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Clinical Trial
. 2015 Aug 14;10(8):e0134613.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134613. eCollection 2015.

Metabolomics Reveals Metabolically Healthy and Unhealthy Obese Individuals Differ in Their Response to a Caloric Challenge

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Free PMC article
Clinical Trial

Metabolomics Reveals Metabolically Healthy and Unhealthy Obese Individuals Differ in Their Response to a Caloric Challenge

Flavia Badoud et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objective: To determine if metabolically healthy obese (MHO) individuals have a different metabolic response to a standardized diet compared to lean healthy (LH) and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO) individuals.

Methods: Thirty adults (35-70 yrs) were classified as LH, MHO, and MUO according to anthropometric and clinical measurements. Participants consumed a standardized high calorie meal (~1330 kcal). Blood glucose and insulin were measured at fasting, and 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min postprandially. Additional blood samples were collected for the targeted analysis of amino acids (AAs) and derivatives, and fatty acids (FAs).

Results: The postprandial response (i.e., area under the curve, AUC) for serum glucose and insulin were similar between MHO and LH individuals, and significantly lower than MUO individuals (p < 0.05). Minor differences were found in postprandial responses for AAs between MHO and MUO individuals, while three polyunsaturated FAs (linoleic acid, γ-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid) showed smaller changes in serum after the meal in MHO individuals compared to MUO. Fasting levels for various AAs (notably branched-chain AA) and FAs (e.g., saturated myristic and palmitic acids) were found to correlate with glucose and insulin AUC.

Conclusion: MHO individuals show preserved insulin sensitivity and a greater ability to adapt to a caloric challenge compared to MUO individuals.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Figures

Fig 1
Fig 1
Postprandial serum glucose (a) and insulin (b) responses (mean ± SEM) following consumption of the standardized meal in lean healthy (LH; circle, n = 10), metabolically healthy obese (MHO; square, n = 10), and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO; triangle, n = 10) individuals. Glucose (c) and insulin (d) Area Under the Curve (AUCtotal), where white bars = LH; grey bars = MHO; and black bars = MUO. A non-parametric ANOVA Kruskal-Wallis test followed by a post-hoc Mann-Whitney test was used to determine differences between groups. Bars not sharing the same letter are statistically different (p < 0.05).
Fig 2
Fig 2. Amino acid (a) and fatty acid (b) composition of the standardized meal (grey bars, plotted on right y-axis).
The corresponding %PP is plotted on the left y-axis for lean healthy (LH; circle, n = 10), metabolically healthy obese (MHO; square, n = 10) and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO; triangle, n = 10) in plasma samples. Significant %PP (indicated by *) between the three groups were identified using a non-parametric ANOVA Kruskal-Wallis (p < 0.05) test followed by a post-hoc Mann-Whitney test (p < 0.05). Gly = glycine, Ala = alanine, Ser = serine, Pro = proline, Val = valine, Bet = betaine, Thr = threonine, Ile = isoleucine, Leu = leucine, Asp = aspartic acid, Lys = lysine, Glu = glutamic acid, Met = methionine, His = histidine, Phe = phenylalanine, MeHis = methylhistidine, Arg = arginine, Tyr = tyrosine, CySS = cystine, DMG = dimethylglycine, Crt = creatine, Asn = asparagine.
Fig 3
Fig 3. Mean %PP of plasma amino acid and derivatives measured by CE-MS for lean healthy (LH, n = 10, white bars), metabolically healthy obese (MHO, n = 10, grey bars) and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO, n = 10, black bars).
Significant %PP amino acids between the three groups were identified using a non-parametric ANOVA Kruskal-Wallis (p < 0.05) test followed by a post-hoc Mann-Whitney test (p < 0.05). Data is presented as mean %PP ± SEM.
Fig 4
Fig 4. Mean %PP of serum fatty acids for lean healthy (LH, n = 10, white bars), metabolically healthy obese (MHO, n = 10, grey bars) and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO, n = 10, black bars).
Significant %PP between the three groups were identified using a non-parametric ANOVA Kruskal-Wallis test (p < 0.05) followed by a post-hoc Mann-Whitney test (p < 0.05). Data is presented as mean %PP ± SEM.

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