Circulating branched-chain amino acid concentrations are associated with obesity and future insulin resistance in children and adolescents

S. E. Mccormack, O. Shaham, M. A. Mccarthy, A. A. Deik, T. J. Wang, R. E. Gerszten, C. B. Clish, V. K. Mootha, S. K. Grinspoon, A. Fleischman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) concentrations are elevated in response to overnutrition, and can affect both insulin sensitivity and secretion. Alterations in their metabolism may therefore play a role in the early pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes in overweight children. Objective: To determine whether paediatric obesity is associated with elevations in fasting circulating concentrations of BCAAs (isoleucine, leucine and valine), and whether these elevations predict future insulin resistance. Methods: Sixty-nine healthy subjects, ages 8-18 years, were enrolled as a cross-sectional cohort. A subset of subjects who were pre- or early-pubertal, ages 8-13 years, were enrolled in a prospective longitudinal cohort for 18 months (n = 17 with complete data). Results: Elevations in the concentrations of BCAAs were significantly associated with body mass index (BMI) Z-score (Spearman's Rho 0.27, P = 0.03) in the cross-sectional cohort. In the subset of subjects that followed longitudinally, baseline BCAA concentrations were positively associated with homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance measured 18 months later after controlling for baseline clinical factors including BMI Z-score, sex and pubertal stage (P = 0.046). Conclusions: Elevations in the concentrations of circulating BCAAs are significantly associated with obesity in children and adolescents, and may independently predict future insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Obesity
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Branched-chain amino acids
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolomics
  • Paediatric obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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