The ageing of the global population calls for a better understanding of age-related metabolic consequences. Here we report the effects of age, sex and menopause on serum metabolites in 26,065 individuals of Northern European ancestry. Age-specific metabolic fingerprints differ significantly by gender and, in females, a substantial atherogenic shift overlapping the time of menopausal transition is observed. In meta-analysis of 10,083 women, menopause status associates with amino acids glutamine, tyrosine and isoleucine, along with serum cholesterol measures and atherogenic lipoproteins. Among 3,204 women aged 40-55 years, menopause status associates additionally with glycine and total, monounsaturated, and omega-7 and -9 fatty acids. Our findings suggest that, in addition to lipid alterations, menopause may contribute to future metabolic and cardiovascular risk via influencing amino-acid concentrations, adding to the growing evidence of the importance of amino acids in metabolic disease progression. These observations shed light on the metabolic consequences of ageing, gender and menopause at the population level.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased adiposity is linked with higher risk for cardiometabolic diseases. We aimed to determine to what extent elevated body mass index (BMI) within the normal weight range has causal effects on the detailed systemic metabolite profile in early adulthood.
We used Mendelian randomization to estimate causal effects of BMI on 82 metabolic measures in 12,664 adolescents and young adults from four population-based cohorts in Finland (mean age 26 y, range 16-39 y; 51% women; mean ± standard deviation BMI 24±4 kg/m2). Circulating metabolites were quantified by high-throughput nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics and biochemical assays. In cross-sectional analyses, elevated BMI was adversely associated with cardiometabolic risk markers throughout the systemic metabolite profile, including lipoprotein subclasses, fatty acid composition, amino acids, inflammatory markers, and various hormones (p<0.0005 for 68 measures). Metabolite associations with BMI were generally stronger for men than for women (median 136%, interquartile range 125%-183%). A gene score for predisposition to elevated BMI, composed of 32 established genetic correlates, was used as the instrument to assess causality. Causal effects of elevated BMI closely matched observational estimates (correspondence 87%±3%; R2 = 0.89), suggesting causative influences of adiposity on the levels of numerous metabolites (p<0.0005 for 24 measures), including lipoprotein lipid subclasses and particle size, branched-chain and aromatic amino acids, and inflammation-related glycoprotein acetyls. Causal analyses of certain metabolites and potential sex differences warrant stronger statistical power. Metabolite changes associated with change in BMI during 6 y of follow-up were examined for 1,488 individuals. Change in BMI was accompanied by widespread metabolite changes, which had an association pattern similar to that of the cross-sectional observations, yet with greater metabolic effects (correspondence 160%±2%; R2 = 0.92).
Mendelian randomization indicates causal adverse effects of increased adiposity with multiple cardiometabolic risk markers across the metabolite profile in adolescents and young adults within the non-obese weight range. Consistent with the causal influences of adiposity, weight changes were paralleled by extensive metabolic changes, suggesting a broadly modifiable systemic metabolite profile in early adulthood. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
PLoS Medicine 12/2014; 11(12):e1001765. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001765 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: -High-throughput profiling of circulating metabolites may improve cardiovascular risk prediction over established risk factors.
-We applied quantitative NMR metabolomics to identify biomarkers for incident cardiovascular disease during long-term follow-up. Biomarker discovery was conducted in the FINRISK study (n=7256; 800 events). Replication and incremental risk prediction was assessed in the SABRE study (n=2622; 573 events) and British Women's Health and Heart Study (n=3563; 368 events). In targeted analyses of 68 lipids and metabolites, 33 measures were associated with incident cardiovascular events at P<0.0007 after adjusting for age, sex, blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and medication. When further adjusting for routine lipids, four metabolites were associated with future cardiovascular events in meta-analyses: higher serum phenylalanine (hazard ratio per standard deviation: 1.18 [95%CI 1.12-1.24]; P=4×10(-10)) and monounsaturated fatty acid levels (1.17 [1.11-1.24]; P=1×10(-8)) were associated with increased cardiovascular risk, while higher omega-6 fatty acids (0.89 [0.84-0.94]; P=6×10(-5)) and docosahexaenoic acid levels (0.90 [0.86-0.95]; P=5×10(-5)) were associated with lower risk. A risk score incorporating these four biomarkers was derived in FINRISK. Risk prediction estimates were more accurate in the two validation cohorts (relative integrated discrimination improvement 8.8% and 4.3%), albeit discrimination was not enhanced. Risk classification was particularly improved for persons in the 5-10% risk range (net reclassification 27.1% and 15.5%). Biomarker associations were further corroborated with mass spectrometry in FINRISK (n=671) and the Framingham Offspring Study (n=2289).
-Metabolite profiling in large prospective cohorts identified phenylalanine, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids as biomarkers for cardiovascular risk. This study substantiates the value of high-throughput metabolomics for biomarker discovery and improved risk assessment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alterations in metabolism influence lifespan in experimental models, but data in humans are lacking. Here we use liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to quantify 217 plasma metabolites and examine their relation to longevity in a large cohort of men and women followed for up to 20 years. We find that, higher concentrations of the citric acid cycle intermediate, isocitrate, and the bile acid, taurocholate, are associated with lower odds of longevity, defined as attaining 80 years of age. Higher concentrations of isocitrate, but not taurocholate, are also associated with worse cardiovascular health at baseline, as well as risk of future cardiovascular disease and death. None of the metabolites identified are associated with cancer risk. Our findings suggest that some, but not all, metabolic pathways related to human longevity are linked to the risk of common causes of death.
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