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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Little Rock, Arkansas » Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319819

Research Project: Impact of Early Dietary Factors on Child Development and Health

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Title: Whey protein supplementation does not alter plasma branched-chained amino acid profiles but results in unique metabolomics patterns in obese women enrolled in an 8-week weight loss trial

Author
item Piccolo, Brian - University Of California
item Comerford, Kevin - University Of California
item Karakas, Sidika - University Of California
item Knotts, Trina - University Of California
item Fiehn, Oliver - University Of California
item Adams, Sean

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2014
Publication Date: 4/1/2015
Citation: Piccolo, B.D., Comerford, K.B., Karakas, S.E., Knotts, T.A., Fiehn, O., Adams, S.H. 2015. Whey protein supplementation does not alter plasma branched-chained amino acid profiles but results in unique metabolomics patterns in obese women enrolled in an 8-week weight loss trial. Journal of Nutrition. 145(4):691-700, R1-R134.

Interpretive Summary: It has been suggested that perturbations in branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism are associated with insulin resistance and contribute to elevated systemic BCAAs. Evidence in rodents suggests dietary protein rich in BCAAs can increase BCAA catabolism, but there is limited evidence in humans. We hypothesize that a diet rich in BCAAs will increase BCAA catabolism, which will manifest in a reduction of fasting plasma BCAA concentrations. The metabolome of 27 obese women with metabolic syndrome before and after weight loss was investigated to identify changes in BCAA metabolism using GC-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Subjects were enrolled in an 8-wk weight-loss study including either a 20-g/d whey (whey group, n = 16) or gelatin (gelatin group, n = 11) protein supplement. When matched for total protein by weight, whey protein has 3 times the amount of BCAAs compared with gelatin protein. Postintervention plasma abundances of Ile (gelatin group: 637 ± 18, quantifier ion peak height ÷ 100; whey group: 744 ± 65), Leu (gelatin group: 1210 ± 33; whey group: 1380 ± 79), and Val (gelatin group: 2080 ± 59; whey group: 2510 ± 230) did not differ between treatment groups. BCAAs were significantly correlated with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance at baseline (r = 0.52, 0.43, and 0.49 for Leu, Ile, and Val, respectively; all, P < 0.05), but correlations were no longer significant at postintervention. Pro- and Cys-related pathways were found discriminant of whey protein vs. gelatin protein supplementation in multivariate statistical analyses. These findings suggest that BCAA metabolism is, at best, only modestly affected at a whey protein supplementation dose of 20 g/d. Furthermore, the loss of an association between postintervention BCAA and homeostasis model assessment suggests that factors associated with calorie restriction or protein intake affect how plasma BCAAs relate to insulin sensitivity.

Technical Abstract: Background: It has been suggested that perturbations in branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism are associated with insulin resistance and contribute to elevated systemic BCAAs. Evidence in rodents suggests dietary protein rich in BCAAs can increase BCAA catabolism, but there is limited evidence in humans. Objective: We hypothesize that a diet rich in BCAAs will increase BCAA catabolism, which will manifest in a reduction of fasting plasma BCAA concentrations. Methods: The metabolome of 27 obese women with metabolic syndrome before and after weight loss was investigated to identify changes in BCAA metabolism using GC-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Subjects were enrolled in an 8-wk weight-loss study including either a 20-g/d whey (whey group, n = 16) or gelatin (gelatin group, n = 11) protein supplement. When matched for total protein by weight, whey protein has 3 times the amount of BCAAs compared with gelatin protein. Results: Postintervention plasma abundances of Ile (gelatin group: 637 ± 18, quantifier ion peak height ÷ 100; whey group: 744 ± 65), Leu (gelatin group: 1210 ± 33; whey group: 1380 ± 79), and Val (gelatin group: 2080 ± 59; whey group: 2510 ± 230) did not differ between treatment groups. BCAAs were significantly correlated with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance at baseline (r = 0.52, 0.43, and 0.49 for Leu, Ile, and Val, respectively; all, P < 0.05), but correlations were no longer significant at postintervention. Pro- and Cys-related pathways were found discriminant of whey protein vs. gelatin protein supplementation in multivariate statistical analyses. Conclusions: These findings suggest that BCAA metabolism is, at best, only modestly affected at a whey protein supplementation dose of 20 g/d. Furthermore, the loss of an association between postintervention BCAA and homeostasis model assessment suggests that factors associated with calorie restriction or protein intake affect how plasma BCAAs relate to insulin sensitivity.