Introduction: The global prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing rapidly, especially in low- and middle-income countries and has a high number of associated comorbidities. Plasmatic concentrations of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) have been shown to be elevated in T2D subjects in cross-sectional studies. However, the effect of lifestyle community-based interventions on BCAA and RBP4 concentrations has not yet been analyzed.
Material and methods: The Feel4Diabetes study is a school and community-based intervention that identified 360 European families with a high risk of developing T2D according to the FINDRISC questionnaire. Families were randomized in control and intervention groups were followed-up from 2016 to 2018. In the Spanish families, the concentration of BCAA and RBP4 was determined in 266 subjects (115 control and 151 intervention group) that attended the three time-point assessments by colorimetric and ELISA reaction, respectively.
Results: Baseline BCAA levels showed positive correlations with the FINDRISC score and glucose impairment (baseline glucose, insulin, and glycated hemoglobin), body mass index, and body weight. The participants receiving the community-based intervention showed a significant decrease in glycated hemoglobin and BCAA levels compared to the control group (p = 0.011 and p < 0.001, respectively). However, baseline RBP4 did not show significant correlations with anthropometric and glycemic parameters, and no significant change was observed in anthropometric parameters and RBP4 concentrations throughout the follow-up.
Conclusion: A community-based intervention on lifestyle led to a significant reduction in BCAA levels regardless of weight loss. These findings suggest that this interventional approach could be promising in T2D prevention.
Keywords: Feel4Diabetes study; branched chain amino acids; diabetes lifestyle intervention; retinol-binding protein 4; type 2.