Concentrations of vanillylmandelic acid (VMA), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA), vanillic acid (VA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in urine from healthy subjects were determined by a high-performance liquid chromatography system with a mixed-mode (C18/anion-exchange) column and an 8-channel electrochemical detector, in order to study the influence of diet, diurnal variation and age. The urinary excretion of 5-HIAA increased significantly after eating banana, pineapple, tomato, kiwi fruit and walnut. An increase in the urinary excretion of DOPAC and HVA after eating banana and that of VA after taking vanilla was also noted. The urinary excretion of VMA was not significantly influenced by any of the foods examined. The urinary excretion of 5-HIAA in the first-morning urine increased beyond the upper limit of the reference value when banana was taken at 2000 h the previous day. The excretion of all metabolites in the second-morning urine in the fasting state was within respective reference ranges. Diurnal variation of the excretion of VMA, DOPAC, HVA and 5-HIAA in urine was relatively small, but that of VA was large. The concentrations (mmol/mol creatinine) of VMA, DOPAC, HVA, 5-HIAA and VA in the first-morning urine from healthy subjects increased from 7 days after birth to 1 year and then decreased to adult levels at 13 years of age.
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