Pre-meal protein intake alters postprandial plasma metabolome in subjects with metabolic syndrome

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Purpose: We examined the effect on the postprandial plasma metabolome of protein pre-meals before a fat-rich main meal.

Methods: Two randomized, cross-over meal studies were conducted to test the dose-response effect (0 g, 10 g, 20 g) of a pre-meal with whey protein (WP) (PREMEAL I), and the effect of protein quality (10 g WP, casein, or gluten) and timing (- 15 min vs - 30 min) of the pre-meal (PREMEAL II). Participants with metabolic syndrome received one of the test meals on each test day, - 15 min (or - 30 min) prior to a standardized fat-rich breakfast. Plasma samples were collected at - 15 min (or - 30 min), 0, 120, 240 a nd 360 min and analyzed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with an untargeted method.

Results: Pre-meal WP intake elevated plasma branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), aromatic amino acids and methionine and decreased plasma LPC (16:0) and PC (32:1) levels before the main meal. Early (- 15 to 0 min) aromatic amino acids and BCAA in response to pre-meal WP partially predict the glucose and insulin response after the main meal. A pre-meal with WP altered the postprandial plasma metabolic pattern of acyl-carnitines, specific PCs, LPCs and LPEs, betaine, citric acid, linoleic acid, and β-hydroxypalmitic acid compared to no pre-meal. The casein and WP pre-meals exhibited similar postprandial amino acid responses whereas a pre-meal with gluten resulted in lower levels of plasma amino acids and its metabolites.

Conclusion: A pre-meal with protein affects the postprandial metabolic pattern indicating facilitated glucose and lipid disposal from plasma in participants with metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1881-1894
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Insulin resistance, Metabolites, Second meal, Effect biomarkers, UPLC–ESI–Q-TOF–MS

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