Plasma Free Fatty Acids Metabolic Profile with LC-MS and Appetite-Related Hormones in South Asian and White European Men in Relation to Adiposity, Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness: A Cross-Sectional Study.
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South Asians have a greater cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk than white Europeans, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. This study examined ethnic differences in free fatty acids (FFAs) metabolic profile (assessed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry), appetite-related hormones and traditional CVD and T2D risk markers in blood samples collected from 16 South Asian and 16 white European men and explored associations with body composition, objectively-measured physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. South Asians exhibited higher concentrations of five FFAs (laurate, myristate, palmitate, linolenic, linoleate; p ≤ 0.040), lower acylated ghrelin (ES = 1.00, p = 0.008) and higher leptin (ES = 1.11, p = 0.004) than white Europeans; total peptide YY was similar between groups (p = 0.381). South Asians exhibited elevated fasting insulin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, triacylglycerol and ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and lower fasting HDL-C (all ES ≥ 0.74, p ≤ 0.053). Controlling for body fat percentage (assessed using air displacement plethysmography) attenuated these differences. Despite similar habitual moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (ES = 0.18, p = 0.675), V ˙ O2max was lower in South Asians (ES = 1.36, p = 0.001). Circulating FFAs in South Asians were positively correlated with body fat percentage (r2 = 0.92), body mass (r2 = 0.86) and AUC glucose (r2 = 0.89) whereas in white Europeans FFAs were negatively correlated with total step counts (r2 = 0.96). In conclusion, South Asians exhibited a different FFA profile, lower ghrelin, higher leptin, impaired CVD and T2D risk markers and lower cardiorespiratory fitness than white Europeans.
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