Plasma free fatty acids metabolic profile with LC-MS and appetite-related hormones in South Asian and white European men in relation to adiposity, physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness : a cross-sectional study

Benedetti, Simone and Al-Tannak, Naser F. and Alzharani, Mansour and Moir, Hannah J. and Stensel, David J. and Thackray, Alice E. and Naughton, Declan P. and Dorak, Mehmet T. and Spendif, Owen and Hill, Natasha and Watson, David and Allgrove, Judith (2019) Plasma free fatty acids metabolic profile with LC-MS and appetite-related hormones in South Asian and white European men in relation to adiposity, physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness : a cross-sectional study. Metabolites, 9 (4). ISSN 2218-1989

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    Abstract

    South Asians have a greater cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk than white Europeans, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. This study examined ethnic differences in free fatty acids (FFAs) metabolic profile (assessed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry), appetite-related hormones and traditional CVD and T2D risk markers in blood samples collected from 16 South Asian and 16 white European men and explored associations with body composition, objectively-measured physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. South Asians exhibited higher concentrations of five FFAs (laurate, myristate, palmitate, linolenic, linoleate; p ≤ 0.040), lower acylated ghrelin (ES = 1.00, p = 0.008) and higher leptin (ES = 1.11, p = 0.004) than white Europeans; total peptide YY was similar between groups (p = 0.381). South Asians exhibited elevated fasting insulin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, triacylglycerol and ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and lower fasting HDL-C (all ES ≥ 0.74, p ≤ 0.053). Controlling for body fat percentage (assessed using air displacement plethysmography) attenuated these differences. Despite similar habitual moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (ES = 0.18, p = 0.675), V˙ O2max was lower in South Asians (ES = 1.36, p = 0.001). Circulating FFAs in South Asians were positively correlated with body fat percentage (r2 = 0.92), body mass (r2 = 0.86) and AUC glucose (r2 = 0.89) whereas in white Europeans FFAs were negatively correlated with total step counts (r2 = 0.96). In conclusion, South Asians exhibited a different FFA profile, lower ghrelin, higher leptin, impaired CVD and T2D risk markers and lower cardiorespiratory fitness than white Europeans.