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Int J Epidemiol. 2016 Oct;45(5):1493-1506. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

Metabolic profiling of alcohol consumption in 9778 young adults.

Author information

1
Computational Medicine, University of Oulu and Biocenter Oulu, Oulu, Finland peter.wurtz@computationalmedicine.fi.
2
Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
3
Computational Medicine, University of Oulu and Biocenter Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
4
NMR Metabolomics Laboratory, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
5
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
6
Division of Medicine, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
7
Department of Clinical Physiology, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
8
Department of Clinical Chemistry, Fimlab Laboratories and School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
9
National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
10
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
11
University of Tartu, Estonian Genome Center, Tartu, Estonia.
12
Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
13
Clinic for General and Interventional Cardiology, University Heart Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
14
German Center for Cardiovascular Research, Lübeck, Kiel, Germany.
15
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.
16
Center for Life Course Health Research and Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
17
Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
18
Computational Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
19
Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
20
Department of Community Medicine, UiT Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

High alcohol consumption is a major cause of morbidity, yet alcohol is associated with both favourable and adverse effects on cardiometabolic risk markers. We aimed to characterize the associations of usual alcohol consumption with a comprehensive systemic metabolite profile in young adults.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional associations of alcohol intake with 86 metabolic measures were assessed for 9778 individuals from three population-based cohorts from Finland (age 24-45 years, 52% women). Metabolic changes associated with change in alcohol intake during 6-year follow-up were further examined for 1466 individuals. Alcohol intake was assessed by questionnaires. Circulating lipids, fatty acids and metabolites were quantified by high-throughput nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics and biochemical assays.

RESULTS:

Increased alcohol intake was associated with cardiometabolic risk markers across multiple metabolic pathways, including higher lipid concentrations in HDL subclasses and smaller LDL particle size, increased proportions of monounsaturated fatty acids and decreased proportion of omega-6 fatty acids, lower concentrations of glutamine and citrate (P < 0.001 for 56 metabolic measures). Many metabolic biomarkers displayed U-shaped associations with alcohol consumption. Results were coherent for men and women, consistent across the three cohorts and similar if adjusting for body mass index, smoking and physical activity. The metabolic changes accompanying change in alcohol intake during follow-up resembled the cross-sectional association pattern (R2 = 0.83, slope = 0.72 ± 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

Alcohol consumption is associated with a complex metabolic signature, including aberrations in multiple biomarkers for elevated cardiometabolic risk. The metabolic signature tracks with long-term changes in alcohol consumption. These results elucidate the double-edged effects of alcohol on cardiovascular risk.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; fatty acids; metabolic profiling; metabolomics; risk factors

PMID:
27494945
PMCID:
PMC5100616
DOI:
10.1093/ije/dyw175
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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