The association between metabolites and BMI is independent of fasting status
Although metabolites change after consumption of a meal, the association between metabolites and BMI is similar after a night of fasting and after a meal. Bianca Schutte investigated the Growing Old Together study and published her work in the scientific journal Scientific Reports.
Multiple studies have shown that metabolites in blood can be used to predict the risk of disease, like diabetes and cardiovascular isease. Metabolites are little molecules like cholesterol, amino acids and glucose. Also disease risk factors like BMI and insulin resistance are associated with metabolite levels. However, some studies use blood samples taken after a night of fasting and others after a meal and it is known that metabolites change after a meal. Therefore Bianca Schutte, PhD student at the Molecular Epidemiology department of LUMC, investigated the Growing Old Together study in which blood samples have been collected after a night of fasting and after a standardized liquid meal. Metabolite levels were determined and associated with BMI as an example of a disease risk factor. Many metabolite levels changed 35 minutes after the standardized liquid meal, but the association between metabolite levels and BMI remained highly similar before and after the meal. Also the association of metabolite levels and insulin levels or diastolic blood pressure was highly similar before and after the standardized meal. More research is required to generalize our findings to other disease risk factors and to analyse how non-standardized meals and time after a meal affects the association of a disease risk factor with metabolite levels. Good generalizability would then justify to combine studies with fasting and non-fasting blood samples to predict the risk of disease, as long as it is known if blood samples were collected in fasting status or not. Read more: www.nature.com/articles/srep38980