Grain Mark Study: Investigating Biomarkers of Whole Grain Intake

Project Leader(s): Dr Chris Seal, Dr Sumanto Halder

GrainMark Study         


The Grainmark Study: Investigating Biomarkers of Whole Grain Intake Volunteers Wanted We are looking to recruit 64 volunteers (males and females) for the study from the Newcastle upon Tyne and surrounding area. Are you:

  • Over 18 years old?
  • A non-smoker?
  • Healthy (i.e., not suffering from any current ill health and not taking any prescribed medication)?
  • Willing to eat wholegrain foods (supplied) for 2 months?  
  • Willing to provide small blood samples and urine samples for analysis at regular intervals?

For more information, please see click on the link below  

GrainMark Information Sheet 


Epidemiological (population) studies have shown that an increased consumption of wholegrain foods is associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. However, the particular amount of wholegrain foods that might be responsible for this health benefit is not clear, mainly because there have been difficulties in accurately assessing whole grain-intake in population studies.  Therefore, one approach to tackle this issue would be to use biomarkers (indicators) of whole grain-intake in blood and urine which can then be utilised as objective measures of wholegrain food intake in individuals.  This study will therefore investigate whether substances (known and unknown) naturally present in whole grains can be used as biomarkers of whole grain-intake in blood and urine.


Funding for this project has been approved by the Foods Standards Agency (FSA), Project No. N050075 

Ethics Approval 

The study has received ethics approval from a NHS local ethics committee (Research Ethics Committee Reference No. 07/H0902/53).           


The project is being carried out by staff from the Food Quality and Health Research Group, within the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University

Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Seal, Senior Lecturer  
Co-Investigator: Dr. Kirsten Brandt, Senior Lecturer 
Project Co-ordinators: Mrs Wendy Bal, Research Technician and Dr. Sumanto Haldar, Research Associate

The project also includes collaboration with the University of Wales, Aberystwyth  

Co-Investigator: Prof. John Draper, Professor of Plant Biotechnology, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

If you are interested in taking part in the GrainMark study or require further information, please email us on or telephone 0191-222 6619.


Coming soon

Here we will tell you about the GrainMark project progress, results and publications as they become available. 


Wendy Bal
Research Technician

Dr Kirsten Brandt
Senior Lecturer

Professor Chris Seal
Prof of Food & Human Nutrition