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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 1/2017

Plasma free amino acid profiles evaluate risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension in a large Asian population

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2017
Natsu Yamaguchi, MH Mahbub, Hidekazu Takahashi, Ryosuke Hase, Yasutaka Ishimaru, Hiroshi Sunagawa, Hiroki Amano, Mikiko Kobayashi- Miura, Hideyuki Kanda, Yasuyuki Fujita, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Mai Yamamoto, Shinya Kikuchi, Atsuko Ikeda, Mariko Takasu, Naoko Kageyama, Mina Nakamura, Tsuyoshi Tanabe



Recently, the association of plasma free amino acid (PFAA) profile and lifestyle-related diseases has been reported. However, few studies have been reported in large Asian populations, about the usefulness of PFAAs for evaluating disease risks. We examined the ability of PFAA profiles to evaluate lifestyle-related diseases in so far the largest Asian population.


We examined plasma concentrations of 19 amino acids in 8589 Japanese subjects, and determined the association with variables associated with obesity, blood glucose, lipid, and blood pressure. We also evaluated the PFAA indexes that reflect visceral fat obesity and insulin resistance. The contribution of single PFAA level and relevant PFAA indexes was also examined in the risk assessment of lifestyle-related diseases.


Of the 19 amino acids, branched-chain amino acids and aromatic amino acids showed association with obesity and lipid variables. The PFAA index related to visceral fat obesity showed relatively higher correlation with variables than that of any PFAA. In the evaluation of lifestyle-related disease risks, the odds ratios of the PFAA index related to visceral fat obesity or insulin resistance with the diseases were higher than most of those of individual amino acid levels even after adjusting for potential confounding factors. The association pattern of the indexes and PFAA with each lifestyle-related disease was distinct.


We confirmed the usefulness of PFAA profiles and indexes as markers for evaluating the risks of lifestyle-related diseases, including diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, and hypertension in a large Asian population.

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