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Obes Sci Pract. 2018 Aug 1;4(5):468-476. doi: 10.1002/osp4.290. eCollection 2018 Oct.

Association of plasma nitrite levels with obesity and metabolic syndrome in the Old Order Amish.

Author information

1
Mood and Anxiety Program University of Maryland, School of Medicine Baltimore MD USA.
2
Psychiatry Residency Training Program St. Elizabeth's Hospital Washington DC USA.
3
Division of Biological Chemistry, Biocenter Innsbruck Medical University Innsbruck Austria.
4
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Department of Medicine University of Maryland, School of Medicine Baltimore MD USA.
5
Department of Veterans Affairs VISN 5 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) Baltimore MD USA.
6
Mental Health Centre Copenhagen Copenhagen University Hospital Copenhagen Denmark.
7
Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center Houston TX USA.
8
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Baylor College of Medicine Houston TX USA.
9
Department of Psychiatry, Fundación Jimenez Diaz Hospital Autónoma University, Centro de Investigacion en Red Salud Mental Madrid Spain.
10
Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) Denver CO USA.
11
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Center for Neuroscience University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora CO 80045 USA.
12
Military and Veteran Microbiome: Consortium for Research and Education (MVM-CoRE) Denver CO 80220 USA.
13
Department of Integrative Physiology and Center for Neuroscience University of Colorado Boulder Boulder CO 80309 USA.
14
Program for Personalized and Genomic Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Department of Medicine University of Maryland, School of Medicine Baltimore MD USA.

Abstract

Objectives:

Plasma nitrite is a metabolite of nitric oxide and reflects endogenous nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity. Although plasma nitrites were previously linked with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS), the direction of association remains inconsistent, possibly due to sample heterogeneity. In a relatively homogeneous population, we hypothesized that nitrite levels will be positively associated with overweight/obesity and MetS.

Methods:

Fasting nitrite levels were measured in 116 Old Order Amish (78% women). We performed age-and-sex-adjusted ancovas to compare nitrite levels between three groups (a) overweight/obese(-)MetS(-), (b) overweight/obese(+)MetS(-) and (c) overweight/obese(+)MetS)(+). Multivariate linear regressions were conducted on nitrite associations with continuous metabolic variables, with successive adjustments for demographics, body mass index, C-reactive protein and neopterin.

Results:

Nitrite levels were higher in the obese/overweight(+)MetS(+) group than in the other two groups (p < 0.001). Nitrites were positively associated with levels of triglycerides (p < 0.0001), total cholesterol (p = 0.048), high-density lipoprotein/cholesterol ratio (p < 0.0001) and fasting glucose (p < 0.0001), and negatively correlated with high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (p < 0.0001). These associations were robust to adjustments for body mass index and inflammatory markers.

Conclusion:

Further investigation of the connection between obesity/MetS and plasma nitrite levels may lead to novel dietary and pharmacological approaches that ultimately may contribute to reducing the increasing burden of obesity, MetS and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

KEYWORDS:

Metabolic syndrome; NO; Old Order Amish; plasma nitrite

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