Hood, R. B., Liang, D., Chiu, Y. H., Sandoval-Insausti, H., Chavarro, J. E., Jones, D., Hauser, R., & Gaskins, A. J.; “Pesticide residue intake from fruits and vegetables and alterations in the serum metabolome of women undergoing infertility treatment;” Environment International, 2022, 160, 107061; DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.107061.
BACKGROUND: Pesticide exposure is linked to a myriad of negative health effects; however, the mechanisms underlying these associations are less clear. We utilized metabolomics to describe the alterations in the serum metabolome associated with high and low pesticide residue intake from fruits and vegetables (FVs), the most common route of exposure in humans.
METHODS: This analysis included 171 women undergoing in vitro fertilization who completed a validated food frequency questionnaire and provided a serum sample during controlled ovarian stimulation (2007–2015). FVs were categorized as high or low-to-moderate pesticide residue using a validated method based on pesticide surveillance data from the USDA. We conducted untargeted metabolic profiling using liquid chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry and two chromatography columns. We used multivariable generalized linear models to identified metabolic features (p < 0.005) associated with high and low-to-moderate pesticide residue FV intake, followed by enriched pathway analysis.
RESULTS: We identified 50 and 109 significant features associated with high pesticide residue FV intake in the C18 negative and HILIC positive columns, respectively. Additionally, we identified 90 and 62 significant features associated with low-to-moderate pesticide residue FV intake in the two columns, respectively. Four metabolomic pathways were associated with intake of high pesticide residue FVs including those involved in energy, vitamin, and enzyme metabolism. 12 pathways were associated with intake of low-to-moderate pesticide residue FVs including cellular receptor, energy, intercellular signaling, lipid, vitamin, and xenobiotic metabolism. One energy pathway was associated with both high and low-to-moderate pesticide residue FVs.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified limited overlap in the pathways associated with intake of high and low-to-moderate pesticide residue FVs, which supports findings of disparate health effects associated with these two exposures. The identified pathways suggest there is a balance between the dietary antioxidant intake associated with FVs intake and heightened oxidative stress as a result of dietary pesticide exposure.