Metabolites as novel biomarkers for childhood obesity-related traits in Mexican-American children

V. S. Farook, Lavanya Reddivari, G. Chittoor, S. Puppala, R. Arya, S. P. Fowler, K. J. Hunt, J. E. Curran, A. G. Comuzzie, D. M. Lehman, C. P. Jenkinson, J. L. Lynch, R. A. Defronzo, J. Blangero, Daniel Hale, R. Duggirala, Jairam K.P. Vanamala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background/Objectives Although newer approaches have identified several metabolites associated with obesity, there is paucity of such information in paediatric populations, especially among Mexican-Americans (MAs) who are at high risk of obesity. Therefore, we performed a global serum metabolite screening in MA children to identify biomarkers of childhood obesity. Methods We selected 15 normal-weight, 13 overweight and 14 obese MA children (6-17 years) and performed global serum metabolite screening using ultra-performance liquid chromatography/quadruple orthogonal acceleration time of flight tandem micro mass spectrometer. Metabolite values were analysed to assess mean differences among groups using one-way analysis of variance, to test for linear trend across groups and to examine Pearson's correlations between them and seven cardiometabolic traits (CMTs): body mass index, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Results We identified 14 metabolites exhibiting differences between groups as well as linear trend across groups with nominal statistical significance. After adjustment for multiple testing, mean differences and linear trends across groups remained significant (P < 5.9 × 10-5) for L-thyronine, bradykinin and naringenin. Of the examined metabolite-CMT trait pairs, all metabolites except for 2-methylbutyroylcarnitine were nominally associated with two or more CMTs, some exhibiting significance even after accounting for multiple testing (P < 3.6 × 10-3). Conclusions To our knowledge, this study - albeit pilot in nature - is the first study to identify these metabolites as novel biomarkers of childhood obesity and its correlates. These findings signify the need for future systematic investigations of metabolic pathways underlying childhood obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-327
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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