthermore, we compared the isotope patterns among sociocultural population groups.

METHODS: As a part of a country-wide health survey in Greenland during 2005-2010, we analyzed the isotope composition of toenails from 1025 adult Inuit and meat of common species hunted for food. Information on diet and sociocultural variables was collected by interviews.

RESULTS: Weighted by sex and place of residence to the total population of Inuit in Greenland, the average δ(13) C value in toenails was -20.2‰ and the δ(15) N value was 12.0‰ which are higher than in a general Danish omnivorous population. Both isotopes were significantly associated with other biomarkers of marine food and with results of a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). The percentage of marine food in the diet was estimated at 21% from the mean δ(13) C value, 25% from the mean δ(15) N value, and 23% from the FFQ.

CONCLUSION: Nail samples for analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were convenient to collect during a large population health survey among the Inuit. Isotope enrichment levels showed statistically significant associations with other biomarkers for consumption of marine food and with results of an FFQ and were used to estimate the percentage of marine food in the diet. Isotope levels were significantly associated with a novel score of sociocultural transition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23018
JournalAmerican journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council
Volume29
Issue number5
Number of pages12
ISSN1042-0533
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Nitrogen Isotopes
Greenland
stable isotopes
isotopes
stable isotope
food
food frequency questionnaires
Food
carbon
nitrogen
Isotopes
biomarkers
isotope
Nails
biomarker
diet
health survey
Diet
Health Surveys
questionnaire

Keywords

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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title = "Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as markers of dietary variation among sociocultural subgroups of Inuit in Greenland",
abstract = "OBJECTIVES: We assessed the use of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as biomarkers for traditional versus store-bought food among the Inuit. Furthermore, we compared the isotope patterns among sociocultural population groups.METHODS: As a part of a country-wide health survey in Greenland during 2005-2010, we analyzed the isotope composition of toenails from 1025 adult Inuit and meat of common species hunted for food. Information on diet and sociocultural variables was collected by interviews.RESULTS: Weighted by sex and place of residence to the total population of Inuit in Greenland, the average δ(13) C value in toenails was -20.2‰ and the δ(15) N value was 12.0‰ which are higher than in a general Danish omnivorous population. Both isotopes were significantly associated with other biomarkers of marine food and with results of a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). The percentage of marine food in the diet was estimated at 21{\%} from the mean δ(13) C value, 25{\%} from the mean δ(15) N value, and 23{\%} from the FFQ.CONCLUSION: Nail samples for analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were convenient to collect during a large population health survey among the Inuit. Isotope enrichment levels showed statistically significant associations with other biomarkers for consumption of marine food and with results of an FFQ and were used to estimate the percentage of marine food in the diet. Isotope levels were significantly associated with a novel score of sociocultural transition.",
keywords = "Journal Article",
author = "Peter Bjerregaard and Larsen, {Christina V L} and Dahl-Petersen, {Inger K} and Bj{\o}rn Buchardt",
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Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as markers of dietary variation among sociocultural subgroups of Inuit in Greenland. / Bjerregaard, Peter; Larsen, Christina V L; Dahl-Petersen, Inger K; Buchardt, Bjørn.

In: American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council, Vol. 29, No. 5, e23018, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as markers of dietary variation among sociocultural subgroups of Inuit in Greenland

AU - Bjerregaard, Peter

AU - Larsen, Christina V L

AU - Dahl-Petersen, Inger K

AU - Buchardt, Bjørn

N1 - © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - OBJECTIVES: We assessed the use of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as biomarkers for traditional versus store-bought food among the Inuit. Furthermore, we compared the isotope patterns among sociocultural population groups.METHODS: As a part of a country-wide health survey in Greenland during 2005-2010, we analyzed the isotope composition of toenails from 1025 adult Inuit and meat of common species hunted for food. Information on diet and sociocultural variables was collected by interviews.RESULTS: Weighted by sex and place of residence to the total population of Inuit in Greenland, the average δ(13) C value in toenails was -20.2‰ and the δ(15) N value was 12.0‰ which are higher than in a general Danish omnivorous population. Both isotopes were significantly associated with other biomarkers of marine food and with results of a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). The percentage of marine food in the diet was estimated at 21% from the mean δ(13) C value, 25% from the mean δ(15) N value, and 23% from the FFQ.CONCLUSION: Nail samples for analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were convenient to collect during a large population health survey among the Inuit. Isotope enrichment levels showed statistically significant associations with other biomarkers for consumption of marine food and with results of an FFQ and were used to estimate the percentage of marine food in the diet. Isotope levels were significantly associated with a novel score of sociocultural transition.

AB - OBJECTIVES: We assessed the use of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as biomarkers for traditional versus store-bought food among the Inuit. Furthermore, we compared the isotope patterns among sociocultural population groups.METHODS: As a part of a country-wide health survey in Greenland during 2005-2010, we analyzed the isotope composition of toenails from 1025 adult Inuit and meat of common species hunted for food. Information on diet and sociocultural variables was collected by interviews.RESULTS: Weighted by sex and place of residence to the total population of Inuit in Greenland, the average δ(13) C value in toenails was -20.2‰ and the δ(15) N value was 12.0‰ which are higher than in a general Danish omnivorous population. Both isotopes were significantly associated with other biomarkers of marine food and with results of a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). The percentage of marine food in the diet was estimated at 21% from the mean δ(13) C value, 25% from the mean δ(15) N value, and 23% from the FFQ.CONCLUSION: Nail samples for analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were convenient to collect during a large population health survey among the Inuit. Isotope enrichment levels showed statistically significant associations with other biomarkers for consumption of marine food and with results of an FFQ and were used to estimate the percentage of marine food in the diet. Isotope levels were significantly associated with a novel score of sociocultural transition.

KW - Journal Article

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DO - 10.1002/ajhb.23018

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 28568975

VL - 29

JO - American Journal of Human Biology

JF - American Journal of Human Biology

SN - 1042-0533

IS - 5

M1 - e23018

ER -