Serum Levels of Choline-Containing Compounds Are Associated with Aerobic Fitness Level: The HUNT-Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE 2012, 7(7) 10.1371/journal.pone.0042330
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the number of people at risk is continuously growing. New methods for early risk prediction are therefore needed to actuate prevention strategies before the individuals are diagnosed with CVD. Several studies report that aerobic fitness level, measured as maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), is the single best predictor of future CVD mortality in healthy people. Based on this, we wanted to study differences between healthy individuals with a large difference in VO2max-level to identify new biomarkers of low aerobic fitness that may also have potential as early biomarkers of CVD risk. Methodology/Principal Findings: Serum samples from 218 healthy individuals with a low VO2max (n = 108, 63 women) or high VO2max (n = 110, 64 women) were analysed with MR metabolomics. In addition, standard clinical-chemical analyses for glucose, lipids, liver enzymes, micro-CRP, and colorimetric analysis on circulating choline were performed. Individuals in the low VO2max-group had increased serum levels of free choline, decreased phosphatidylcholine, increased glucosę and decreased unsaturated fatty acids compared to the individuals in the high VO2max–group. Conclusions/Significance: Aerobic fitness dependent differences in serum levels of free choline and phosphatidylcholine are observed. They should be further studied as potential early markers of CVD risk.