Plasma lipidomic studies using high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy offer detailed insights into metabolic processes. Taking the example of the most abundant plasma lipid class (phosphatidylcholines) we used the rich phenotypic and lipidomic data from the ongoing San Antonio Family Heart Study of large extended Mexican-American families to assess the variability of association of the plasma phosphatidylcholine species with metabolic syndrome. Using robust statistical analytical methods, our study made two important observations. First, there was a wide variability in the association of phosphatidylcholine species with risk measures of metabolic syndrome. Phosphatidylcholine 40:7 was associated with a low risk while phosphatidylcholines 32:1 and 38:3 were associated with a high risk of metabolic syndrome. Second, all the odd chain phosphatidylcholines were associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome implying that phosphatidylcholines derived from dairy products might be beneficial against metabolic syndrome. Our results demonstrate the value of lipid species-specific information provided by the upcoming array of lipidomic studies and open potential avenues for prevention and control of metabolic syndrome in high prevalence settings.
- High performance liquid chromatography
- Mass spectroscopy
- Molecular biology