A metabolic view on menopause and ageing

Nat Commun. 2014 Aug 21;5:4708. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5708.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Blood / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Estonia
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Menopause / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Whites
  • Young Adult


  • Amino Acids
  • Lipids