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Recent HRI research has validated the metabolic pathways that link dietary components with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

A study led by the Heart Research Institute’s Dr Yen Chin Koay in collaboration with research colleagues Dr Jibran Wali and Professor Stephen Simpson from Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney focuses on dimethylguanidino valeric acid (DMGV), a marker of fatty liver disease, incident coronary artery disease, cardiovascular mortality, and incident diabetes.

The research, published in The American Journal of Physiology, investigates the relationship between dietary macronutrients and circulating levels of DMGV and other related metabolites with insulin resistance.

“Our research provides insight into recent observations of dietary control of this promising new marker of cardiometabolic disease and novel disease pathway,” says Dr Koay, postdoctoral researcher in HRI’s Cardiometabolic Disease Group led by Assoc Prof John O’Sullivan.

Identifying the modifiable metabolic pathways linking the dietary components of cardiometabolic disease could help to reduce disease risk and lead to new avenues for prevention.”

The research measured the plasma concentrations of DMGV and its related metabolites and analysed the dietary data to validate the dietary associations in various cohorts. The results found that DMGV concentrations were significantly upregulated in people with liver or skeletal muscle insulin resistance and that DMGV levels were upregulated in lab models on a very high sucrose diet.

“These results provide a comprehensive picture of the dietary determinants of DMGV levels and its association with insulin resistance,” says Dr Koay.

The study also extends the clinical value of DMGV as a predictor of exercise responsiveness to global metabolic health, including ectopic lipid deposition and insulin resistance in muscle and liver.

In the next phase of research, the team’s goal is to understand the mechanisms that link plasma levels of DMGV, lifestyle, and dietary interventions.

With this knowledge, we could facilitate development of strategies personalised to the individual to help prevent prediabetes in those at increased risk,” states Dr Koay.

This research received an APSselect award for distinction in scholarship by The American Physiological Society.

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