Metabolites distinguishing visceral fat obesity and atherogenic traits in individuals with overweight

Seung Han Baek, Minkyung Kim, Minjoo Kim, Miso Kang, Hye Jin Yoo, Nan Hee Lee, Yong Hwan Kim, Min Song, Jong Ho Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To screen the metabolomes of both overweight subjects with low visceral fat area (LFO) and high visceral fat area (HFO) to identify potential metabolites that are associated with the different metabolic characteristics. Methods: The metabolic characteristics of 112 overweight (25 kg/m2 ≤ BMI < 30 kg/m2) Korean individuals aged 30 to 65 years were examined. Plasma metabolomic profiling of HFO [visceral fat area (VFA) at L4 ≥ 100 cm2] and LFO (L4 VFA <100 cm2) individuals matched for age, gender, and BMI was performed. Results: HFO subjects showed higher VFA at L1 and L4 than LFO subjects. The HFO group showed higher blood pressure, lipid profile, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, malondialdehyde, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance and lower high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels. In plasma metabolite identification, the HFO group showed significantly higher levels of long-chain (C14:1, C16:1, C16) acylcarnitines (ACs), medium-chain (C12:1, C12) ACs, urobilinogen, docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6ω3), lysoPE (22:6), lysoPC (22:6), lysoPC (22:5), methoxybenzenepropanoic acid, and isodesmosine. All five ACs correlated positively with VFA and oxidized LDL levels and negatively with high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels and LDL particle size. Conclusions: Twelve major metabolites, including three long-chain fatty acids and two medium-chain ACs, are important for distinguishing HFO and LFO. Chronic lipid surplus from visceral fat in HFO is likely associated with substantial increases in plasma medium-chain ACs and long-chain fatty acids, which are closely related to atherogenic traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Obesity Society

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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