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Metabolites. 2019 Apr 13;9(4). pii: E71. doi: 10.3390/metabo9040071.

Plasma Free Fatty Acids Metabolic Profile with LC-MS and Appetite-Related Hormones in South Asian and White European Men in Relation to Adiposity, Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness: A Cross-Sectional Study.

Author information

1
Applied & Human Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry, Kingston University London, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK. S.Benedetti@kingston.ac.uk.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 23924, Safat, Kuwait City 13110, Kuwait. dr_altannak@HSC.EDU.KW.
3
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, The John Arbuthnott Building, 161 Cathedral Street, Glasgow G4 0RE, UK. mansour.alzahrani@strath.ac.uk.
4
Applied & Human Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry, Kingston University London, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK. H.Moir@kingston.ac.uk.
5
National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK. D.J.Stensel@lboro.ac.uk.
6
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK. D.J.Stensel@lboro.ac.uk.
7
National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK. A.E.Thackray@lboro.ac.uk.
8
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK. A.E.Thackray@lboro.ac.uk.
9
Applied & Human Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry, Kingston University London, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK. D.Naughton@kingston.ac.uk.
10
Applied & Human Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry, Kingston University London, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK. M.Dorak@kingston.ac.uk.
11
Applied & Human Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry, Kingston University London, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK. O.Spendiff@kingston.ac.uk.
12
Applied & Human Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry, Kingston University London, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK. N.Hill@kingston.ac.uk.
13
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, The John Arbuthnott Building, 161 Cathedral Street, Glasgow G4 0RE, UK. d.g.watson@strath.ac.uk.
14
Applied & Human Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry, Kingston University London, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK. J.Allgrove@kingston.ac.uk.

Abstract

South Asians have a greater cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk than white Europeans, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. This study examined ethnic differences in free fatty acids (FFAs) metabolic profile (assessed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry), appetite-related hormones and traditional CVD and T2D risk markers in blood samples collected from 16 South Asian and 16 white European men and explored associations with body composition, objectively-measured physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. South Asians exhibited higher concentrations of five FFAs (laurate, myristate, palmitate, linolenic, linoleate; p ≤ 0.040), lower acylated ghrelin (ES = 1.00, p = 0.008) and higher leptin (ES = 1.11, p = 0.004) than white Europeans; total peptide YY was similar between groups (p = 0.381). South Asians exhibited elevated fasting insulin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, triacylglycerol and ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and lower fasting HDL-C (all ES ≥ 0.74, p ≤ 0.053). Controlling for body fat percentage (assessed using air displacement plethysmography) attenuated these differences. Despite similar habitual moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (ES = 0.18, p = 0.675), V ˙ O2max was lower in South Asians (ES = 1.36, p = 0.001). Circulating FFAs in South Asians were positively correlated with body fat percentage (r2 = 0.92), body mass (r2 = 0.86) and AUC glucose (r2 = 0.89) whereas in white Europeans FFAs were negatively correlated with total step counts (r2 = 0.96). In conclusion, South Asians exhibited a different FFA profile, lower ghrelin, higher leptin, impaired CVD and T2D risk markers and lower cardiorespiratory fitness than white Europeans.

KEYWORDS:

South Asian; Type 2 diabetes; appetite hormones; cardiorespiratory fitness; cardiovascular disease; free fatty acids; inflammation; metabolic markers; metabolomics; physical activity

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