Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the number of people at risk is continuously growing. The increased burden of CVD creates an urgent need for new and effective prevention strategies as well as new biomarkers of CVD risk. Cardiovascular fitness level, measured as maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) is suggested to be a strong marker for cardiac health, and the single best predictor of future CVD mortality. Based on this, the cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with differences in VO2max should be studied to find new targets to prevent CVD. This study aims to identify the differences in serum metabolic profiles between subjects with high and low VO2max.Methods
Serum samples from 218 healthy individuals with a low VO2max (n=108, 63 women) or high VO2max (n=110, 64 women) were analyzed with MR metabolomics. In addition, standard clinical-chemical analyses for glucose, lipids, liver enzymes, micro-CRP, and colorimetric analysis on circulating choline were performed.Results
The MR spectra illustrated differences in serum levels of glucose, lipids and choline-containing compounds between the high- and low-VO2max groups. Data from the MR spectra and colorimetric analysis revealed that the low VO2max-group had significantly higher levels of free circulating choline and significantly lower levels of phosphatidylcholine in serum.Conclusion
In healthy individuals, high vs. low aerobic capacity level is associated with significant differences in serum levels of choline-containing compounds, lipids and glucose. Free choline as a potential early marker of CVD risk needs further confirmation.