The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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October - December 2021, Volume 17, Issue 4

Muresan AA, Rusu A, Roman G, Bala C

Metabolomic Analysis of Normal Weight, Healthy and Unhealthy Obesity: Amino Acid Change Across the Spectrum of Metabolic Wellbeing in Women

Acta Endo (Buc) 2021, 17 (4): 427-431
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2021.427

Context. Obesity is a complex and heterogeneous disorder with multiple phenotypes described. Although metabolomic biomarkers of obesity have been extensively studied, biomarkers of obesity phenotypes and differences between these phenotypes and normal-weight (NW) persons have been less investigated. Objective. The objective of this cross-sectional analysis was to investigate serum amino acids (AA) as markers of metabolic alterations in obesity phenotypes and NW. Design. Cross-sectional Subjects and Methods. By targeted metabolomics we analyzed serum samples of 70 women using ultrahighperformance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Participants were divided into 3 groups: NW, metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) and metabolically unhealthy obesity (MUHO). Results. Five AAs were significantly different between study groups: cysteine, methionine, asparagine, glutamine, and lysine (p-value <0.05 and variable importance in the projection >1). Cysteine increased linearly with metabolic unwellness from NW to MUHO. Lysine and glutamine were significantly higher, and asparagine was significantly lower in NW and MHO than in MUHO. Conclusions. By trend and group analysis we identified specific changes in serum AAs along with the progression of metabolically unwellness.

Keywords: metabolomics, obesity phenotypes, metabolically healthy obesity, metabolically unhealthy obesity, normal weight.

Correspondence: Adriana Rusu MD, “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Diabetes, Nutrition, Metabolic diseases 2 Clinicilor street, Cluj-Napoca, 400006, Romania, E-mail: