Metabolomic Determinants of Metabolic Risk in Mexican Adolescents

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Sep;25(9):1594-1602. doi: 10.1002/oby.21926. Epub 2017 Jul 31.


Objective: The goal of this study was to identify metabolites associated with metabolic risk, separately by sex, in Mexican adolescents.

Methods: Untargeted metabolomic profiling was carried out on fasting serum of 238 youth aged 8 to 14 years, and metabolites associated with a metabolic syndrome risk z-score (MetRisk z-score) were identified separately for boys and girls, using the simulation and extrapolation algorithm. Associations of each metabolite with MetRisk z-score were examined using linear regression models that accounted for maternal education, child's age, and pubertal status.

Results: Of the 938 features identified in metabolomics analysis, 7 named compounds (of 27 identified metabolites) were associated with MetRisk z-score in girls, and 3 named compounds (of 14 identified) were associated with MetRisk z-score in boys. In girls, diacylglycerol (DG) 16:0/16:0, 1,3-dielaidin, myo-inositol, and urate corresponded with higher MetRisk z-score, whereas N-acetylglycine, thymine, and dodecenedioic acid were associated with lower MetRisk z-score. For example, each z-score increment in DG 16:0/16:0 corresponded with 0.60 (95% CI: 0.47-0.74) units higher MetRisk z-score. In boys, positive associations of DG 16:0/16:0, tyrosine, and 5'-methylthioadenosine with MetRisk z-score were found.

Conclusions: Metabolites on lipid, amino acid, and carbohydrate metabolism pathways are associated with metabolic risk in girls. Compounds on lipid and DNA pathways correspond with metabolic risk in boys.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Mexican Americans
  • Risk Factors