Original Article | Published:

Clinical Studies and Practice

Metabolite profiling of obese individuals before and after a one year weight loss program

International Journal of Obesity volume 41, pages 13691378 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Objective:

We and others have previously characterized changes in circulating metabolite levels following diet-induced weight loss. Our aim was to investigate whether baseline metabolite levels and weight-loss-induced changes in these are predictive of or associated with changes in body mass index (BMI) and metabolic risk traits.

Methods:

Serum metabolites were analyzed with gas and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry in 91 obese individuals at baseline and after participating in a 1 year non-surgical weight loss program.

Results

A total of 137 metabolites were identified and semi-quantified at baseline (BMI 42.7±5.8, mean±s.d.) and at follow-up (BMI 36.3±6.6). Weight-loss-induced modification was observed for levels of 57 metabolites in individuals with 10% weight loss. Lower baseline levels of xylitol was predictive of a greater decrease in BMI (β=0.06, P<0.01) and 10% weight loss (odds ratio (OR)=0.2, confidence interval (CI)=0.07–0.7, P=0.01). Decreases in levels of isoleucine, leucine, valine and tyrosine were associated with decrease in BMI (β>0.1, P<0.05) and 10% weight loss (isoleucine: OR=0.08, CI=0.01–0.3, leucine: OR=0.1, CI=0.01–0.6, valine: OR=0.1, CI=0.02–0.5, tyrosine: OR=0.1, CI=0.03–0.6, P<0.02).

Conclusions:

Diet-induced weight loss leads to mainly reduced levels of metabolites that are elevated in obese insulin resistant individuals. We identified multiple new associations with metabolic risk factors and validated several previous findings related to weight loss-mediated metabolite changes. Levels of specific metabolites, such as xylitol, may be predictive of the response to non-surgical weight loss already at baseline.

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Acknowledgements

We are greatly indebted to the study subjects for their participation. This study was supported by the Swedish Research Council, the Diabetes Association in Malmö, Region Skåne, ALF, Novo Nordisk-, Crafoord-, Skåne University Hospital-, Albert Påhlsson-, Lundberg-, Magnus Bergvall-, Fredrik and Ingrid Thurings-, Borgströms-, and Lars Hierta Foundations.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Clinical Obesity, Lund University Diabetes Center, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

    • N Geidenstam
    • , M Ekman
    •  & M Ridderstråle
  2. Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Unit of Molecular Metabolism, Lund University Diabetes Center, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

    • M Al-Majdoub
    •  & P Spégel
  3. Department of Chemistry, Centre for Analysis and Synthesis, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

    • P Spégel
  4. Steno Diabetes Center A/S, Gentofte, Denmark

    • M Ridderstråle
  5. Novo Nordisk A/S, Søborg, Denmark

    • M Ridderstråle

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Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to N Geidenstam.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2017.124

Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on International Journal of Obesity website (http://www.nature.com/ijo)