Plasma lactate as a marker of metabolic health: Implications of elevated lactate for impairment of aerobic metabolism in the metabolic syndrome.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Fasting lactate is elevated in metabolic diseases and could possibly be predictive of the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome. METHODS: Plasma samples were analyzed for fasting lactate to compare lean subjects, nondiabetic subjects with severe obesity, and metabolically impaired subjects. Subjects with severe obesity were studied 1 week before and 1 week to 9 months after gastric bypass surgery. Subjects with components of the metabolic syndrome were studied before and after 6 months of an exercise intervention. RESULTS: Metabolically impaired subjects had higher fasting lactate concentrations (P < .0001) and respond to a glucose or insulin challenge with higher lactates than non-obese subjects (P < .004). Lactate was significantly reduced a week after gastric bypass surgery (P < .05) and further reduced 1 to 9 months after surgery (0.95 ± 0.04 mM in non-obese, 1.26 ± 0.12 mM in subjects with severe obesity, and 0.68 ± 0.03 mM 1-3 months after gastric bypass). Six months of chronic exercise resulted in a 16% reduction (P = .028) in fasting lactate. CONCLUSION: Fasting plasma lactate was elevated in obese subjects with the metabolic syndrome compared with healthy lean individuals. Lactate was reduced by exercise and bariatric surgery, interventions that improve metabolic health and risk for subsequent disease. The results of this study and those previously published by our research group suggest that elevated lactate may be caused by an impairment in aerobic metabolism and may offer a metric assessing the severity of the metabolic syndrome.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jones, TE; Pories, WJ; Houmard, JA; Tanner, CJ; Zheng, D; Zou, K; Coen, PM; Goodpaster, BH; Kraus, WE; Dohm, GL

Published Date

  • November 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 166 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 861 - 866

PubMed ID

  • 31253418

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7142375

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-7361

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.surg.2019.04.017


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States