Branched chain amino acids are novel biomarkers for discrimination of metabolic wellness.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

OBJECTIVE: To identify novel biomarkers through metabolomic profiles that distinguish metabolically well (MW) from metabolically unwell (MUW) individuals, independent of body mass index (BMI). MATERIALS/METHODS: This study was conducted as part of the Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease of Cabarrus/Kannapolis (MURDOCK) project. Individuals from 3 cohorts were classified as lean (BMI<25kg/m²), overweight (BMI≥25kg/m², BMI<30kg/m²) or obese (BMI≥30kg/m²). Cardiometabolic abnormalities were defined as: (1) impaired fasting glucose (≥100mg/dL and ≤126mg/dL); (2) hypertension; (3) triglycerides ≥150mg/dL; (4) HDL-C <40mg/dL in men, <50mg/dL in women; and (5) insulin resistance (calculated Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA-IR) index of >5.13). MW individuals were defined as having <2 cardiometabolic abnormalities and MUW individuals had≥two cardiometabolic abnormalities. Targeted profiling of 55 metabolites used mass-spectroscopy-based methods. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to reduce the large number of correlated metabolites into clusters of fewer uncorrelated factors. RESULTS: Of 1872 individuals, 410 were lean, 610 were overweight, and 852 were obese. Of lean individuals, 67% were categorized as MUW, whereas 80% of overweight and 87% of obese individuals were MUW. PCA-derived factors with levels that differed the most between MW and MUW groups were factors 4 (branched chain amino acids [BCAA]) [p<.0001], 8 (various metabolites) [p<.0001], 9 (C4/Ci4, C3, C5 acylcarnitines) [p<.0001] and 10 (amino acids) [p<.0002]. Further, Factor 4, distinguishes MW from MUW individuals independent of BMI. CONCLUSION: BCAA and related metabolites are promising biomarkers that may aid in understanding cardiometabolic health independent of BMI category.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Batch, BC; Shah, SH; Newgard, CB; Turer, CB; Haynes, C; Bain, JR; Muehlbauer, M; Patel, MJ; Stevens, RD; Appel, LJ; Newby, LK; Svetkey, LP

Published Date

  • July 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 62 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 961 - 969

PubMed ID

  • 23375209

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3691289

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8600

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.metabol.2013.01.007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States